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Epidemiol Psichiatr Soc. 2006 Jan-Mar;15(1):30-43.

Looking for adolescents' well-being: self-efficacy beliefs as determinants of positive thinking and happiness.

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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.



The present study is part of a longitudinal project aimed at identifying the personal characteristics and the developmental pathways conducive to successful adaptation from childhood to adulthood. The study examined the concurrent and longitudinal impact of self-efficacy beliefs on subjective well-being in adolescence, namely positive thinking and happiness. Positive thinking has been operationalized as the latent dimension underlying life satisfaction, self-esteem and optimism. Happiness has been operationalized as the difference between positive and negative affects, as they are experienced in a variety of daily situations.


In a group of 664 Italian adolescents, a structural model positing adolescents' emotional and interpersonal self-efficacy beliefs as proximal and distal determinants of positive thinking and happiness has been tested.


Findings attest to the impact of affective and interpersonal-social self-efficacy beliefs on positive thinking and happiness both concurrently and longitudinally.


Adolescents' self-efficacy beliefs to manage positive and negative emotions and interpersonal relationships contribute to promote positive expectations about the future, to mantain a high self-concept, to perceive a sense of satisfaction for the life and to experience more positive emotions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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