Medicine, Mind and Adolescence 1999, XIV, 1-2
in psychosocial concomitants of Polish
adolescents' life optimism in the 1990s
Selected research findings concerning the relationships between
adolescents’ life optimism and their other self-reported characteristics
including relations with parents and peers, school activities, antisocial
and risky behaviors, and their intra-personal dispositions (e.g. self-esteem,
value of independence) are presented. The main aim of this study was to
investigate whether and to what extent the models of the analyzed relationships
are similar or different across adolescents in the beginning and at the
end of the 1990s.
Data collected in 1992 and 1997 from similar samples of adolescents (boys
and girls aged 15-18 who were secondary school pupils) were compared.
In both of the studies the “You and Health” questionnaire
The main results showed that:
1) There were no differences between the average level of
adolescents’ life optimism in studies 1 (’92)
and 2 (’97), as well as between boys and girls in each study;
2) In the first study ('92), multiple regression models of
psychosocial concomitants of life optimism for
boys and for girls consisted of different variables. Namely, boys' life
optimism was related only to self-efficacy,
value of school achievement and "bad-being". For girls, the
model contained variables from each
area of their psychosocial functioning (i.e. perceived parental demands
and control, attitudes toward school
and school grades, peer support, manifestation of risky and antisocial
behaviors, and frequency of "bad-being" symptoms as for the
3) Changes in the second study ('97) were observed. For boys
three new variables appeared in the regression
model beside self-efficacy: value of independence, expectations of school
achievement and the school grades.
For girls, life optimism was related to intensity of antisocial behaviors
and parental demands similar to the previous model five years earlier.
The latter regression model also contained
variables such as self-efficacy, number of close friends and sexual
The results are discussed in context of socio-cultural changes in the
1990s in Poland and their meaning for developmental processes of adolescence.
Key Words: Adolescence, Life Optimism.
1. Correspondence to: Ewa Stepien Ph. D., Institute of Psychiatry and
Neurology, Clinical Psychology Department, Al. Sobieskiego 1/9; 02-957
Warsaw, Poland. E-mail: email@example.com