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J Adolesc. 2019 Jul;74:24-32. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2019.05.005. Epub 2019 May 21.

Stressful life events and well-being among rural-to-urban migrant adolescents: The moderating role of the stress mindset and differences between genders.

Author information

1
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, 100875, Beijing, China; Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China. Electronic address: ying_xuanyuan@sina.com.
2
Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China. Electronic address: ahgenie@outlook.com.
3
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, 100875, Beijing, China; Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China. Electronic address: huamingpsy@foxmail.com.
4
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, 100875, Beijing, China; Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China. Electronic address: hsilin@bnu.edu.cn.
5
Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, 100875, Beijing, China; Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, 19 Xinjiekouwai Street, Beijing, China. Electronic address: danhualin@bnu.edu.cn.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Recent empirical studies have shown that the stress mindset is an implicit belief about stress and that the stress-is-enhancing mindset attenuates the negative effects of stressful life events on psychological and behavioral outcomes. Migrant adolescents experience more adverse life events, which are potential risk factors that can decrease their well-being. This study first explored the relationship between stressful life events and well-being (depression and life satisfaction) among Chinese rural-to-urban migrant adolescents. Furthermore, we examined the protective role of the enhancing stress mindset in this relationship and the moderating effect of gender.

METHODS:

In total, 396 Chinese rural-to-urban migrant adolescents aged between 10 and 14 years (M = 11.75 years, SD = 1.16) completed a battery of self-report questionnaires concerning their stressful life events, stress mindsets, depression and life satisfaction.

RESULTS:

The hierarchical multiple regressions showed that stressful life events were positively associated with depression and negatively associated with life satisfaction. Compared to the adolescents with the stress-is-debilitating mindset, the adolescents with the stress-is-enhancing mindset were less prone to depression when faced with more stressful life events. Furthermore, the stress mindset was positively linked to life satisfaction among the girls but not the boys.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that the stress-is-enhancing mindset is a protective factor that may help migrant adolescents mitigate adversity and improve their well-being.

KEYWORDS:

Chinese rural-to-urban migrant adolescents; Gender differences; Stress mindset; Stressful life events; Well-being

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