Theories suggest that having a meaningful life has beneficial effects on adolescent well-being. Encouraging adolescents to search for meaning in their lives is therefore well advised. However, whether and how the search for meaning in life (SMIL) is related to adolescent well-being is unclear. Thus, this study tested the following two hypotheses, based on a sample of 1539 Chinese adolescents in the tenth grade (Mage = 15.8 years): 1) the SMIL promotes adolescent well-being (“SMIL-as-promotor”), and 2) social connectedness mediates the link between the SMIL and adolescent well-being (“connectedness-as-mediator”). Multiple regression analyses revealed that SMIL was positively associated with life satisfaction, self-esteem and positive affect, and negatively associated with negative affect in the adolescents who exhibited low levels of presence of meaning; thus supporting the SMIL-as-promotor hypothesis. Mediation analyses revealed that SMIL was related to social connectedness (i.e., parent-child communication and peer relationship), which, in turn, was linked to the presence of meaning and hedonic well-being (i.e., life satisfaction, self-esteem, positive affect, and negative affect). These findings support the connectedness-as-mediator hypothesis. The implications of these findings for youth prevention programs and intervention services are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Projects of Philosophy and Social Sciences Research of Yunnan Province (AFSZ18030, QN2014012).
© 2021, The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V.
- Adolescent well-being
- Chinese adolescents
- Presence of meaning in life
- Search for meaning in life
- Social connectedness