468x60 ads


Jurnal Psikologi Sosial : The relationship between life satisfaction, social interest, and participation in extracurricular activities.

The relationship between life satisfaction, social interest, and participation in extracurricular activities was assessed among adolescent students. A total of 321 high school adolescents (Grades 9-12) were administered a multidimensional measure of life satisfaction and a scale that assessed social interest. Adolescents were also asked to list the number of extracurricular activities that they participated in since their enrollment in high school. Higher social interest was significantly related to higher levels of overall satisfaction, as well as satisfaction with friends and family. Significant race differences were noted. Adolescents who participated in greater numbers of structured extracurricular activities reported higher school satisfaction. The relationship between social interest and actual participation in extracurricular activities was negligible. Implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for future research are provided.

Over the past 3 decades, scientific interest has focused on the psychological mechanisms and correlates of happiness (i.e., subjective well-being (SWB)) within specific groups and at the individual level (Argyle, 1987; Diener, 2000; Diener et al., 1999; Lu and Shih, 1997). Research in this area is particularly interested in how people experience their lives in positive ways (DeNeve and Cooper, 1998). To this degree, a proliferation of SWB studies has recently occurred, primarily as a reaction to the overemphasis of the study of psychopathology among individuals (Albee, 2000; Cowen, 1991, 1994; Diener et al., 1999), and in response to continued calls for the creation of intervention strategies that promote SWB among individuals who are relatively unhappy with their lives (Albee and Gullotta, 1998; Cowen, 1994; Faehza and McElhaney, 1998; Furr and Funder, 1998; Seligman, in press). Such enhancement is viewed as an important barrier against potential factors leading to various forms of psychopathology (Cowen, 1994; Frisch, 1999; Frisch et al., 1992).
Extant research investigating SWB among adults has revealed a number of consistent findings. First, objective indicators alone (e.g., age, job status) are less predictive of an individual's perceived happiness than personality characteristics such as extraversion and conscientiousness (Csikszentmihalyi, 1999; Diener, 1996; DeNeve and Cooper, 1998). However, specific environmental alterations or significant life events can influence SWB reports (Veenhoven, 1996), suggesting that SWB contains both trait- and state-like properties (Diener et al., 1999; Diener and Diener, 1995). Second, current views of SWB conceptualize the construct as multifaceted, with most agreeing that SWB is composed of two separate but related components: affect (i.e., positive and negative emotions) and life satisfaction (i.e., individual's cognitive appraisal of their overall quality of life) (Argyle et al., 1989; Campbell et al., 1976; Headey and Wearing, 1992). Given the multidimensionality of SWB, it is strongly advocated that prospective research should investigate each well-being component separately, rather than assessing the construct as an absolute entity (Diener et al., 1999). Finally, because subjective appraisals of life often involve cognitive judgments more than a reliance on emotions (Pavot and Diener, 1993), life satisfaction is considered to be less ephemeral than the affect component and is therefore thought to be a key SWB indicator (Diener and Diener, 1995; Marshall et al., 1996; Szymanski, 2000; Veenhoven, 1996). Thus, the focus of this paper will be on the cognitive (i.e., life satisfaction) component of SWB.
Although the majority of life satisfaction research has used adult and gerontological samples, research has recently begun assessing the construct among adolescents as well (e.g., Cummins, 1997; Gullone and Cummins, 1999; Gilman et al., 2000; Wilkinson and Walford, 1998). Scholarship in this area has been stimulated by the fact that very little is known of how students at this age level view the overall quality of their lives (Bender, 1997; Gilman et al., 2000; Seligman and Peterson, in press). Such research is believed to be especially meaningful considering that the presence of relevant harmful behaviors (e.g., drug use, youth violence, teenage pregnancy, etc.: Dryfoos, 1990; Uhlenberg and Eggebeen, 1986, 1988) and negative stressors (e.g., peer conflicts, dependence from parents, future vocationalsol/ higher educational career options, etc.: Weissberg et al., 1998) may contribute to substantial declines in perceived life quality for many adolescents (Arnett, 1999; Collins, 1991; Danish, 1998). Assessing adolescents' life satisfaction across a variety of domains may subsequently allow researchers and clinicians to design strategies that promote well-being among adolescents who remain dissatisfied with their lives (Baker, 1998; Cowen, 1994; Gilman and Huebner, 2000; Huebner etal., 2000).
As support for the utility of adolescent life satisfaction research, preliminary evidence suggests that a number of negative and positive outcomes are associated with child/adolescent satisfaction reports. For example, dissatisfaction with life has been linked to a variety of social-emotional difficulties including depression (Lewinsohn et al., 1991), anxiety (Huebner and Alderman, 1993), negative peer interactions (Valois et al., 2001), and chemical abuse (Zulig et al., in press). Conversely, high life satisfaction has been associated with a variety of positive outcomes including high self-esteem (see Harter, 1999), self-concept (Gilman and Huebner, 1997; Terry and Huebner, 1995), and self-mastery (Rosenfield, 1992). Moreover, school-aged students who report higher overall life satisfaction generally report less dissatisfaction with their school experiences (Gilman et al., 2000), greater satisfaction with their family life (Dew and Huebner, 1994), and greater satisfaction with their friends (Greenspoon and Saklofske, 2001), than do adolescents who report lower overall satisfaction.
Nevertheless, claims regarding the importance of life satisfaction research must be continually evaluated with respect to a wide array of constructs that have been conceptualized as important in an adolescent's life. Two of the more pertinent constructs theoretically linked to life satisfaction (although largely escaping empirical attention) are social interest (i.e., prosocial disposition) and participation in structured extracurricular activities (see Chinman and Linney, 1998; Crandall, 1991). Each construct will be briefly reviewed.
Social Interest Among Adolescents
Social interest involves a sense of belongingness (Ansbacher, 1991), whereby an individual relinquishes their individual desires for a social commitment to others (Magen and Aharoni, 1991). Although the concept has been around for over 70 years (e.g., Adler, 1927/1959), it was a neglected component in older psychological models of what constituted health and adjustment (Crandall, 1980). Nevertheless, social interest has been embraced by more contemporary theorists (e.g., Erikson, 1963; Maslow, 1971) and is now considered a key component of positive mental health (Ansbacher, 1991).
Social interest has also been conceptualized as an important contributor to an individual's satisfaction with their life. As Crandall and Putnam (1980, p. 156) note "If one is looking for a personality characteristic that has important effects on the capacity to find satisfaction in life, [a] prime candidate is the concept of social interest." Thus, life satisfaction and social interest are believed to share a reciprocal relationship whereby individuals who are concerned for the welfare of others tend to be well-liked and accepted than those with more selfish tendencies. In turn, the positive interactions lead to greater satisfaction with one's life (Baumeister and Leary, 1997; Crandall, 1991). Conversely, those with little concern for others are assumed to have problems dealing with work, friendships, and family, which ultimately lead to their having difficulties in adjusting to negative life events (Adler, 1929/1964). Previous research investigating social interest among adults has supported these general conceptions (see Crandall, 1991).
Unfortunately, the concept of social interest among adolescents has received little empirical attention. The lack of research among this age group is interesting given that the developmental period of adolescence is viewed as a critical transition period where selfish (i.e., hedonistic) pursuits are progressively replaced by a commitment to social activities (Magen, 1996; Magen and Aharoni, 1991). In this manner, adolescents are viewed as being caught between short-term gratification (Magen, 1996) and adopting new values that conform to societal norms on what constitutes positive social behaviors (Bar-Tal, 1982).
Given these viewpoints, one hypothesis may be that adolescents who can consider the needs of others when pursuing their own individual needs would feel more satisfied with their lives than do adolescents with more selfish inclinations (Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998; Magen and Aharoni, 1991). There is some direct support for this hypothesis. For example, Rigby and Slee (1993) found that children with prosocial tendencies reported higher scores on a single happiness question. However, and has been noted by others (e.g., Andrews and Robinson, 1991), while a single-item measure of happiness assesses a dimension of SWB, it is difficult to determine what kind of dimension is being measured (i.e., positive/negative affect or life satisfaction). Moreover, it is unclear as to what particular life domain might be most strongly impacted by these prosocial tendencies. Considering that social interest may substantially impact multiple domains relevant to an adolescent's life (see Crandall, 1991), students with high social interest may differentially report levels of satisfaction with respect to their friendships, family life, school experiences, and personal characteristics (e.g., Berndt, 1999; Clark, 1995; Jarvinen and Nicholls, 1996; Kaplan and Maehr, 1999; LaFountain, 1996). Nevertheless, the direct relationship between social interest and satisfaction across various life domains among adolescents has yet to be empirically investigated.
Participation in Structured Extracurricular Activities
Adopting the definition proposed by Larson and Verma (1999), structured extracurricular activities (SEAs) are discretionary activities that are physically or mentally stimulating to the individual and contain some structural parameters (i.e., school-sponsored events, peer tutoring, participation in athletics, volunteering for service in homeless shelters), as opposed to unstructured activities in which the individual assumes primarily a passive role (e.g., television viewing). Findings to date have yielded a number of positive benefits from participating in SEAs, particularly as they pertain to academic outcomes (e.g., Cooper et aL, 1999; Eccles and Barber, 1999; Gerber, 1996; Mahoney and Cairns, 1997; Marsh, 1992).
Nevertheless, comparatively little research has investigated how participation in SEAs may influence an adolescent's satisfaction with his/her life. Related research has noted that participation in activities for the mere benefit of social affiliation enhances an individual's sense of competence (e.g., Baumeister and Leary, 1995; Isaac et aL, 1999) and facilitates positive changes in self-esteem (Larson and Verma, 1999; Marsh, 1992). If such findings can be extended to life satisfaction, adolescents who participate in structured extracurricular activities may also be more satisfied with their lives than their nonparticipating peers. Unfortunately, only 1 empirical study has directly investigated the relationship between participation in SEAs and adolescent life satisfaction. Maton (1990) reported a positive, significant relationship between SEA participation and life satisfaction in a sample of high school adolescents. However, only global life satisfaction was assessed. Given the growing recognition that life satisfaction is multidimensional (Adelman et at., 1989; Cummins, 1996, 1997; Huebner, 1994), the construct cannot be fully understood if this multidimensionality is ignored and the relevant domains believed to significantly correlate with a criterion variable are excluded. In the case of the association between SEA participation and life satisfaction, a particularly salient domain would be school satisfaction. Nevertheless, it remains unclear as to the relationship between adolescent's participation in SEAs and their satisfaction with their school experiences.
Overview of the Present Investigation
Because very little is known of the relationship between adolescent life satisfaction, social interest, and participation in SEAs, a sample of high school students (i.e., Grades 9-12) completed the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) and the Social Interest Scale (SIS: Crandal, 1975). Further, students were asked to list the number of extracurricular activities that they have participated in since their enrollment in high school. Three specific issues were addressed in this study. First, satisfaction scores from the MSLSS were compared across adolescents placed in low, medium, and high social interest groups. Given the assertions from various authors (e.g., Clark, 1995; Crandall, 1991; Nicoll, 1996), it was hypothesized that students who reported higher social interest would be more satisfied with their school experiences, friendships, and family life than students who reported lower social interest. Second, the relationship between social interest and life satisfaction was compared across specific demographic variables (i.e., age, race, gender, socioeconomic status) to determine if significant differences existed with respect to the 2 constructs. Because little research has investigated this particular relationship, the present analyses were considered exploratory in nature and thus no a priori hypotheses were made. Finally, participation in SEAs and satisfaction across various MSLSS domains was assessed. Based on the results of previous studies (e.g., Mahoney, 2000; Mahoney and Cairns, 1997; Marsh, 1992; Maton, 1990), it was hypothesized that students participating in greater numbers of SEAs would rate themselves higher in school satisfaction than students who participate in fewer extracurricular activities. Relatedly, individuals with high social interest would presumably channel these interests through actual participation in various activities. It was therefore expected that students who rated themselves higher in social interest would be the same students who actually participated in higher number of SEAs.
Students were solicited from 2 randomly selected high schools in 1 urban school district in a Southeastern state. A total of 515 students were initially asked to participate in the study. Of these students, a total of 321 adolescents returned both the parental consent and student assent forms, yielding a 62% return rate. Because all students in each high school were required to enroll in various social studies courses (e.g., American Government, Economics, World History, etc.), solicitations to participate in the study were made in these classroom settings to ensure access to a heterogeneous sample.
The mean age of the sample was 16.14 (SD = 1.1). Females comprised 65% of the sample. There were 48 ninth-graders, 55 tenth-graders, 130 eleventh graders, and 88 twelfth-graders. African American adolescents comprised 55% of the sample (vs. 42% Caucasian and 3% classified as "other"). A total of 55% of the students received free/reduced lunch. Although the derived sample was not representative of the U.S. population for this age group, it accurately reflected the racial, gender, and socioeconomic characteristics of the 2 schools. The current sample was also used in a previous study (Gilman et al., 2000). However, the analyses conducted for the present study have not been reported.
Measure of Life Satisfaction
The Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) is a 47-item self-report instrument that assesses satisfaction across 5 specific life domains (family, friends, school, living environment, and self) as well as a global subtest (i.e., questions not pertaining to a specific life domain). In addition, the MSLSS allows for an overall (total) assessment of a child/adolescent's satisfaction with their life. Because this study was interested in assessing adolescents' satisfaction across specific life domains, the global subtest of the instrument was excluded from further analyses. All questions on the MSLSS are responded to on a 6-point Likert scale format (strongly disagree, moderately disagree, mildly disagree, mildly agree, moderately agree, strongly agree). Scoring of each domain, as well as the total score, is obtained by summing the relevant items and then dividing them by the number of items comprising each domain. Negatively worded items are reverse-keyed so that a higher score is indicative of higher levels of satisfaction. Studies of the MSLSS have consistently demonstrated acceptable psychometric properties across Grades 3-12, including stability coefficients ranging from 0.90 to 0.92 for the total score and 0.77 to 0.86 for the domain scores (Huebner and Gilman, in press; Gilman et al., 2000), strong evidence of construct validity as indicated by both confirmatory (e.g., Gilman et al., 2000; Huebner et al., 1998) and exploratory factor analyses (e.g., Dew, 1996), and strong evidence for convergent and discriminant validity (Gilman and Handwerk, in press; Huebner et al., 1998). These findings provide good support for the use of the instrument for research purposes (see Bender, 1997; Gilman and Huebner, 2000, for a complete review).
Measure of Social Interest
The Social Interest Scale (SIS: Crandall, 1975) is a 15-item, self-report scale in which a characteristic believed salient to prosocial behavior (e.g., helpful, compassionate) is paired with a characteristic believed to be irrelevant to prosocial behavior (e.g., neat, witty). The scale also includes 9 buffer items, in which neither characteristic is believed relevant to prosocial behavior. The respondents are asked to choose the characteristic that they value more. The total score for the SIS is derived by summing the number of social interest traits chosen by the subject. The total score of the SIS ranges from 0 to 15.
Extant research utilizing the SIS reveals adequate psychometric properties for high school adolescents and adults. For example, the internal consistency for the scale across various subgroups ranged from 0.71 (Crandall, 1975) to 0.77 (Crandall, 1991). Test-retest reliability of the SIS over a 5-week period was 0.82 (Crandall, 1991). These coefficients are viewed as sufficient for research purposes (Salvia and Ysseldyke, 1988). Evidence for criterion-related validity is found by moderate correlations with emotional sympathy and extrinsic personality (Crandall, 1980, 1991). Finally, adequate evidence exists for the discriminate and convergent validity of the SIS as indicated by significant negative correlations with measures of hostility and depression (Crandall, 1991) and significant positive correlations with measures of locus of control (Crandall, 1984).
Categorization of the SIS
Using the mean score as a cut-off, the SIS can also be categorized into high and low social interest categories (see Crandall, 1984; Crandall and Harris, 1976). In previous studies utilizing the SIS, individuals placed in the high social interest category were those whose SIS total score was above the mean, while those in the low category were those whose SIS total score was below the mean. However, little rationale has been provided for dichotomizing the SIS total score in this manner. In particular, combining individuals whose SIS score is slightly below the mean with those on the extreme low end of the mean may dilute potentially meaningful differences between these 2 scores. Thus, the present study employed a modified categorization of the SIS total score.
The mean SIS score (M = 8.1, SD = 3.1) was consistent with previous studies using this instrument (Crandall, 1984; Crandall and Putnam, 1980). Using these descriptive statistics, dummy variables were then created to classify students in I of 3 distinct social interest categories. One dummy variable was created for individuals whose SIS total score was I standard deviation above the mean (i.e., the "high" group: SIS scores greater than 11), while another dummy variable was created for those whose SIS total score was I standard deviation below the mean (i.e., the "low" group; SIS scores less than 5). Finally, a dummy variable was created for scores falling within 1 standard deviation of the mean (i.e., the "average" group). By utilizing this classification system, both the high and low SIS groups (the primary categories of interest in this study) were believed to more accurately exemplify the social interest proclivities of students than the categorization system previously employed.
Measure of Extracurricular Activities
One open-ended question asked students to list the number of extracurricular activities that they have actively participated in since their enrollment in high school. Students were free to list as many activities as possible. To facilitate a breadth of responses to the question, a list of examples were provided to the students, such as basketball, drama, student government, etc. Although previous research has categorized activities with similar characteristics into a homogeneous category (i.e., combining basketball and track into a "sports" category: e.g., Mahoney and Cairns, 1997), this study was interested in how the total number of activities might differentially relate to various satisfaction domains. Thus, all extracurricular activities were analyzed independently. In keeping with the distinction between structured versus unstructured activities as discussed previously, only those activities that contained some semblance of structure and those which the adolescent actively participated in were included in the analyses. Passive extracurricular activities (television viewing, renting movies, etc.) were excluded from the analysis. Students participated in a total of 696 SEAs during high school. The median number of SEAs was 6.2 (SD = 2.9), slightly higher than that reported in a national sample (Zill et al., 1995). The total number of separate activities that the adolescents participated in ranged from 0 to 9.
Because this study was interested in how the number of SEAs might differentially relate to life satisfaction ratings, the dummy coding procedure that was used to create social interest categories was also used to categorize SEAs to render a more parsimonious interpretation of the data. Using the descriptive statistics as a basis for categorization, 3 distinct categories were created and are as follows: "low" SEA group (SEAs <= 3), "medium" SEA group (SEAs >= 4 and SEAs <= 6), and "high" SEA group (SEAs >= 7).
Students assembled in their respective school cafeteria and were administered the test instruments from the author. Demographic information was obtained via the cover page of the MSLSS. The students were instructed to sit with at least I seat separating them from another student. In addition, at least I teacher/administrator was assigned to a table to monitor the students' behavior. Finally, the instruments were presented in counterbalanced order. These procedures were utilized to minimize social desirability and/or order effects. Prior to the administration, the directions to each instrument were read aloud by the author, who then remained throughout the test session to answer any questions that might arise. After completing the instruments, the students were debriefed and were given opportunities to ask questions.
Considering the statistical reservations concerning the categorization of continuous variables (e.g., Cohen and Cohen, 1983; Maxwell and Delaney, 1990), a multiple regression model first examined the SIS total score and the absolute number of SEAs, without breaking them down into distinct categories. Both variables were entered together as independent variables in the regression model. The MSLSS total (overall) score served as the dependent variable given that the score is an aggregate of all life domains represented in the scale. As shown in Table I, the results of the model were significant (F(2, 318) = 9.22, p < 0.001), with both social interest and SEA contributing significant relationships to the overall satisfaction score. Further, bivariate correlations between the MSLSS domains, the SIS total score, and the total number of SEAs were computed to determine if significant domain-specific relationships existed prior to differentiating students into particular groups. Three significant correlations were noted between the SIS total score and the MSLSS total, family, and friends domain (r = 0.16, p < 0.01; r = 0.17, p < 0.01; and r = 0.19, p < 0.01, respectively). Three significant correlations were also noted for the MSLSS total, friends, and school domain and the total number of SEAs (r = 0.18, p < 0.01; r = 0.15, p < 0.01; and r = 0.24, p < 0.01, respectively). Overall, results from the regression and correlation analyses provided support for the subsequent categorization of the SIS and SEAs.
Relationship Between Life Satisfaction and Social Interest Categories
A series of 1-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted, with the SIS groups serving as the independent variables and each life satisfaction domain serving as the dependent variable. As shown in Table II, significant differences were noted across 3 MSLSS domains: Total satisfaction (F(2, 318) = 4.43, p < 0.05), family satisfaction (F(2, 318) = 4.50, p < 0.05), and friends satisfaction (F(2, 318) = 6.03, p < 0.05). Post hoc analyses (using the Tukey procedure to control for Type I errors) and effect sizes were then conducted. Results of the post hoc analyses revealed that adolescents in the high SIS group reported significantly higher total satisfaction (ES = 0.58), family satisfaction (ES = 0.55), and friends satisfaction (ES = 0.63) scores than adolescents in the low SIS group.
Table I.

The relationship between selected demographic variables (i.e., age, gender, race, socioeconomic status) and social interest groups across the life satisfaction domains was then explored. Because the sample comprised very few minority students other than African Americans, racial comparisons were only assessed with African American and Caucasian students. Given that multiple comparisons were involved, between-group differences were assessed using the omnibus MANOVA test to control for Type 1 errors. The Wilk's-Lambda served as the chosen omnibus test. In the event that the Wilk's-Lambda proved significant, the univariate tests for each MANOVA procedure were examined. Tukeys post hoc analysis and effect sizes were computed to determine the location and magnitude of the differences.
No significant differences were found between the SIS groups and MSLSS domains across age, gender, and socioeconomic status. Significant between-group main affects on the race variable were obtained with respect to the MSLSS self-satisfaction domain and the medium SIS (F(6, 195) = 2.39, p < 0.05) and high SIS group (F(6, 59) = 2.08, p < 0.05). African American students reported higher self-satisfaction scores than Caucasian groups across both SIS groups (ES = 0.58 and ES = 0.68, respectively).
Life Satisfaction and Participation in Extracurricular Activities
A series of 1-way ANOVAs were conducted with the SEA groups serving as the independent variables and each MSLSS domain again serving as the dependent variable. As noted in Table III, the large discrepancy of students placed in each extracurricular group precluded any analysis of possible demographic influences. Thus, the results reported herein are based on the entire sample in order to preserve statistical power.
Table II.

When controlling for social interest scores, students in the high SEA category reported higher school satisfaction than students placed in the low SEA group (F(2, 320) = 3.48, p < 0.05, ES = 0.50). No significant differences across the other life satisfaction domains were noted.
Bivariate correlations were computed to determine if a relationship existed between social interest proclivities and reported participation in SEAs. The correlation between the SIS total score and the total number of SEAs was nonsignificant (r = -0.05, p > 0.05). An analysis of congruence was also made across the SIS and SEA categories. In this analysis, if the respective scores were placed in the same descriptive category (e.g., a student's SIS and SEA scores were both placed in the high category), the student was credited with a "hit." Conversely, if the student's scores were placed in different categories, the student was credited with a "miss." Results indicated that 38 adolescents in the low SIS category participated in less than 3 SEAs (i.e., the low SEA category), yielding a 75% hit rate. Only 35 students in the middle SIS category had SEA scores that were also placed in the middle category, yielding a 17% hit rate. Most students placed in the middle SIS group had SEA scores that were located in the low SEA category (N = 156). Only a 5% hit rate was noted for the high SIS/SEA category. The majority of students in the high SIS category were actually placed in the low SEA category (N = 54). Based on this analysis, the ratio of "hits" to "misses" was approximately 1:4. That is, only 25% of the adolescents placed in a SIS category could be located in a corresponding SEA category. In sum, results from the correlation analysis and the analysis of congruence indicated that prosocial disposition and the number of structured activities participated in by adolescents was largely unrelated.
The results reported herein yielded a number of findings and implications regarding the relationship between life satisfaction, social interest, and participation in structured extracurricular activities. Each will be discussed separately.
Life Satisfaction and Social Interest
With the exception of the school satisfaction hypothesis, adolescents who rated themselves higher in social interest indeed reported significantly higher overall satisfaction and satisfaction with their friends and family than adolescents who reported less prosocial disposition. The relationship between social interest and concomitant satisfaction with friends and family supports current assertions regarding the strong interconnectedness between friends and family (Laursen and Collins, 1994), even in the middle adolescent period where qualitative changes may occur in the context of family relationships (Franco and Levitt, 1998). For example, during this particular developmental period, the frequency of time spent with parents decreases while the frequency of time spent with friends increases (see Czikszentmihalyi and Larson, 1984; Larson and Verma, 1999). Until recently, this time differential was considered to be a period of disattachment for adolescents, in which family influences and values were supplanted by those of their friends (Blos, 1979; Erikson, 1963; see also Noack et al., 1999). Nevertheless, although an adolescent's sense of identity may become more influenced by peers as they mature (Erikson, 1963), recent studies in adolescent satisfaction research indicate that the quality of parental relationships remains highly influential in determining an adolescent's overall quality of life (Dew and Huebner, 1994; Gilman et al., 2000). For example, Gilman et al. (2000) found that an adolescents' satisfaction with their family was the largest contributor of their overall life satisfaction. Satisfaction with friends was a somewhat less influential (but still significant) predictor. The present results extend previous research to suggest that an adolescent's overall satisfaction is not exclusively shaped by one domain at the expense of the other. Rather, family relationships and friendships mutually influence their perceived overall life quality (Doyle and Markiewicz, 1996; Laursen and Collins, 1994).
Table III.

The present study also reveals that family/friends relationships are particularly strong among adolescents who report high social interest. Unfortunately, the correlational nature of this study precludes determination of causality. Thus, it is unclear whether the positive influences of an adolescent's family and friends help establish an adolescent's social interest, or whether a social commitment to others subsequently leads to higher levels of satisfaction with friends and family. The former hypothesis is perhaps more plausible given that prosocial values, typically acquired early in children's development (Eisenberg and Fabes, 1998), are one factor that contributes to friendship selection and quality as children mature (Berndt, 1999). For example, Franco and Levitt (1998) reported that supportive relationships with friends were directly influenced by families in which prosocial behavior was promoted (see also van Aken et al., 1999). Nevertheless, future research employing longitudinal designs may better establish the directionality between social interest and satisfaction with friends and family.
While social interest and satisfaction levels were essentially invariant across grade, gender, and socioeconomic status, the present study found that African American students who rated themselves high in social interest also reported higher satisfaction with themselves than Caucasian students. Because this was the first study to directly assess social interest and life satisfaction among minority groups, the generalization of these findings await further study. Nevertheless, significant racial differences in self-satisfaction reports have been noted elsewhere and have also favored African American adolescents over Caucasian students (Gilman et al., 2000). Relatedly, empirical studies have noted a strong connection between selfesteem and prosocial disposition among African American students (e.g., Smith et al., 1999). If such findings can be extended to life satisfaction research, it may be that African American students who rate themselves higher in prosocial proclivities tend to be more satisfied with themselves than Caucasian students. In any event, future research should incorporate additional samples of African American adolescents (as well as other minority groups) to determine the veracity of the current findings.
Overall, these findings not only extend scholarship in adolescent life satisfaction to include its relationship with social interest, but also provide some support for the establishment of school- and community-based intervention programs that contain an active social interest component. As one example, Weissberg et al. (1998) reported that students participating in a program that actively reinforced prosocial behavior displayed significantly greater improvement in their problem-solving skills, relations with peers, and behavioral adjustment than a control group. Other programs that have recently implemented similar strategies have yielded positive results as well (see Mooij, 1999a,b). While life satisfaction was not an outcome variable directly assessed in these studies, the present results indicate that not only does the promotion of prosocial disposition benefit social and behavioral outcomes among students, such promotion also positively influences their life quality as well.
Life Satisfaction and Participation in Structure Extracurricular Activities
Previous research has indicated that participation in extracurricular activities may play a meaningful role in successful adolescent development (Eccles and Barber, 1999; Larson and Verma, 1999), particularly with respect to academic variables (i.e., grade point averages, standardized test scores)(Cooper et al., 1999; Marsh, 1992). The present study found that adolescents who participated in greater number of SEAs reported significantly higher school satisfaction than adolescents with minimal or no participation in such activities. This was an expected finding and supported Marsh's "Commitment to School" hypothesis (Marsh, 1991), in which participation in SEAs is assumed to facilitate the total academic development of the student. For example, Marsh (1992) reported that students participating in more extracurricular activities reported significantly higher academic self-concept, which in turn influenced other educationally relevant outcomes (e.g., GPA, time spent on homework, taking advanced courses, etc.). Marsh (1992) hypothesized that participation in such activities contributes to the student's identification with their school and school values, thus facilitating academic growth (see also Finn, 1989). Given that self-concept and life satisfaction are related constructs (Huebner et al., 1999), the present finding suggests that greater participation in SEAs also influences students' perceived quality of their school experiences.
Perhaps the most interesting finding, and contrary to initial expectation, was that students who rated themselves high in prosocial disposition were not necessarily those who participated in higher numbers of SEAs. Indeed, only 3 students identified as high in social interest also participated in a high number of SEAs. Although the present study examined the total number of SEAs and its relationship to life satisfaction, the perceived quality of the activities participated in (not explored in this study) are also viewed as important. Previous authors have noted that extracurricular activities that promote a sense of connection with others are qualitatively different than activities that stimulate more individualistic goals (see Eccles and Barber, 1999; Maton, 1990). Thus, it may be that adolescents who rated themselves high in social interest did not necessarily need to be involved in many SEAs; I or 2 meaningful activities that promoted social connections were sufficient enough to enhance their school satisfaction. Future research should investigate how the perceived quality of SEAs (via individual interviews, personal journaling), in addition to the overall number of volunteered activities, may influence adolescent satisfaction reports.
The relationship between SEA participation and school satisfaction was robust even after controlling for social interest, supporting assertions that life satisfaction reports are influenced by personal as well as environmental conditions (Diener and Diener, 1995; Veenhoven, 1996). This particular finding holds useful implications for school administrators and educational policy makers, suggesting that the establishment or continuation of strategies that stimulate participation in SEAs is likely to benefit students' positive perceptions of their school experiences-social interest notwithstanding. These activities may also be considered beneficial regardless of whether the activity is school-sanctioned or not. For example, participation in a nonschool-sponsored extracurricular activity (e.g., hobby club; boy scouts) can help raise the status of the student within the school and/or increase their social affiliations with school peers (see Mahoney, 2000; Mahoney and Cairns, 1997). In any event, and regardless of the sponsoring agent, the present results support continued research regarding participation in SEAs and the enhancement of students' positive school experiences.
Finally, one point must be made in reference to adolescents who rated themselves low in social interest and/or SEA participation. Admittedly, the mean scores of adolescents placed in the low SIS/SEA groups across the various MSLSS domains were on the positive side. Nevertheless, the magnitude of the effect sizes indicated that the differences obtained between the high and low SIS/SEA groups were of practical significance. Further, mean satisfaction scores for adolescents in the low SIS/SEA group rate were consistently lower across all satisfaction domains in comparison with students in the high SIS/SEA group. These points should not be considered trivial. Given the aforementioned positive psychosocial benefits for students reporting high life satisfaction scores, the present findings underscore assertions from various authors that well-being enhancement strategies should focus on elevating even "normal" levels of SWB (including life satisfaction) to "supe-- riot" levels for all children and adolescents (e.g., Cowen, 1991, 1994; Elias, 1989; Greenspoon and Saklofske, 2001; Zigler et al., 1997).
Additional Limitations
In addition to the limitations already mentioned, caution is suggested in generalizing the present findings given the representativeness of the sample. Specifically, the participants were disproportionately female and African American and drawn from 1 school district in 1 Southeastern state. Future research would benefit from more representative samples, including students from other parts of the United States and other ethnic groups (e.g., Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, etc.) in order to replicate the findings.

Adelman, H. S., Taylor, L., and Nelson, P. (1989). Minors' dissatisfaction with their life circumstances. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 20: 135-147.
Adler, A. (1959). Understanding Human Nature. Premier Books, New York. (Originally published, 1927).
Adler, A. (1964). The Problems of Neurosis. Harper Torchbooks, New York. (Originally published in 1929).
Albee, G. W. (2000). The Boulder Model's fatal flaw. Am. Psychol. 55: 247-248.
Albee, G. W., and Gullotta, T. P. (1997). Primary prevention's evolution. In Albee, G. W., and Gullotta, T. P. (eds.), Primary Prevention Works. Vol. 6: Issues in Childrens' and Families' Lives. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 3-22.
Andrews, F. M., and Robinson, J. P. (1991). Measures of subjective well-being. In Robinson, J. P, Shaver, P. R., and Wrightman, L. S. (eds.), Measurement in Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes (Vol. 1). Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
Ansbacher, H. L. (1991). The concept of social interest. J. India Psychol. 47: 28-46. Argyle, M. (1987). The Psychology of Happiness. Routledge, London.
Argyle, M., Martin, M., and Crossland, J. (1989). Happiness as a function of personality and social encounters. In Forgas, J., Argyle, M., and Innes, J. M. (eds.), Recent Advances in Social Psychology: An International Perspective. Elsevier, North Holland.
Arnett, J. J. (1999). Adolescent storm and stress, revisited. Am. Psychol. 54: 371-386.
Baker, J. A. (1998). The social context of school satisfaction among urban, low-income, African American students. School Psychol. Q. 13: 25-44.
Baumeister, R. F, and Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychol. Bull. 117: 497-529.
Bar-Tal, D. (1982). Segmental development of helping behavior: A cognitive learning model. Dev. Rev. 2: 101-124.

Bender, T. A. (1997). Assessment of subjective well-being in children and adolescents. In Phye, G. (ed.), Handbook of Classroom Assessment: Learning, Achievement, and Adjustment. Academic Press, San Diego, CA.
Berndt, T. J. (1999). Friends' influence on students' adjustment to school. Educ. Psychol. 34: 1528.
Blos, P. (1979). The Adolescent Passage. International University Press, New York.
Campbell, D., Converse, P, and Rodgers, W. (1976). The Quality of American Life. Russell Sage Foundation, New York.
Chinman, M. J., and Linney, J. A. (1998). Toward a model of adolescent empowerment: Theoretical and empirical evidence. J. Primary Prev. 18: 393-413.
Clark, A. J. (1995). The organization and implementation of a social interest program in the schools. J. Indiv. Psychol. 51: 317-331.
Cohen, J., and Cohen, P. (1983). Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (2nd edn). Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ.
Collins, J. K. (1991). Research into adolescence: A forgotten era. Aust. Psychol. 26: 1-9.
Cooper, H., Valentine, J. C., Nye, B., and Lindsay, J. J. (1999). Relationships between five after-school activities and academic achievement. J. Educ. Psychol. 91: 369-378.
Cowen, E. L. (1991). In pursuit of wellness. Am. Psychol. 46: 404-408.
Cowen, E. L. (1994). The enhancement of psychological wellness: Challenges and opportunities. Am. J. Community Psychol. 22: 149-179.
Crandall, J. E. (1975). A scale for social interest. J. Indiv. Psychol. 31: 187-195.

Crandall, J. E. (1980). Adler's concept of social interest: Theory, measurement, and implications for adjustment. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 39: 481-495.
Crandall, J. E. (1984). Social interest as a moderator of life stress. J Pers. Soc. Psychol. 47: 164-174. Crandall, J. E. (1991). A scale for social interest. J. Indiv. Psychol. 47: 106-114.
Crandall, J. E., and Harris, M. D. (1976). Social interest, cooperation, and altruism. J. Indiv. Psychol. 32: 50-54.
Crandall, J. E., and Putnam, E. L. (1980). Relations between measures of social interest and psychological well-being. J Indiv. Psychol. 36: 156-168.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1999). If we are so rich, why aren't we happy? Am. Psychol. 54: 821-827. Csikszentmihalyi, M., and Larson, R. (1984). Being Adolescent: Conflict and Growth in Teenage Years. Basic Books. New York.
Cummins, R. A. (1996). The domains of life satisfaction: An attempt to order chaos. Soc. Indic. Res. 38: 303-332.
Cummins, R. A. (1997). Manual for the Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale-Student (Grades 7-12): ComQol-SS (5th edn.). School of Psychology, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
Danish, S. J. (1997). Going for the goal: A life skills program for adolescents. In Albee, G. W., and Gullotta, T. P. (eds.), Primary Prevention Works. Vol. 6: Issues in Childrens' and Families' Lives. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 3-22.
DeNeve, K. M., and Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychol. Bull. 124: 197-229.

Dew, T (1996). The Preliminary Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale for Adolescents. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Dew, T., and Huebner, E. S. (1994). Adolescents' perceived quality of life: An exploratory investigation. J. School Psychol. 32: 185-199.
Diener, E. (1996). Traits can be powerful, but they are not enough: Lessons from subjective well-being. J. Res. Pers. 30: 389-399.
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. Am. Psychol. 55: 34-43.
Diener, E., and Diener, C. (1995). Most people are happy. Psychol. Sci. 7: 181-185.
Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., and Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychol. Bull. 125: 276-302.
Doyle, A. B., and Markiewicz, D. (1996). Parents' interpersonal relations and childrens' friendships. In Bukowski, W. M., and Hartup, W. W. (eds.), The Company They Keep: Friendships in Childhood and Adolescents. Cambridge, MA, Cambridge University Press, pp. 115-136.
Dreyfoos, J. G. (1990). Adolescents at Risk: Prevalence and Prevention. Oxford University Press, NewYork.
Eccles, J., and Barber, B. L. (1999). Student council, volunteering, basketball, or marching band: What kind of extracurricular involvement matters? J. Adolesc. Res. 14: 10-43.
Eisenberg, N., and Fabes, R. A. (1998). Prosocial development. In Eisenberg, N. (ed.) and Damon, W. (Series ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology. Vol. 3: Social, Emotional, and Personality Development (5th edn.). Wiley, New York, pp. 701-778.
Elias, M. J. (1989). Schools as a source of stress to children: An analysis of causative and ameliorative influences. J School PsYchol. 27: 393-407.

Erikson, E. (1963). Childhood and Society (2nd edn.). Norton, New York.
Faenza, M. M., and McElhaney, S. J. (1998). Epilogue: Reframing prevention advocacy and looking ahead. In Albee, G. W., and Gullotta , T. P. (eds.), Primary Prevention Works. Vol. 6: Issues in Childrens' and Families' Lives. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 401-410.
Finn, J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from schools. Rev. Educ. Res. 59: 117-142.
Franco, N., and Levitt, M. J. (1998). The social ecology of middle childhood: Family support, friendship quality, and self-esteem. Fam. Rel. 47: 315-321.
Frisch, M. B. (1999). Quality of life assessment/intervention and the Quality of Life Inventory (QOLI). In Maruish, M. R. (ed.), The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcome Assessment (2nd edn.). Erlbaum, Hillsdale, NJ, pp. 1227-1331.
Frisch, M. B., Cornell, J., Villenueva, M., and Retzlaff, P. J. (1992). Clinical validation of the Quality of Life Inventory: A measure of life satisfaction for use in treatment and planning outcome assessment. Psychol. Assess. 4: 92-101.

Furr, R. M., and Funder, D. C. (1998). A multimodal analysis of personal negativity. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 74: 1580-1591.
Gilman, R., and Handwerk, M. L. (in press). Changes in life satisfaction as a function of stay in a residential treatment center. Residential Treat. Child. Youth.
Gilman, R., and Huebner, E. S. (1997). Children's reports of their life satisfaction: Convergence across raters, time, and response formats. School Psychol. Int. 18: 229-243.
Gilman, R., and Huebner, E. S. (2000). Review of life satisfaction measures for adolescents. Behav. Change 17: 178-195.
Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., and Laughlin, J. E. (2000). A first study of the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale with adolescents. Soc. Indic. Res. 52: 135-160.
Gerber, S. B. (1996). Extracurricular activities and academic achievement. J. Res. Dev. Educ. 30: 42-50.
Greenspoon, P. J., and Saklofske, D. H. (2001). Toward an integration of subjective well-being and psychopathology. Soc. Indic. Res. 54: 81-108.
Gullone, E., and Cummins, R. A. (1999). The Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale: A psychometric evaluation with an adolescent sample. Behav. Change 16: 127-139.
Harter, S. (1999). The Construction of Self: A Developmental Perspective. Guilford. New York. Huebner, E. S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life satisfaction scale for children. Psychol. Assess. 6: 149-158.
Huebner, E. S., and Alderman, G. (1993). Convergent and discriminant validation of a children's life satisfaction scale: Its relationship to self- and teacher-reported psychological problems and school functioning. Soc. Indic. Res. 30: 71-82.
Huebner, E. S., Funk, B. A., and Gilman, R. (2000). Cross-sectional and longitudinal psychosocial correlates of adolescent life satisfaction reports. Can. J. School Psychol. 16: 53-64.

Huebner, E. S., and Gilman, R. (in press). An introduction to the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale. In Zumbo, B. D. (ed.), Advances in Quality of Life Research (Vol. 2). Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, Netherlands.
Huebner, E. S., Gilman, R., and Laughlin, J. E. (1999). A multimethod investigation of the multidimensionality of children's well-being reports: Discriminant validity of life satisfaction and self-esteem. Soc. Indic. Res. 46: 1-22.
Huebner, E. S., Laughlin, J. E., Ash, C., and Gilman, R. (1998). Further validation of the Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale. J. Psychoeduc. Assess. 16:118-134.
Isaac, J. D., Sansone, C., and Smith, J. L. (1999). Other people as a source of interest in an activity. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 35: 229-265.
Jarvinen, D. W., and Nicholls, J. G. (1996). Adolescents' social goals, beliefs about the causes of social success, and satisfaction in peer relations. Dev. Psychol. 32: 435-441.
Kaplan, A., and Maehr, M. L. (1999). Achievement goals and student well-being. Contemp. Educ. Psychol. 24: 330-358.
LaFountain, R. M. (1996). Social interest: A key to solutions. J. Indiv. Psychol. 52: 150-157.
Larson, R. W., and Verma, S. (1999). How children and adolescents spend time across the world: Work, play, and developmental opportunities. Psychol. Bull. 125: 701-736.
Laursen, B., and Collins, W. A. (1994). Interpersonal conflict during adolescence. Psychol. Bull. 115: 197-209.
Lewinsohn, P. M., Redner, J. E., and Seeley, J. R. (1991). The relationship between life satisfaction and psychosocial variables: New perspectives. In Strack, E, Argyle, M., and Schwarz, N. (eds.), Subjective Well-Being: An Interdisciplinary Perspective. Pergamon Press, New York, pp. 193212.

Lu, L., and Shih, J. B. (1997). Personality and happiness: Is mental health a mediator? Pers. Indiv. Differ 22: 249-256.
Magen, Z. (1996). Commitment beyond self and adolescence: The issue of happiness. Soc. Indic. Res. 37:235-267.
Magen, Z., and Aharoni, R. (1991). Adolescents' contributing toward others: Relationship to positive experiences and transpersonal commitment. J Humanistic Psychol. 31: 126-143.
Mahoney, J. L. (2000). School extracurricular activity participation as a moderator in the development of antisocial patterns. Child Dev. 71: 502-516.
Mahoney, J. L., and Cairns, R. B. (1997). Do extracurricular activities protect against early school dropout? Dev. Psychol. 33: 241-253.

Marsh, H. W. (1991). Employment during high school: Character building or a subversion of academic goals? Sociol. Educ. 64: 172-189.
Marsh, H. W. (1992). Extracurricular activities: Beneficial extension of the traditional curriculum or subversion of academic goals? J. Educ. Psychol. 84: 553-562.
Marshall, G. N., Burnam, M. A., Koegel, P, Sullivan, G., and Benjamin, B. (1996). Objective life circumstance and life satisfaction: Results from the course of homelessness study. J. Health Soc. Behav. 37: 44-58.
Maslow, A. (1971). The Farther Reaches of Human Nature. Viking Press. New York.
Maton, K. 1. (1990). Meaningful involvement in instrumental activity and well-being: Studies of older adolescents and at risk urban teen-agers. Am. J. Community Psychol. 18: 297-320.
Maxwell, S. E., and Delaney, H. D. (1990). Designing Experiments and Analyzing Data: A Model Comparison Perspective. Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
Mooij, T (1999a). Promoting prosocial pupil behavior: 1-A multilevel theoretical model. Br J. Educ. Psychol. 69: 469-478.
Mooij, T. (1999b). Promoting prosocial pupil behavior: 2-secondary school intervention and pupil effects. Br J. Educ. Psychol. 69: 479-504.
Nicholl, W. G. (1996). School life-style, social interest, and educational reform. J. Indiv. Psychol. 52: 130-149.

Noack, P., Kerr, M., and Olah, A. (1999). Family relations in adolescence. J Adolesc. 22: 713-717. Pavot, W., and Diener, E. (1993). Review on the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Psychol. Assess. 5: 164-172.
Rigby, K., and Slee, P. T. (1993). Dimensions of interpersonal relation among Australian children and impications for psychological well-being. J. Soc. Psychol. 133: 33-42.
Rosenfield, S. (1992). Factors contributing to the subjective quality of life of the chronically mentally ill. J. Health Soc. Behav. 33: 299-315.
Salvia, J., and Ysseldyke, J. E. (1988). Assessment in Special and Remedial Education (3rd edn.). Houghton Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Seligman, M., and Peterson, C. (in press). Positive clinical psychology. In Aspinwall, L. G., and Staudinger, U. M. (eds.), A Psychology of Human Strengths: Perspectives on an Emerging Field. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.
Smith, E. P, Walker, K., Fields, L., Brookins, C. C., and Seay, R. C. (1999). Ethnic identity and its relationship to self-esteem, perceived efficacy, and prosocial attitudes in early adolescents. J. Adolesc. 22: 867-880.
Szymanski, L. S. (2000). Happiness as a treatment goal. Am. J. Ment. Retard. 105: 352-362.
Terry, T., and Huebner, E. S. (1995). The relationship between self-concept and life satisfaction in children. Soc. Indic. Res. 35: 39-52.
Uhlenberg, P., and Eggebeen, D. (1986). The declining well-being of American adolescents. Public Interest 82: 25-38.
Uhlenberg, P, and Eggebeen, D. (1988). Hard times for American youth: A look at the reasons. NASSP Bull. 72: 47-51.

Valois, R. E, Zullig, K. J., Huebner, E. S., and Drane, J. W. (2001). Relationship between life satisfaction and violent behaviors among adolescents. Am. J.Health Behav. 25: 353-366.
Van Aken, M. A. G., van Lieshout, C. F. M., Scholte, R. H. J., and Branje, S. J. T. (1999). Relational support and person characteristics in adolescence. J. Adolesc. 22: 819-833.
Veenhoven, R. (1996). Developments in satisfaction research.Soc. Indic. Res. 37: 1-46.
Weissberg, R. P., Barton, H. A., and Shriver, T. P. (1997). The social-competence promotion program for young adolescents. In Albee, G. W., and Gullotta, T. P. (eds.), Primary Prevention Works. Vol. 6: Issues in Childrens' and Families' Lives. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA, pp. 268-290.
Wilkinson, R. B., and Walford, W. A. (1998). The measurement of adolescent psychological health: One or two dimensions? J. Youth Adolesc. 27: 443-455.
Zigler, E. F., Finn-Stevenson, M., and Stem, B. M. (1997). Supporting children and families in the schools: The school of the 21 st century. Am. J Orthopsychiatry 67: 396-407.
Zill, N., Nord, C. W., and Loomis, L. S. (1995). Adolescent Time Use, Risky Behavior, and Outcomes: An Analysis of National Data. Westat, Inc., Rockville, MD. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 386 502).
Zulig, K., Valois, R., Huebner, E. S., and Drane, W. (in press). The relationship between perceived life satisfaction and adolescent substance abuse. J. Adolesc. Health.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar