Life satisfaction in adolescents: the role of individual and social health assets

Luis Calmeiro*, Inês Camacho, Margarida Gaspar de Matos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
305 Downloads (Pure)


The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between adolescents’ life satisfaction and individual and social health assets. A nationally representative sample of 3,494 Portuguese adolescents (mean age = 14.94 ± 1.30 years; 53.6% girls) completed the Health Behavior in School-aged Children survey measuring a variety of health behaviors and beliefs. A sequential regression analysis was conducted with gender, individual assets (academic achievement, social competence, self-regulation and life objectives) and social assets (family support, peer support, parental monitoring and school connectedness) entered in separate steps. A second regression analysis was conducted with social assets entered before individual assets. The final model explained 18.3% of life satisfaction. School connectedness (β = .198, p < .001) and family support (β = .154, p < .001) were the strongest predictors of adolescents’ life satisfaction followed by social competence (β = .152, p < .001), academic achievement (β = .116, p < .001) and self-regulation (β = .064, p < .001). Social assets explained a larger variance of life satisfaction than individual assets when entered first in the regression (r2 = .134 and r2 = .119, respectively, p < .001). When entered last step in the regression analysis, social assets added more to life satisfaction’s variance than when individual assets were added in the last step (r2 = .060 and r2 = .045, respectively, p < .001). These results reinforce the role social interaction and social capital models in the promotion of well-being.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere23
Number of pages8
JournalSpanish Journal of Psychology
Early online date30 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018


  • Adolescents' health
  • Quality of life
  • Social support
  • Well-being


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