What leads subjective well-being to change throughout adolescence? An exploration of potential factors

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This article presents the results of a one-year follow-up study on a sample of 940 adolescents, in which participants have been classified according to the changes they have experienced in their subjective well-being (SWB), measured by means of two different single-item scales (overall life satisfaction –OLS– and happiness overall –HOL). A range of multinomial logistic regression models were employed to determine which factors lead to such differences. Results show that when OLS is considered, the factor most contributing to an increase in SWB is family self-concept, while the one most contributing to its decrease is satisfaction with the family. When HOL is taken as the dependent variable, the most important factor in predicting an increase in SWB is being valued in the future according to the amount of money I have, with life optimism being the most important factor in predicting its decrease. Only three indicators (the importance of being valued in the future according to the amount of money I have, feeling happy at home and satisfaction with myself) contribute to explaining both boys’ and girls’ models when OLS is taken as the dependent variable, while only one indicator (satisfaction with standard of living) is shared in both boys’ and girls’ models when HOL is the dependent variable. The resulting implications for adolescent SWB are discussed ​
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