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Social and Behavioral Predictors of Adolescents' Positive Attitude Towards Life and Self

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Social and Behavioral Predictors of Adolescents' Positive Attitude Towards Life and Self

Marta Malinowska-Cieślik et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health.

Abstract

Positive attitude is an important cognitive component of optimism. Although optimism has been widely studied in adolescents' health, there is limited knowledge about social and behavioral determinants of their positive attitude. The aim of this study was to identify the main predictors of a positive attitude towards life and self in adolescence. Data were collected in 2010 from 2562 Polish adolescents, aged 15 to 17 years old, within the Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey. A positive attitude was measured using the 4-item Positive Attitude Scale (PAS). Univariate analysis of variance was conducted and then hierarchical linear regression models adjusted for gender, age and family affluence were estimated. The mean PAS score was 13.25 (SD = 3.74), on the scale ranged 0-20. Eight out of 18 variables were included in the final model, which explained 25.1% of PAS variability. Communication in the family and with peers, as well as neighborhood social capital showed the strongest impact on positive attitude in adolescents. Physical activity, eating breakfast and school performance were also found to be important predictors. The results of the study highlight the need to include the development of interpersonal competences, promoting physical activity and supporting school performance, in adolescents' mental health promotion programs, particularly in girls.

Keywords: adolescents; health behaviors; neighborhood; positive attitude; school performance; social relations.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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