Gender differences in subjective well-being and feeling of safety at school: evidence from cross-lagged relations in a 1-year longitudinal sample
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School is a significant ecology of adolescents’ life and influences strongly their subjective well-being. With the prevalence of violence and bullying at school being high, many students feel unsafe and insecure, which have a detrimental effect for academic achievements, motivation and psychological adjustment. The main purpose of this study is to investigate the cross-lagged relations between subjective well-being and feeling safe at school over one year period among girls and boys. Data used for this research was taken from the on-going Positive Youth Development project.2 Data from 1,556 adolescents was collected. 628 (40.4%) boys and 928 (59.6%) girls, aged 14–18 (M=16.26; SD=0.94), participated in the research. The measures used in this research were the Feeling of Safety at School Scale (Weissberg, Voyce, & Kasprow, 1991) and Subjective Wellbeing Scale (Diener et al., 1985). Data from two measurement points was used in the study. The second measurement took place in a one year period after the first one. The results of the research showed that (1) girls had higher subjective well-being at T2 and feeling of safety at school on both measurement points while boys had higher subjective well-being only at T1; (2) measures of subjective well-being and feeling of safety at school across one year time showed moderate stability in boys’ and girls’ samples however, the stability in the girls’ sample is higher; (3) bidirectional relationship between subjective well-being and feeling of safety at school over a one-year period was established in the girls’ sample while in the boys’ sample only the feeling of safety at school at T1 predicted subjective well-being at T2.
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