Looking for adolescents' well-being: self-efficacy beliefs as determinants of positive thinking and happiness

Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc. 2006 Jan-Mar;15(1):30-43. doi: 10.1017/s1121189x00002013.


Aims: The present study is part of a longitudinal project aimed at identifying the personal characteristics and the developmental pathways conducive to successful adaptation from childhood to adulthood. The study examined the concurrent and longitudinal impact of self-efficacy beliefs on subjective well-being in adolescence, namely positive thinking and happiness. Positive thinking has been operationalized as the latent dimension underlying life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism. Happiness has been operationalized as the difference between positive and negative affects, as they are experienced in a variety of daily situations.

Methods: In a group of 664 Italian adolescents, a structural model positing adolescents' emotional and interpersonal self-efficacy beliefs as proximal and distal determinants of positive thinking and happiness has been tested.

Results: Findings attest to the impact of affective and interpersonal-social self-efficacy beliefs on positive thinking and happiness both concurrently and longitudinally.

Conclusions: Adolescents' self-efficacy beliefs to manage positive and negative emotions and interpersonal relationships contribute to promote positive expectations about the future, to mantain a high self-concept, to perceive a sense of satisfaction for the life and to experience more positive emotions.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Happiness*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Research
  • Self Efficacy*
  • Sex Factors
  • Thinking*