Socioeconomic Status and Life Satisfaction Among Chinese Adolescents: Analyses of Self-esteem as a Mediator and Optimism as a Moderator

[Speaker] Zhou, Zongkui:1,2
[Co-author] Chen, Wu:1,2
1:Central China Normal University (China (People's Republic of China)), 2:Key Laboratory of Adolescent cyberpsychology and behavior, Ministry of Education (China (People's Republic of China))

The present study examined the mediation effects of self-esteem between socioeconomic status (SES) and life satisfaction, and whether this mediating process was moderated by optimism. A sample of 668 Chinese adolescents (mean age =14.53 years, SD = 1.81) in Hubei province, China, completed anonymous questionnaires regarding SES, life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism. Findings revealed that the detrimental effect of low SES on life satisfaction is explained in part by decreased self-esteem. Moreover, this indirect link is stronger for individuals with lower optimism than for those with higher optimism. These findings can be beneficial to our understanding of how and when SES impacts adolescents' well-being. This study highlighted the importance of using the organism-environment interaction to explore the potential protective factor for background disadvantaged individuals. A person can not choose their own birth, but can choose who he or she want to be.
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