Predicting life satisfaction in youth: the role of individual and social health assets

Luis Calmeiro, Inês Camacho, Margarida Gaspar de Matos

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Health promotion efforts progressively focus on the development of the capacity for individuals and communities to be actively engaged in the promotion of their own health. This approach focus on the development of assets and resources thought to promote positive health and protect from risk behaviour that endanger health. The aim of this study is explore the influence of selected health assets in the prediction of life satisfaction in youth.
Participants in this study were 3494 Portuguese adolescents (mean age = 14.94, SD = 1.30; 53.6% girls), who constituted a nationally representative sample. They completed the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey addressing a variety of health behaviours and beliefs.
A Linear regression analysis was conducted with individual assets (persistence in learning, self-regulation, liking school, empathy, academic achievement, life objectives) entered in the first blocked followed by social assets (family support, friends support, acceptance by students, positive relationships, negative relationships, parental monitoring), explaining 10,9% and 19,6% of life satisfaction’s variance, respectively. When social assets were entered first, these variables predicted 17,4% while the individual assets predicted the remaining 2.2%.
The present results suggest that social health assets may be more important in the development of life satisfaction than individual assets, reinforcing the role of models of social interaction in the promotion of positive youth development. Further research should examine the interaction between these two levels of assets, and their role in the prevention of risk behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015
Event5th ENSEC Conference: Social Emotional Learning And Culture - University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 Jul 20154 Jul 2015


Conference5th ENSEC Conference
OtherEuropean Network for Social and Emotional Competence


  • Health assets
  • Positive youth development
  • Health promotion
  • Risk protection


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