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Does positive mental health in adolescence longitudinally predict healthy transitions in young adulthood?
journal contributionposted on 2017-02-01, 00:00 authored by M O'Connor, A V Sanson, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou, J Norrish, Craig OlssonCraig Olsson
The present study examined the longer-term implications of adolescent positive mental health for successful young adult transitions. Positive mental health in adolescence was defined by indicators roughly corresponding to Seligman’s positive psychology PERMA framework (positive emotional experiences, engagement, relationships, purpose, and accomplishment), with the addition of health. Data were drawn from one of Australia’s longest running studies of social and emotional development (Australian Temperament Project, est. 1983, N = 2443), which has followed a large representative community sample from infancy to 27–28 years of age. In the analyzed sample of n = 999, positive mental health at 15–16 years was associated with indicators of career progression (educational attainment and perceived competence) and taking on citizenship responsibilities (volunteering and civic activities) over a decade later at 27–28 years. Mental health problems in adolescence were more relevant to establishing romantic partnerships in young adulthood: adolescent antisocial behaviors predicted higher likelihood of being in a relationship, while depressive symptoms predicted lower quality partnerships. The results suggest that successful transitions into young adult roles and responsibilities may be facilitated by targeted mental health promotion interventions designed to both foster positive mental health and address mental health difficulties in adolescence.
JournalJournal of happiness studies
Pagination177 - 198
Publication classificationC Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice2016, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
CategoriesNo categories selected
Social SciencesPsychology, MultidisciplinarySocial Sciences, InterdisciplinaryPsychologySocial Sciences - Other TopicsPositive mental healthInternalizing and externalizing problemsPositive psychologyPERMAPositive educationDevelopmental tasksYoung adulthoodEmerging adulthoodLongitudinalPSYCHOPATHOLOGYCOMPETENCEYOUTHRESILIENCEOUTCOMESSUCCESSWORK