IJERPH, Vol. 16, Pages 4650: Predicting Adolescent Adjustment and Well-Being: The Interplay between Socio-Emotional and Personal Factors (International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)
Social and emotional factors such as emotional competence and self-esteem are protective factors that promote adolescent mental health and well-being. In this paper, we will examine the combined contribution of these socio-emotional factors in addition to personal factors, in the prediction of psychological adjustment and subjective well-being in adolescence. The study included 840 adolescents aged between 12 and 16 years old (M = 13.37, SD = 1.16, 51.4% girls). We measured personal variables (sex, age, number of siblings), socio-emotional variables (emotional competence and self-esteem), psychological adjustment (emotional and behavioural problems) and subjective well-being (life satisfaction and affect balance). Besides descriptive analysis and Pearson bivariate correlations, two different methodologies were performed, including hierarchical regression models and a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA). The results show that emotional competence is a protective factor for optimal adjustment and well-being, and suggest that self-esteem reinforces this relation. Different patterns were observed for female and male adolescents of different ages and with different family backgrounds. The practical implications of our findings for intervention programs have been discussed.