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Special Issue "Psychosocial Risk and Protective Factors for Sustainable Development in Childhood and Adolescence"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2020) | Viewed by 33959

Special Issue Editor

Department of Methodology of the Behavioral Sciences, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Interests: research design; behavioral science; measurement; family studies; psychosocial adjustment; childhood and adolescence; cultural and environmental differences

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Childhood and adolescence are emphasized in scientific literature as the most relevant developmental stages, representing a significant time for cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development, and being the basis for an adequate psychological and social adjustment at these stages as well as in adulthood. For this reason, during the last few decades, empirical research has focused fundamentally on determining which factors influence the sustainable development of children and adolescents, highlighting especially two settings: the family, as the first context where children grow up, and the school, as the first formal context.

Results regarding how both family and school contexts influence as protective or risk factors on several criteria of the psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents vary depending on the cultural context where this relationship is developed, suggesting, therefore, the importance of considering the different environments and cultures as an important moderating factor. For example, empirical evidence has widely demonstrated the significant influence of parenting styles, as a key characteristic of family functioning, on the psychosocial wellbeing of children. However, in some cultural contexts, the relevance of the authoritative style as a protective factor is concluded; while in others, indulgent parenting, or even authoritarian, are deemed to be a protective factor for the sustainable development of children.

This Special Issue is open to high-quality research aimed at adding empirical evidence to the study of psychosocial protective and risk factors for the psychosocial wellbeing of children and adolescents, especially focused on family and school settings, also considering cultural and environmental differences.

Dr. María C. Fuentes
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Childhood
  • Adolescence
  • Sustainable development
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors
  • Psychosocial adjustment and well-being
  • Family context
  • School context
  • Cultural and environmental differences

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Article
Subjective Well-Being, Emotional Intelligence, and Mood of Parents: A Model of Relationships. Impact of Giftedness
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8810; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218810 - 23 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2976
Abstract
The well-being of parents could be either a protective or risk factor for themselves or their children. Our objective is to analyse the affective components of subjective well-being (SWB), emotional intelligence (EI), and parental mood. Parents of gifted children may be a vulnerable [...] Read more.
The well-being of parents could be either a protective or risk factor for themselves or their children. Our objective is to analyse the affective components of subjective well-being (SWB), emotional intelligence (EI), and parental mood. Parents of gifted children may be a vulnerable group because they face exceptional challenges in raising their children, sometimes with neither educational nor social support. We assess whether parents’ EI predicts their SWB and whether positive and negative mood mediate this relationship in two different groups of parents (with or without gifted children). The sample comprised 280 parents. To test the hypotheses, descriptive analysis and structural equation modelling (SEM) were conducted. In both groups of parents, EI predicted SWB, and mood played a mediating role. Parents of gifted children had poorer SWB due to a higher number of negative experiences. Additionally, these parents tended to express more anger. Thus, parents of gifted children are an at-risk group. Our work highlights the need for teachers and social agents to consider families to facilitate the inclusion of gifted students and improve their health and that of their parents. Full article
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Article
Beliefs about Child-Rearing and Development in Spain and Peru. A Comparative Analysis for Adapting Parenting Support Programs
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7268; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187268 - 04 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2515
Abstract
Migrant families who settle in host cultures may find themselves in situations of vulnerability which hinder the exercise of their parental responsibilities. While there are many support programs targeted at these families, they are n ot always sensitive to the acculturation process. This [...] Read more.
Migrant families who settle in host cultures may find themselves in situations of vulnerability which hinder the exercise of their parental responsibilities. While there are many support programs targeted at these families, they are n ot always sensitive to the acculturation process. This article compares beliefs about child-rearing and development in Spain and Peru, with the aim of enabling interventions to be adapted to the cultural characteristics of Peruvian families living in Spain. To this end, 43 Spanish and 39 Peruvian professionals and parents participated in a Delphi process, in which they ranked issues corresponding to four topics: child and adolescent needs, functions of the family context, functions of the school context, and the value of childhood and adolescence for society. The results revealed many similarities and some differences between the cultural parenting knowledge of Spanish and Peruvian families. The implications of these results for adapting parenting support programs to migrant Peruvian families are discussed. Specifically, the article concludes that Peruvian families require special support in two areas: establishing rules and limits for children and parental involvement in the school, both of which are key aspects for promoting parenting practices which are better adapted to the families’ new cultural context. Full article
Article
Parenting Dimensions and Adolescent Peer Aggression: A Gendered Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6522; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166522 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1469
Abstract
The present study had two main goals. The first was to analyze the differences between parenting dimensions—strictness/imposition and involvement/acceptance—in adolescents’ engagement in peer aggression as aggressors, victims, aggressive victims, and non-involved. The second goal was to examine differences between parenting dimensions and peer-aggression [...] Read more.
The present study had two main goals. The first was to analyze the differences between parenting dimensions—strictness/imposition and involvement/acceptance—in adolescents’ engagement in peer aggression as aggressors, victims, aggressive victims, and non-involved. The second goal was to examine differences between parenting dimensions and peer-aggression roles by gender of both parents and adolescents. Participants were 779 adolescents (49.16% boys and 50.84% girls), aged between 12 and 16 years old (M = 14.21; SD = 1.35), enrolled in schools in Andalusia (Spain). Findings showed significant differences in parenting dimensions depending on gender of both adolescents (boy or girl) and parents (mother and father). For sons, non-involved adolescents scored higher in mother and father involvement than aggressors and aggressive victims. For daughters, non-involved scored higher in mother involvement than aggressors. Furthermore, girl aggressors and aggressive victims reported higher levels of mother imposition than non-involved. Results and their implications for sustainable development in adolescence are discussed. Full article
Article
Protective and Risk Factors for Adolescent Substance Use in Spain: Self-Esteem and Other Indicators of Personal Well-Being and Ill-Being
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155962 - 24 Jul 2020
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 3359
Abstract
Although self-esteem has traditionally been considered as an important correlate of psychosocial adjustment, some empirical studies have found a positive relationship between some domains of self-esteem and drug use among adolescents. The present study analyzes self-esteem and other adjustment personal indicators as protective [...] Read more.
Although self-esteem has traditionally been considered as an important correlate of psychosocial adjustment, some empirical studies have found a positive relationship between some domains of self-esteem and drug use among adolescents. The present study analyzes self-esteem and other adjustment personal indicators as protective or risk factors for substance use. Participants were 644 Spanish adolescents aged 12–17 years. Substance use (cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and other illicit drugs), multidimensional self-esteem (academic, social, emotional, family, and physical), and other indicators of adolescents’ well-being and ill-being (psychological problems, behavior problems, and parenting) were measured. We observed, on the one hand, that substance use had a significant negative relationship with academic, family, and physical self-esteem. On the other hand, we also observed a significant positive relationship between drug use and social self-esteem. However, this significant relationship disappeared after statistically controlling for sex and age, using both partial correlation analyses and covariance analysis. Interestingly, beyond the importance of each factor related to drugs, prevention science should first of all be able to identify whether the main psychological variables (e.g., social or physical self-esteem) are risk or protective factors for drug use. Full article
Article
Adolescent Perception of Maternal Practices in Portugal and Spain: Similarities and Differences
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155910 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1454
Abstract
The aim of this study was to compare parenting in two southern European countries, Spain and Portugal, according to adolescent perceptions from a situated perspective. A total of 445 Portuguese (58.88%) and Spanish (41.12%) adolescents completed a questionnaire about maternal practices and provided [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to compare parenting in two southern European countries, Spain and Portugal, according to adolescent perceptions from a situated perspective. A total of 445 Portuguese (58.88%) and Spanish (41.12%) adolescents completed a questionnaire about maternal practices and provided socio-demographic information. Portuguese and Spanish mothers were more responsive than coercive in controlling adolescents’ compliance and non-compliance situations. Spanish mothers scolded, revoked privileges, and punished physically more often than Portuguese mothers, who used dialogue more often. Multivariate analysis showed three groups of parenting practices. Portuguese mothers were represented mainly in the Indulgent group (81.70%), and Spanish mothers in the Authoritative group (74.40%), whereas the third group (Neglectful) was independent of the country of origin. These results support the theory that research and family intervention should recognize cultural aspects in order to grasp the parenting process. Full article
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Article
Family Climate and Life Satisfaction in 12-Year-Old Adolescents in Europe
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5902; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155902 - 22 Jul 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1990
Abstract
This research aimed to examine the association between life satisfaction and family climate indicators in 12-year-old European adolescents. Cross-sectional data from the second wave of the Children’s Worlds project—an international survey of children’s lives and well-being—were examined. Specifically, data from participating European countries [...] Read more.
This research aimed to examine the association between life satisfaction and family climate indicators in 12-year-old European adolescents. Cross-sectional data from the second wave of the Children’s Worlds project—an international survey of children’s lives and well-being—were examined. Specifically, data from participating European countries were analyzed: i.e., Estonia, Spain, Germany, England, Romania, Norway, Poland, and Malta. This sample of 9281 adolescents (50.3% girls) filled in self-report measures of life satisfaction and some indicators of family climate. Descriptive statistics and regression analyses were performed by country. Furthermore, a confirmatory model was tested to examine the association between family climate and life satisfaction. The results pointed out that having a good time together with family and being treated fairly by parents/carers were the indicators with the greatest positive effects on life satisfaction. In general, a more positive family climate was associated with higher life satisfaction among 12-year-old adolescents in the participating eight European countries. Full article
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Article
Influence of Verbal Behavior Training on Performance for Sustainable Development in Childhood and Early Adolescence
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 5140; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12125140 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1715
Abstract
The effective teaching of language is an aspect of special relevance regarding the good adjustment of children in contexts such as school, family, or community. This article performs an experimental procedure to check which language teaching methodology is most effective in a sample [...] Read more.
The effective teaching of language is an aspect of special relevance regarding the good adjustment of children in contexts such as school, family, or community. This article performs an experimental procedure to check which language teaching methodology is most effective in a sample of children. The objective was to analyze the influence of training, Condition 1 (pure tacts more intraverbal) or Condition 2 (pure tacts more impure tacts), on emergence of two tests involving impure tacts (AB-C, AB-D) and four new complex intraverbals (BC-D, BD-C) for each of two sets of stimuli (Set 1 and Set 2). The sample comprised 54 children aged between 6 and 12 years, divided into two groups of different experimental conditions. The results revealed statistically significant differences in performance on the tests of impure tacts and complex intraverbal, obtaining highly effective results in Condition 2. This teaching method using compound stimuli (impure tacts) clearly favors the expansion of language. The practical implications of this work can be more effective language teaching methodologies implemented that favor the good psychosocial adjustment of children in contexts such as family, school, or the community in general. Full article
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Article
The Protective Role of Emotional Intelligence in Self-Stigma and Emotional Exhaustion of Family Members of People with Mental Disorders
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4862; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12124862 - 15 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2378
Abstract
Parenting a child or teenager is not particularly easy for parents, and this becomes even more difficult if a child has a serious mental disorder. This situation places parents in a vulnerable position that leads to heightened feelings of guilt and emotional stress. [...] Read more.
Parenting a child or teenager is not particularly easy for parents, and this becomes even more difficult if a child has a serious mental disorder. This situation places parents in a vulnerable position that leads to heightened feelings of guilt and emotional stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of the families’ emotional intelligence on their own self-stigma and burnout. A total of 537 family members from Southern Spain who care for individuals with mental disorders participated in this study. To analyze the results of the study, a structural equation model was constructed. The results from the equation showed that emotional intelligence is negatively related to self-stigma and burnout. In turn, self-stigma is positively related to burnout syndrome. Thus, the findings indicate that emotional intelligence may have a protective role against self-stigma, which is closely related to burnout syndrome. The relevance of these results when designing interventions that work with the negative feelings produced by self-stigma and family burnout is discussed. Full article
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Article
Subjective Well-Being in Spanish Adolescents: Psychometric Properties of the Scale of Positive and Negative Experiences
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4011; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104011 - 14 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1784
Abstract
The scale of positive and negative experiences (SPANE) assesses emotional responses and their frequency of manifestation in recent weeks. This scale has been validated in different countries and populations but not in Spanish adolescents. The aim was to evaluate the psychometric properties of [...] Read more.
The scale of positive and negative experiences (SPANE) assesses emotional responses and their frequency of manifestation in recent weeks. This scale has been validated in different countries and populations but not in Spanish adolescents. The aim was to evaluate the psychometric properties of SPANE in two samples: (1) Sample I included 797 adolescents (M = 15.5 years old, SD = 0.68, 54.2% female) and, (2) Sample II included 1433 adolescents (M = 13.7 years old, SD = 1.27, 53.2% female). Finally, a subsample from sample II was analyzed in different stages (after six and 12 months) with 298 adolescents (M = 13.7 years old, SD = 1.13, 58.7% female). The results obtained have adequate levels of reliability and validity that seem to justify the use of this diagnostic tool in the Spanish adolescent population. Full article
Article
Factorial Invariance, Latent Mean Differences of the Panas and Affective Profiles and Its Relation to Social Anxiety in Ecuadorian Sample
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2976; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072976 - 08 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
Positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) are related with aspects that are part of people’s psychological well-being, and the possibility of combining both dimensions to create four affective profiles, self-fulfilling (high PA and low NA), low affective (low PA and low NA), high [...] Read more.
Positive (PA) and negative affect (NA) are related with aspects that are part of people’s psychological well-being, and the possibility of combining both dimensions to create four affective profiles, self-fulfilling (high PA and low NA), low affective (low PA and low NA), high affective (high PA and high NA) and self-destructive (low PA and high NA), has recently appeared. The current work aims to validate the short version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) in Ecuador, test the existence of the four affective profiles and analyze its relation with social anxiety. The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for Children and the Social Anxiety Scale for Adolescents was employed in a sample of 1786 Ecuadorian students aged from 15 to 18 years (M = 16.31, SD = 1.01). The factorial invariance of the scale across sex and age groups was proved and latent mean analyses showed that girls and 18-year-old students obtained the highest scores in negative affect. With regard to the affective profiles, the cluster analyses confirmed the existence of the four mentioned profiles, and the self-fulfilling profile obtained the lowest scores in all the dimensions of social anxiety, whereas the self-destructive profile obtained the highest scores. Full article
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Article
Parental Socialization, Social Anxiety, and School Victimization: A Mediation Model
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2681; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072681 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2360
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between parenting dimensions (involvement/acceptance vs. strictness/imposition) and school victimization, considering the possible mediating role of social anxiety. The sample comprised 887 adolescents (52.3% girls) aged between 12 and 16 (M = 13.84 [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between parenting dimensions (involvement/acceptance vs. strictness/imposition) and school victimization, considering the possible mediating role of social anxiety. The sample comprised 887 adolescents (52.3% girls) aged between 12 and 16 (M = 13.84 and SD = 1.22) enrolled at three compulsory secondary education ("ESO" or "Educación Secundaria Obligatoria" in Spanish) schools located in the provinces of Valencia, Teruel and Seville (Spain). A structural equations model was developed using the Mplus 7.4 program. The results obtained indicate that social anxiety mediates the relationship between parenting dimensions (involvement/acceptance vs. strictness/imposition) and school victimization. Finally, the results and their potential theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Full article
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Article
Children’s and Mothers’ Achievement Goal Orientations and Self-Efficacy: Dyadic Contributions to Students’ Well-Being
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1785; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051785 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2272
Abstract
Starting from the basic idea that identifying predictive family factors for children’s well-being is among the levels of the psychology of sustainable human development, our study aimed to investigate the impact of mothers’ achievement goal orientations and parental self-efficacy on their children’s academic [...] Read more.
Starting from the basic idea that identifying predictive family factors for children’s well-being is among the levels of the psychology of sustainable human development, our study aimed to investigate the impact of mothers’ achievement goal orientations and parental self-efficacy on their children’s academic well-being, considering children’s own achievement goals as a mediator variable. The entire sample comprised 350 participants: 175 children (42.86% boys) and their respective mothers. Children were enrolled in the 4th grade (n = 85; Mage = 10.44, SD = 0.49), in the 8th grade (n = 62; Mage = 14.45, SD = 0.53), and in the 12th grade (n = 28; Mage = 18.39, SD = 0.62). The results indicated that mothers’ motivational orientations had a strong effect on their children’s corresponding motivational orientations. Mothers’ achievement goal orientations and parental self-efficacy had significant effects on children’s well-being, mediated by children’s goal orientations. Children’s well-being was positively predicted by mothers’ mastery and performance-approach goal orientations, with variations between age groups. The importance of the parental motivational orientations in the development of the children’s corresponding orientations and well-being suggests that changing academic adaptation might be possible by operating early interventions at the parents’ level. Further research is necessary to explore why performance-approach goals had a positive impact on well-being in this cultural context, as previous studies revealed that this type of goal orientation may be detrimental to well-being. Full article
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Article
Factors in Assessing Recidivism Risk in Young Offenders
Sustainability 2020, 12(3), 1111; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031111 - 04 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3490
Abstract
The research aims to identify if the accumulation of protective and/or risk factors might predict the risk of recidivism in juvenile delinquents and determine the relative weight of both types of factors in the predictions themselves. The risk of criminal recidivism was assessed [...] Read more.
The research aims to identify if the accumulation of protective and/or risk factors might predict the risk of recidivism in juvenile delinquents and determine the relative weight of both types of factors in the predictions themselves. The risk of criminal recidivism was assessed with the Structured Assessment of Violence Risk in Youth—SAVRY—instrument based on a sample of 192 Adolescents in Conflict with the Law—ACLs—held in juvenile detention centers in the Valencian Community (Spain). The results show that protective variables have greater relative consistency than risk variables when assessing recidivism risk in ACLs. The paper’s findings enable advances in the identification of antisocial behavior patterns using positive variables, and this in turn involves modifying any intervention proposals made by professionals of juvenile justice because psycho-socio-educational processes can now be dealt with on the basis of the ACLs’ potentialities (protective factors) rather than their deficiencies (risk factors) alone. Full article
Article
Parental Involvement as a Protective Factor in School Adjustment among Retained and Promoted Secondary Students
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7080; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247080 - 11 Dec 2019
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3911
Abstract
This study analyzes the relationship of parental involvement and school adjustment among secondary students considering their school integration, school satisfaction, and prosocial disposition. The analysis also considers academic performance through the grade retention. Study sample was 1043 Spanish adolescents aged between 12 and [...] Read more.
This study analyzes the relationship of parental involvement and school adjustment among secondary students considering their school integration, school satisfaction, and prosocial disposition. The analysis also considers academic performance through the grade retention. Study sample was 1043 Spanish adolescents aged between 12 and 17 years (51.5% girls, M = 14.21, SD = 1.38). A factorial (3x2x2x2) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was applied for the outcome variables of school integration, school satisfaction, and prosocial behavior, with parental educational involvement, grade retention, sex, and age as independent variables. The results show that both parental involvement and academic performance are positively related to school adjustment. In addition, parental involvement influences adolescents’ school adjustment, regardless of academic performance, being a protective factor in that adjustment. Full article
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