Measuring School-Related Subjective Well-Being in Adolescents

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The tripartite model of subjective well-being (SWB) incorporates 3 components: frequent positive emotions, infrequent negative emotions, and an overall positive evaluation of life circumstances (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). In light of the large amount of time that youth spend in school, this study investigated a tripartite model of school-related SWB among adolescents, based on 3 measures of SWB appropriate for adolescents. The measures included a measure of school satisfaction (SS) and measures of positive and negative emotions experienced specifically during school hours. Confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to analyze the factorial validity of 3- and 4-factor models of school-related SWB in a sample of 921 adolescents. Results indicated that a 4-factor model comprised of positive emotions, negative emotions, fear-related negative emotions, and SS best described the structure of school-related SWB in the current sample. Results also revealed a comparable factor structure for male and female students. The study points to the possible benefits of a contextualized approach to SWB that takes into account the specific environments in which adolescents live.

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