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Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 20, Issue 7, pp 2367–2383 | Cite as

Hope as Mediator Between Teacher–Student Relationships and Life Satisfaction Among Chinese Adolescents: A Between- and Within-Person Effects Analysis

  • Qian Nie
  • Zhaojun TengEmail author
  • George G. Bear
  • Cheng Guo
  • Yanling Liu
  • Dajun ZhangEmail author
Research Paper
  • 313 Downloads

Abstract

Life satisfaction is a critical indicator of student development. Although several longitudinal studies have examined the predictors of life satisfaction, this study has several unique strengths. First, it examines hope (i.e., a positive motivation and power for success and happiness) as a possible mediator variable. Second, it separates between-person effects (i.e., people with hope perceive higher life satisfaction than those who are less hope) and within-person effects (i.e., a person with hope perceives higher life satisfaction over time). Participants were 1108 Chinese adolescents aged 14–18 years (M = 15.89, SD = 0.68, 57.7% boys). Multilevel statistical models were used to disaggregate between- and within-person effects. Results showed that teacher–student relationships were positively associated with hope and life satisfaction and that hope was positively associated with life satisfaction. These associations were significant both at one point in time (between-person effect) and over time (within-person effect). Moreover, at both the between- and within-person levels hope was found to be a significant mediator of the association between teacher–student relationships and life satisfaction. That is, within a given individual, a more favorable perceived teacher–student relationship at a given time point was a significant positive predictor of hope for that individual, and in turn, hope was associated with significantly greater life satisfaction at that particular time point. Identification of hope as an explanatory mechanism in the association between teacher–student relationships and life satisfaction in Chinese adolescents provides a potential target for interventions to improve students’ well-being.

Keywords

Teacher–student relationship Hope Life satisfaction Between-person effects Within-person effects 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the Chongqing Special Postdoctoral Science Foundation (XmT2018010) and the fund of the Cultivation of Behavioral Habits in Elementary Middle and High School Students project at Tongnan District (2014-WT-06). We appreciate the support and help of the Tongnan Education Commission. We would also like to acknowledge three anonymous reviewers for their critical and detailed reviews during the review process.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Center of Mental Health Education, Faculty of PsychologySouthwest UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.School of EducationUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

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