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      Predictive Effect of Positive Youth Development Attributes on Delinquency Among Adolescents in Mainland China

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          Abstract

          The general proposition of the positive youth development (PYD) approach is that developmental assets such as psychosocial competence can promote healthy adolescent development and reduce problem behavior. Despite that many Western studies have shown that PYD attributes are negatively related to adolescent delinquency, not all empirical findings support the negative associations. Although different dimensions of PYD attributes may bear differential relationships with delinquency, this possibility has not been properly examined so far. In addition, related studies in mainland China do not exist. Finally, the possible mediating role of life satisfaction in linking PYD attributes to delinquency has rarely been studied. To address the research gaps and understand how PYD attributes are associated with adolescent delinquency and the underlying mediating effect of life satisfaction, matched longitudinal data were collected from 2,648 mainland Chinese secondary school students (1,109 girls, Mean age = 13.12 ± 0.81 years at Wave 1) at two waves which were separated by one year. On each occasion, participants completed a questionnaire containing validated measures of PYD attributes, life satisfaction, and delinquency. Congruent with the general theoretical prediction of the PYD approach, different PYD attributes were inversely related to concurrent and future adolescent delinquency in separate regression analyses. In addition, the negative predictions were mediated by life satisfaction. When all PYD attributes were included in a single path analysis model, three findings were observed. First, two PYD dimensions, including self-identity and general PYD attributes, showed robust negative predictions on delinquency via life satisfaction. Second, prosocial attributes displayed a weak and unstable negative predictive effect. Third, cognitive-behavioral competence showed an unexpected positive predictive effect on delinquency directly or via its negative effects on life satisfaction. The present findings add value to the existing literature by revealing the predictive role of PYD attributes on life satisfaction and delinquency among mainland Chinese adolescents. The findings also reinforce the importance of investigating individual dimensions of PYD attributes simultaneously in the research field. The present study suggests that it is promising to cultivate PYD attributes as a strategy to reduce delinquency among adolescents in mainland China.

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          The Satisfaction With Life Scale.

          This article reports the development and validation of a scale to measure global life satisfaction, the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS). Among the various components of subjective well-being, the SWLS is narrowly focused to assess global life satisfaction and does not tap related constructs such as positive affect or loneliness. The SWLS is shown to have favorable psychometric properties, including high internal consistency and high temporal reliability. Scores on the SWLS correlate moderately to highly with other measures of subjective well-being, and correlate predictably with specific personality characteristics. It is noted that the SWLS is Suited for use with different age groups, and other potential uses of the scale are discussed.
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            Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-1078
                14 December 2020
                2020
                : 11
                Affiliations
                Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University , Kowloon, Hong Kong
                Author notes

                Edited by: Heng Choon Chan, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

                Reviewed by: Lei Chang, University of Macau, China; Nora Wiium, University of Bergen, Norway

                *Correspondence: Daniel T. L. Shek, daniel.shek@ 123456polyu.edu.hk

                This article was submitted to Forensic and Legal Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Article
                10.3389/fpsyg.2020.615900
                7768043
                33381073
                c7ee6ae6-6f79-4cc4-99ff-bc1f8496a8dd
                Copyright © 2020 Zhu and Shek.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 5, Equations: 0, References: 77, Pages: 14, Words: 0
                Categories
                Psychology
                Original Research

                Clinical Psychology & Psychiatry
                longitudinal study,delinquency,life satisfaction,mediation,high school student

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