Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Psychology

Sub-Department

College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

E. Scott Huebner

Abstract

In line with calls to define mental health as more than the mere absence of psychopathology, and based on the restorative model of well-being (Lent, 2004), this dissertation sought to elucidate the relationship between stressful life events and life satisfaction by exploring the mediating role of emotion regulation. Using a full Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) approach, this dissertation first determined the factor structure of the measurement model then evaluated the path analysis of the structural model. The first study examined the factor analytic structure and measurement invariance of the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS). Results supported the one-factor model and strict measurement invariance of the BMSLSS across a one-year interval. The second study examined the factor analytic structure and measurement invariance of the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire for Children and Adolescents (ERQ– CA). Results supported the two-factor model and strong measurement invariance of the ERQ-CA over a one-year period. The third study examined the mediating effects of emotion regulation on the relationship between stressful life events and adolescent wellbeing. Results revealed partial mediation effects of cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression on adolescents’ life satisfaction in the context of uncontrollable life events. Given that adaptive emotion regulation may play a key role in individual variation in adjustment to stressful and challenging life experiences, the findings suggest the importance of targeting emotion regulation skills in school-based interventions to produce an upward spiral towards optimal adolescent well-being.

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