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Does Social Connectedness Promote a Greater Sense of Well-Being in Adolescence Over Time?

Authors


  • This longitudinal study was supported by a grant from The Foundation for Research in Science and Technology to the first and third authors. We thank Jo Kleeb for input in measure design and methodology; the school principals for allowing us to access students in their schools; and the adolescents for their continued willing participation.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Paul E. Jose, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Psychology, P.O. Box 600, Wellington, New Zealand. E-mail: paul.jose@vuw.ac.nz

Abstract

This longitudinal study was designed to investigate whether or not social connectedness predicts psychological well-being over time. Structural equation modeling was used to examine the temporal relations between these constructs assessed yearly for 3 years for a sample of 1,774 10- to 15-year-olds (at Time 1). Results indicated that global connectedness (i.e., connectedness combined across the domains of family, school, peers, and neighborhood) predicted well-being, but no reciprocal relation was found. However, reciprocal relations were revealed by analyses that examined connectedness at the domain level, that is, for family and school contexts. The results suggest that youth who reported higher levels of social connectedness at one point in time would subsequently report higher well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, confidence, positive affect, and aspirations).

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