Adolescents' well-being and perceived control across 14 sociocultural contexts

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1996 Oct;71(4):785-795. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.71.4.785.


The sweeping sociopolitical changes in Eastern Europe and the importance of self-related resources in facilitating adolescents' transitions to adulthood motivated this study on the effects of sociocultural context on adolescents' perceived control and well-being (N = 3,844; 7 Western contexts, 7 Eastern). The authors found that the mean levels of well-being and perceived control varied along stable Western vs. unstable Eastern sociohistorical contexts: (a) Eastern adolescents showed lower levels of well-being (perhaps related to economic aspects of change) and (b) higher levels of perceived control (perhaps related to perceived freedoms implied in the direction of change). Notably, however, the individual-difference relations (correlations) among the constructs were very uniform across the 14 settings, suggesting that the adaptive psychological interface between well-being and personal control is relatively robust against sociopolitical influences.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internal-External Control*
  • Male
  • Personality Development
  • Politics
  • Psychology, Adolescent*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Change
  • Social Environment*