Adolescent Well-Being: The Role of Life Events and Grit

Kyla Machell

Major Professor: Jerome Short, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Todd B. Kashdan, Tara Chaplin

10340 Democracy Lane, #202
April 27, 2016, 11:00 AM to 08:00 AM


We used a strengths-based, dynamic person-environment fit approach to study adolescent well-being by considering the contribution of both environmental (life events) and person-level (grit) factors to predict changes in adolescent well-being over a period of one year. A sample of 306 adolescents, ages 15 to 18, from 18 countries completed online surveys. Using latent growth curve modeling, we found that both positive life and negative life events predicted the rate of change in adolescent satisfaction with life (SWL), but not meaning in life (MIL), over a period of one year. Grit was positively related to initial levels of adolescent well-being. Grit-perseverance was negatively related to MIL growth over one year, and grit interacted with negative life events when predicting change in adolescent MIL. Results indicate that the dynamic factors of life events and grit influence trajectories of adolescent well-being and provide new insights into the processes that influence positive youth development.