ISSN-0971-720X (Print) ● ISSN-0973-1283 (Electronic)
Volume 18 Number 1 January-June 2018
1Research Scholar, Department of Lifelong Education, 2Professor, Department of Child and Adolescent
Welfare, Hanseo University, 31962Korea
The objective of this study was to investigate the dual mediation eect of growth
mindset and self-esteem on the relationship between stress and happiness of 467 middle school students.
For data analysis, SPSS Win.21.0 and SPSS MACRO process were used.
Reliability analysis, descriptive statistics, correlation analysis, mean comparison analysis, path analysis, and
bias correction bootstrap analysis were performed.
Results of the study are as follows. First, stress had negative correlations with growth mind, self-
esteem, and happiness. However, growth mindset was positively correlated with self-esteem and happiness.
Second, results of macro PROCESS analysis showed that stress negatively aected growth mindset, self-
esteem, and happiness. Growth mindset had positive eect on self-esteem and happiness. Self-esteem also
had positive eect on happiness. Third, bootstrap analysis showed that stress aected happiness through a
dual mediated pathway of growth mindset and self-esteem.
Results of this study could be used to improve happiness of students through
reducing stress, improving growth mindset, and increasing self-esteem.
Keywords: Stress, Happiness, Growth mindset, self-esteem, Dual Mediation Eects, SPSS macro PROCESS
Chang Seek Lee
Department of Child and Adolescent Welfare,
Hanseo University, 31962Korea
Happiness is both the greatest goal of life and the
standard of self-evaluation for human. Happiness has
started from ancient philosophy. It has been actively
studied in the eld of social science recently. Happiness
is mixed with terms such as well-being, psychological
well-being, subjective well-being, satisfaction, and
quality of life. Denition of happiness varies according
to elds and perspectives of researchers. Happiness is
a subjective assessment of an individual’s life 1. It is a
subjective expression of how happy a person is in his
daily life2. This denition has the same meaning as
subjective wellbeing because happiness is best known
to oneself. It cannot be objectively evaluated by others.
Studies on happiness have been mainly focused on
adults3. However, it is necessary to pay attention to the
happiness of adolescents because adolescence is the
period when self-identity is formed. Adolescence is
also the period with rapid physical and mental growth.
Experience of happiness during this period can have
profound impact on their lives in the future4.
Self-esteem is a typical variable that can increase
happiness. Self-esteem is the degree of self-respect, and
of considering oneself being worth, and is a positive or
negative evaluation of self5. It is dened as the degree
to which one believes in his or her own ability, success,
and value 6. Several research studies have shown that
self-esteem and happiness have positive relationships
7,8,9.Therefore, self-esteem of youth might have positive
eect on happiness.
Medico-legal Update, January-June 2018, Vol.18, No. 1 249
On the other hand, positive psychology can lead
to the emergence of various positive psychological
variables related with human beings, including
happiness. Growth mindset as a new causal variable
of happiness and success is gaining popularity among
researchers. Based on brain science theory, growth
mindset is a belief that intelligence is malleable.
Therefore, mindset can be changed through eort 10.
Abilities of human beings can be explained by two
theories: entity theory and incremental theory 11 . With
the entity theory, it is believed that human beings have
xed mindset. It believes that intelligence is xed and
congenital. Eort cannot change intelligence. With the
incremental theory also known as the growth mindset, it
is believed that intelligence is malleable and acquirable.
Eort can change it10. Growth mindset research is still
in its infancy. There is a lack of accumulated data.
However, it has been reported that growth mindset is
positively correlated with happiness12,13. Therefore,
growth mindset might aect happiness.
While self-esteem and growth mindset are variables
that can increase happiness, there are also variables that
can reduce happiness. Stress is a typical example that can
reduce happiness. Stress is a mental state when a worthy
goal is threatened or lost or when one cannot have the
environment to achieve his goal 14. A study has reported
that daily stress has negative eect on the happiness of
adolescents 15. The causal relationship between stress
and happiness of adolescents has been demonstrated
by previous studies 16,17. These studies have proved that
there is a close relationship between stress and happiness.
Therefore, the happiness of Korean adolescents who are
experiencing stresses from university entrance-oriented
educational environments might vary depending on their
perceived stress level.
Although self-esteem, growth mindset, and stress
have been found to have eects on happiness, no study
has reported the relationships among stress, growth
mindset, self-esteem, and happiness among adolescents.
In other words, we should concentrate on how youth
can feel happier and can have happier experiences. In
particular, Child Happiness Index 18and life satisfaction19
reports have shown that Korea has the lowest happiness
among OECD countries. For this reason, an empirical
study on role of variables such as growth mindset and
self-esteem in promoting happiness of Korean youth is
Therefore, the objective of this study was to
investigate the dual mediating eect of growth mindset
and self-esteem on the relationship between stress and
happiness in middle school students. To achieve this
goal, we have the following research questions: 1) What
is the relationship among stress, self-esteem, growth
mindset, and happiness? 2) What is the path coecient
between each variable? 3) Do growth mindset and self-
esteem have dual-mediating eect in the relationship
between stress and happiness?
The main analytical method used in
this study was double-mediated eect analysis of model
6 of the MACRO process. The conceptual study model
is shown in [Figure 1].
total of 467 students who attended D city middle school
in Chungcheongnam-do were enrolled for this study
survey. The survey was conducted for one month (from
April 15, 2016 to May 15, 2016). Regarding the general
characteristics of these survey subjects, there were 263
(56.3%) males and 204 (43.7%) females. A total of
296 (63.4%) students reported that ‘both parents were
working’. The remaining 171 (36.6%) students reported
that their parents were ‘not both working’. A total of
244 (51.3%) subjects answered that they have ‘normal
lives’. A total of 353 (75.6%) students were ‘living with
both parents’ while 52 (11.1%) students were living with
To measure stress in adolescents, the Korean
Version of Brief Encounter Psychosocial Instrument
(BEPSI-K)20 was used. This instrument consisted of
5 items measured in 5-point Likert scale. The higher
the score, the higher the stress level. In this study, the
reliability of the stress scale had a Cronbach’s α value
250 Medico-legal Update, January-June 2018, Vol.18, No. 1
To measure happiness, the shortened happiness
scale developed by Seo et al.21 was used in this study. This
scale consisted of three items to measure the satisfaction of
individual aspects (personal accomplishment, personality,
health, etc.), relational aspects (such as relationships with
others), and collective aspects (my group-workplace,
community, etc.). These three items were measured in a
7-point Likert scale ranging from “not at all” (1 point) to
“very much” (7 points). In addition, six questions about
feelings during the past month were asked. They were
also evaluated with a 7-point Likert scale from ‘not agree
at all’ (1 point) to ‘agree very much’ (7 points). The higher
the score, the higher the level of happiness. The reliability
of the happiness scale used in this study had a Cronbach’s
α value of 0.873.
The growth mind measure developed
by 10 and adapted by Lee et al.13 was used in this study.
This scale consisted of four items measuring beliefs about
intelligence change in and four items measuring beliefs
about personality change. These items were measured in
a 5-point Likert scale. The higher the score, the higher
the growth mindset. The reliability of this growth mindset
scale used in this study had a Cronbach’s α value of 0.796.
Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) developed
by Rosenberg5was used in this study. This scale was
composed of 5 positive items and 5 negative items.
These items were measured with a 5-point Likert scale
ranging from ‘not at all’ (1 point) to ‘highly agree’ (5
points). The higher the score, the higher the self-esteem.
The reliability of this self-esteem scale used in this study
had a Cronbach’s α value of 0.840.
In this study, SPSS Win. 21.0 and
SPSS macro PROCESS (http://www.afhayes.com)
proposed by Hayes 22 were used. For reliability analysis,
descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis, SPSS
Win. 21.0 was used. The SPSS macro protocol was used
to analyze dual-mediating eect. Indirective eect was
veried by bootstrapping analysis.
Pearson’s correlation analysis to identify correlations
among variables are shown in [Table 1]. Stress was
found to have negative correlations with growth mindset,
self-esteem, and happiness. Growth mindset had
statistically signicant correlation with self-esteem and
happiness. Self-esteem and happiness had a correlation
coecient of 0.607. Growth mindset and self-esteem
had a correlation coecient of 0.365. Growth mindset
and happiness had a correlation coecient of 0.290.
Correlation coecients of growth mindset with other
variables ranged from -0.162 to -0.507. The correlation
coecient between self-esteem and happiness was
the highest. In other words, the higher the stress, the
lower the growth mindset, self-esteem, and happiness.
Happiness is increased when growth mindset and self-
esteem are higher. These results are consistent with
results of previous studies showing negative correlation
between self-esteem and stress23 but positive correlation
between self-esteem and subjective happiness24. It
has been reported that growth mindset has negative
correlation with parenting stress13.
Mean scores of stress in these students did not
exceed the median (3 points). However, scores of growth
mindset, self-esteem, and happiness in these students all
exceeded the median.
Stress 1 2.6907 .99150
Growth mindset -.162** 1 3.4701 .68916
Self-esteem -.442** .365** 1 3.5459 .65275
Happiness -.507** .290** .607** 1 5.0549 1.16906
Coecient of each path was veried
statistically. Stress negatively aected growth mindset
(β=-0.113, p < 0.001), self-esteem (β=-0.261, p < 0.001),
and happiness (β=-0.3462, p < 0.001). However, growth
mindset had statistically signicant eect on self-
esteem (β=0.282, p < 0.001) and happiness (β=0.135,
p < 0.05). Growth mindset had statistically signicant
eect on self-esteem (β=0.282, p < 0.001) and happiness
Medico-legal Update, January-June 2018, Vol.18, No. 1 251
(β=0.135, p < 0.05). Self-esteem also had statistically
signicant eect on happiness (β=0.793, p < 0.001).
This study is supported bysuch ndings that the daily
stress of children and adolescents negatively aects
happiness15, and the higher the self-esteem, the higher
the happiness25, and parents’ parenting stress has a
negativeimpact on the growth mindset13.
In order for growth mindset and self-esteem
to be established as mediators, both the eects of
independent variables on dependent variables and the
eects of independent variables on mediators should
be statistically signicant, and also when mediators
are added, the inuence of independent variables on
dependent variables must be reduced26,27.This study
showed that the eect of stress on happiness (β=-.346,
p<.001) was reduced when stress and happiness were
added (β=-.593, p <.001). Therefore, the relationship
between stress and happiness was mediated by the
growth mindset and self - esteem. [gure 2]
bootstrapping analysis using SPSS macro PROCESS
to verify the double mediating eect of growth mindset
and self-esteem on the relationship between stress and
happiness are shown in [Table 2].
The SPSS macro developed by Preacher & Hayes
28 is useful for verifying multiple and dual-mediating
models by suggesting indirect path between independent
and dependent variables. It can elaborate the mediating
In this study, 5,000 bootstrapping tests were
performed to determine whether there was a double
mediation eect of growth mindset and self-esteem on
the relationship between stress and happiness with 95%
condence interval (CI).
As shown in Table 2, the mediating eect size was
-0.2470 (95% CI: -0.3205 ~ -0.1816). There was no 0
in the 95.0% condence interval. Thus, the mediating
eect was signicant. As a result of simple mediating
eect, M1 (X → M1 → Y) was -0.0152 (95%CI: -0.0396
~ -0.0028) and M2 (X → M2 → Y). Since there was no
0 value in the condence interval of 95%, the mediating
eect was signicant.
-.0152 .0088 -.0396 ~ -.0028
Stress(X) → Self-
-.2065 .0330 -.2751 ~ -.1466
-.0253 .0097 -.0477 ~ -.0092
Total Indirect Eect -.2470 .0353 -.3205 ~ -.1816
This study was conducted to investigate the dual
mediating eect of self-esteem and growth mindset on
the relationship between stress and happiness among
middle school students. Results of this study are shown
First, stress had negative correlations with growth
mindset, self-esteem, and happiness. Growth mindset
was positive correlated with self-esteem and happiness.
Second, as a result of macro PROCESS analysis,
stress negatively aected growth mindset, self-esteem,
and happiness. Growth mindset positively aected self-
esteem and happiness. Self-esteem had statistically
signicant eect on happiness.
Third, as a result of bootstrap analysis, growth
mindset and self-esteem had dual mediating eect on
the relationship between stress and happiness. In other
words, stress in middle school students directly aected
their happiness. It aected their happiness through a
dual mediating path of growth mindset and self-esteem.
252 Medico-legal Update, January-June 2018, Vol.18, No. 1
This study conrmed that eective mediators could
enhance the happiness of Korean adolescents. In order
to promote the happiness of the youth who will lead the
society in the future, it is necessary to develop and apply
an integrated program to improve their growth mindset
and self-esteem. This study has limitations in that
there is a lack of accumulation of previous studies. In
addition, it aimed at middle school students in one city in
Chungcheongnam-do. Nevertheless, this is meaningful
that the relationship between the stress and happiness
of middle school students revealed the double mediated
eect of growth mindset and self-esteem.
Taken from Hanseo University
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