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The Relationship between Self-concept and Satisfaction with Life among Adolescents

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    ABSTRACT: In a dual-factor model of mental health (cf. Greenspoon & Saklofske, 2001), assessments of positive indicators of Wellness (i.e., subjective well-be-ing—SWB) are coupled with traditional negative indicators of illness (i.e., psy-chopathology) to comprehensively measure mental health. The current study examined the existence and utility of a dual-factor model in early adolescence. The SWB, psychopathology, academic functioning, social adjustment, and phys-ical health of a general sample of 349 middle school students was assessed via self-report scales, school records, and teacher reports regarding students' exter-nalizing psychopathology. The existence of a dual-factor model was supported through the identification of four mental health groups: 57% of the sample had complete mental health, 13% was vulnerable, 13% was symptomatic but content, and 17% was troubled. The means of the four groups differed significantly in terms of academic outcomes, physical health, and social functioning. Results support the importance of high SWB to optimal functioning during adolescence, as students with complete mental health (i.e., high SWB, low psychopathology) had better reading skills, school attendance, academic self-perceptions, academic-related goals, social support from classmates and parents, self-perceived physical health, and fewer social problems than their vulnerable peers also without clinical levels of mental illness but with low SWB. Among students with clinical levels of psychopathology, students with high SWB (symptomatic but content youth) perceived better social functioning and physical health. Mental health is increasingly viewed as a complete state of being, consisting not merely of the absence of illness or disorder but also the presence of positive factors such as life satisfaction, self-acceptance, and social contribution (Ryff & Singer, 1998; Keyes, 2003).' Although there is budding attention to positive development, the majority of research conducted to date on adolescents' mental health has focused exclusively on psycholog-ical disorders (Evans et al., 2005). The mental health concems of vulnerable youth who may be at risk for developing future problems— those who are not detected on screening mea-sures of psychopathology, but, when given the opportunity, report diminished life satisfaction or happiness (cf. Greenspoon & Saklofske, 2001) or who are "languishing" in life (cf. Keyes, 2006)—have been overlooked to a large ¡degree. Similarly, not all youth with clinical levels of psychopathology experience poor (Juality of life (Bastiaansen, Koot, & Fer-dinand, 2005). The integration of positive and negative indicators of well-being into mental health assessment yields a more comprehen-sive picture of functioning (Huebner, Gilman, & Suido, 2007; Snyder et al., 2003).
    School psychology review 01/2008; 37. · 1.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Self Description Questionnaire II (SDQ II) was administered to 901 students (11 to 18 years old) in grades 7 through 12 who attended one public coeducational high school. Factor analysis clearly identified the 11 SDQ II scales, each scale was reliable (median alpha = .86), and correlations among the factors were small (median r = .17). All of the SDQ II scales were significantly correlated with sex and/or age, though the effects of sex and age were small and independent of each other. The direction of the sex effect varied with the particular scale, and was not significant for the sum of all the SDQ II scales. This total score, and most of the separate scales, had a quadratic age effect where self concepts started out high, reached their lowest level in grade 9, and then increased. At every grade level academic criterion measures were significantly correlated with every academic scale, but not with the nonacademic scales. Verbal achievement was most highly correlated with Verbal self-concept, while mathematics achievement was most highly correlated with Math self-concept. These findings not only demonstrate the multidimensionality of self-concept, but also show that its relationship to other constructs cannot be adequately understood if this multidimensionality is ignored. The findings have important implications for the study of adolescent self-concept and support the construct validity of the SDQ II and the Shavelson model on which it is based.
    American Educational Research Journal 01/1985; 22(3):422-444. · 2.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adolescence is one of the few journals devoted exclusively to topics that are important to adolescents and researchers in adolescent psychology. Developmental psychologists, clinicians, and others can keep abreast of current studies in their specialties. With a few years' perspective, a researcher can estimate the importance of particular topics by noting the frequency of their occurrence. This study examines the 455 articles published in the 24 issues of Adolescence between Spring 1976 and Winter 1981. The most frequently appearing topics are noted. Some interesting observations with reference to these topics are made. The important conclusions reached in the eight most frequent topics are also compiled.
    Adolescence 02/1984; 19(73):1-14. · 0.64 Impact Factor

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May 27, 2014