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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01691

Bullied adolescent’s life satisfaction: personal competencies and school climate as protective factors

  • 1Department of Education, University of Cantabria, Spain

Although adolescence has been defined as a stage of vulnerability, due to the biopsychosocial changes that happen throughout this developmental stage, it is also one of growth. Some of the core personal competencies that have been identified to promote positive development at this stage while simultaneously preventing risks are: (1) a positive self-esteem, (2) self-regulation, (3) decision-making skills, (4) a moral belief system, and (5) prosocial connectedness. There are many factors and contexts that influence adolescent development. The school environment, for example, has the capacity to promote positive development and life satisfaction, yet on the other hand, it is a context within which different forms of violence, such as bullying, can occur. The principal aim of this study, therefore, is to analyze the influence that bullying has on one’s life satisfaction, while taking into account participants’ socio-demographic characteristics (i.e. gender and developmental stage), their core personal competencies (i.e. self-esteem, empathy, problem resolution strategies, repair of negative emotions and values), and the school climate. To obtain data, a hierarchical regression analysis was conducted with a sample of 647 Spanish students (53.3% female), ranging in age from pre- (10-13 years old; 60.3%) to mid-adolescence (14-18 years old; 39.7%) and belonging to diverse socio-economic contexts (15.3% rural) and schools (32.1% public). After gaining informed consent from both the participants and their parents, students completed the survey voluntarily and under anonymity. Results show gender, developmental stage, and having been bullied as predictors of participants’ levels of life satisfaction. Among the personal competencies assessed, self-esteem, emotional repair skills, and social values were those which demonstrated the most significant effect on one’s life satisfaction. Finally, after taking school climate into account, gender, developmental stage, experience with bullying and social values did not prove to be significant predictors towards one’s life satisfaction, though self-esteem, and emotional repair did. These results have important implications for education objectives, methodologies, and school functioning, which have the capacity to promote adolescent life satisfaction and to prevent the consequences of bullying, while at the same time attend to self-esteem, emotional repair competencies, and particularly, to school climate.

Keywords: life satisfaction, Bullying, Personal competencies, School Climate, adolescence, Emotion Regulation, self-esteem, Well-being

Received: 13 Apr 2019; Accepted: 04 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Lourdes Rey, University of Málaga, Spain

Reviewed by:

Carolina Yudes, University of Málaga, Spain
Vicente J. Llorent, Universidad de Córdoba, Spain  

Copyright: © 2019 Lázaro-Visa, Palomera, Briones, Fernández-Fuertes and Fernández-Rouco. 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.

* Correspondence: Dr. Raquel Palomera, University of Cantabria, Department of Education, Santander, Spain, palomerr@unican.es