The subjective well-being of Israeli adolescents attending specialized school classes

Hod Orkibi, Tamar Ronen Rosenbaum, Naama Assoulin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although adolescents' well-being has long been considered a central goal in therapy and education, research focusing on the link between subjective well-being (SWB; happiness) and studying in specialized school classes is rather limited. Using a between-subjects design, the present study examined whether adolescents studying in sports, arts, or regular classes differ in SWB indicators of life satisfaction and positivity ratio. Based on previous findings linking self-control and perceived social support to SWB, the study further examined the mediating role of these variables in the relation between class affiliation and adolescents' SWB. The sample included 648 Israeli adolescents in Grades 7-10 attending public schools. Results indicated that students in elective sports and arts classes reported significantly higher life satisfaction than did students in regular classes and that students in elective sports classes reported significantly higher self-control and positivity ratio only in comparison to students in regular classes. Structural equation modeling indicated that self-control and perceived social support had a significant direct effect on the SWB of all students, regardless of their class affiliation. Self-control and social support significantly mediated the relation between class affiliation and SWB only for students in sports class, suggesting that mediators between class affiliation and SWB may differ across specialized classes. The discussion provides interpretation of the findings, considering the potential role of predispositions and individual characteristics as intervening variables. The study's limitations as well as implications for theory and practice are addressed, and future directions for research on the SWB of adolescents attending specialized classes are highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-526
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Volume106
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Art and sport
  • Self-control
  • Social support
  • Subjective well-being

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