Relationships among stressful life events, temperament, problem behavior, and global life satisfaction in adolescents

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Abstract

The relationships among stressful life events (SLEs), temperament, externalizing and internalizing behaviors, and global life satisfaction were investigated. The Students' Life Satisfaction Scale, the Youth Self Report (YSR) form of the Child Behavior Checklist, a portion of the Life Events Checklist, and the Abbreviated Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, were administered to 1,201 adolescents in grades 6 through 12 in a small city in the Southeast. A modest correlation was found between life satisfaction and Extraversion, whereas moderate correlations were found between life satisfaction and Neuroticism and life satisfaction and SLEs. Based upon hierarchical regression analyses, temperament variables accounted for approximately 16% of the variance in predictions of life satisfaction ratings. When SLEs were added, an additional 3% of the variance in life satisfaction ratings was subsequently explained. Life satisfaction did not operate as a moderator between SLEs and problem behavior. However, when global life satisfaction was added as a mediator variable, results indicated a partial mediational effect, particularly on internalizing behavior. Limitations of the study as well as implications for comprehensive psychological assessments are discussed. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 39: 677–687, 2002.

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