Psychological Well-being in Adolescents: Planning toward and thinking about the future

Natalie Seymour, Andy Macleod

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Over recent years clinical psychology research has further explored what contributes to positive functioning in adults. Less, however, is known about positive mental health in adolescents. Psychological well-being (PWB; Ryff, 1989) consists of six dimensions that contribute to positive mental well-being. The primary aim of the present study was to explore the relationships between the dimensions of PWB, positive and negative affect, positive and negative future thinking and planning towards goals. The second aim was to examine school and demographic differences in PWB, planning towards goals and future thinking. 201 School students (15-19 years), from two different areas of the South-East of England completed two tasks, one that elicited goals and plans and one that elicited positive and negative future thoughts. They also completed self-report measures of affect, PWB and subjective socio-economic status. High positive affect was significantly associated with high Personal Growth, Self Acceptance and Purpose in Life. Dimensions of PWB were not significantly associated with negative affect or positive and negative future thoughts. Purpose in Life and Personal Growth were significantly positively correlated with specificity of steps towards education and career goals. The School from the more deprived neighbourhood, with a high BME population, had higher Self Acceptance and Personal Growth and generated significantly more positive and significantly less negative future thoughts than the school in the more affluent neighbourhood, with a high White British population. The findings extend the understanding of dimensions of PWB in adolescents and have implications for clinical and school based intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
Award date1 Nov 2015
Publication statusUnpublished - 2015

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