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The role of school, family, and peer support in moderating the relationship between stress and subjective well-being: An examination of gender differences among early adolescents living in an urban area.

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An emerging discipline within the field of psychology, known as Positive Psychology, places an emphasis on human strengths and well-being. One area of research within positive psychology is subjective well-being; a tripartite construct consisting of positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Social support has been conceptualized in terms of its role in buffe An emerging discipline within the field of psychology, known as Positive Psychology, places an emphasis on human strengths and well-being. One area of research within positive psychology is subjective well-being; a tripartite construct consisting of positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Social support has been conceptualized in terms of its role in buffering, or protection against, the negative impact of a stressful event. Perceptions of social support have significant influence on psychological adjustment. Adolescence can be a time of additional stress due to cognitive, emotional, physical, and interpersonal changes. Adolescents residing in urban areas may be prone to heightened stress levels by virtue of their living conditions, putting them at higher risk for further negative consequences. Based on the Stress Buffering Hypothesis, social support works as a moderator or protective factor against stress. The present study explored the role of three different sources of perceived support (family, peer, school) moderated the relationship between stress, positive affect, negative affect and life satisfaction in an underrepresented population of Latino adolescents residing in an urban area. It also explored gender differences across stress and social support. The current study is a secondary data analysis of archival data previously collected in 2005. Subjects were 127 early adolescents enrolled in a public urban middle school in a large Midwestern city. Separate hierarchical multiple regression equations were used to test for interaction effects. A MANOVA was conducted to test for mean differences among gender across several dependent variables. Results did not support social support as a moderator, calling into question the stress buffering hypothesis for among this sample. However, family support was found to be a significant predictor of well-being. Girls reported significantly greater levels of stress and peer support than boys. An explanation of results and implications are discussed.


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An emerging discipline within the field of psychology, known as Positive Psychology, places an emphasis on human strengths and well-being. One area of research within positive psychology is subjective well-being; a tripartite construct consisting of positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Social support has been conceptualized in terms of its role in buffe An emerging discipline within the field of psychology, known as Positive Psychology, places an emphasis on human strengths and well-being. One area of research within positive psychology is subjective well-being; a tripartite construct consisting of positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction. Social support has been conceptualized in terms of its role in buffering, or protection against, the negative impact of a stressful event. Perceptions of social support have significant influence on psychological adjustment. Adolescence can be a time of additional stress due to cognitive, emotional, physical, and interpersonal changes. Adolescents residing in urban areas may be prone to heightened stress levels by virtue of their living conditions, putting them at higher risk for further negative consequences. Based on the Stress Buffering Hypothesis, social support works as a moderator or protective factor against stress. The present study explored the role of three different sources of perceived support (family, peer, school) moderated the relationship between stress, positive affect, negative affect and life satisfaction in an underrepresented population of Latino adolescents residing in an urban area. It also explored gender differences across stress and social support. The current study is a secondary data analysis of archival data previously collected in 2005. Subjects were 127 early adolescents enrolled in a public urban middle school in a large Midwestern city. Separate hierarchical multiple regression equations were used to test for interaction effects. A MANOVA was conducted to test for mean differences among gender across several dependent variables. Results did not support social support as a moderator, calling into question the stress buffering hypothesis for among this sample. However, family support was found to be a significant predictor of well-being. Girls reported significantly greater levels of stress and peer support than boys. An explanation of results and implications are discussed.

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