A longitudinal study into the interplay between problem orientation and adolescent well-being

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Past research has documented a link between negative problem orientation (NPO) and poor emotional well-being, but little of this research has focused on adolescence or has collected multiple waves of data. The authors conducted a 3-wave longitudinal survey of 841 adolescents in Grades 8, 9, and 10 (428 boys, 411 girls, 2 unidentified). The survey included measures of NPO, sadness, fear, hostility, and joviality. Structural equation modeling (AMOS 7.0; J. L. Arbuckle, 2006) revealed that adolescents high in NPO experienced increases in fear, sadness, and hostility, and decreases in joviality compared with adolescents low in NPO with the same baseline levels of affect. The evidence that affect predicted future levels of problem orientation was less consistent. We discuss the implications of these findings for problem-solving interventions and for the early identification of at-risk adolescents.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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