Research: Structural Equation Model of Resiliency in Adolescence

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Structural Equation Model of Resiliency in Adolescence

This study proposed a model of resiliency constructs that could best predict important adolescent outcomes. Using path analytic techniques it sought to explain the relationships between constructs from three distinct literature bases: social-cognitive theory, self-determination theory, and diathesis stress models. Participants were 4,922 ethnically diverse youth from across the nation. Measures looked at the following constructs: relatedness, autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, academic self-efficacy, stress, distress, and value of education.

Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were utilized to evaluate the psychometric properties for each of the instruments. Following, construct validity was assessed to explore convergent and discriminant validity. Finally, structural equation modeling was utilized to assess the fit of three hypothesized models. The model found to best explain the hypothesized relationships indicated fair to good fit. Results indicated that students who had stronger relationships with their peers, teachers, and family had higher levels of autonomous motivation and lower levels of controlled motivation. Further, students high in autonomous motivation also valued school more highly and had higher academic self-efficacy. Higher levels of academic self-efficacy then significantly predicted higher value of education and lower levels of stress. Controlled motivation was unable to predict value of education and was also unable to predict academic self-efficacy. However, it was able to significantly predict higher levels of distress. Higher stress levels were then found to result in higher levels of distress in students. Distress also significantly predicted value of education, though not in the hypothesized direction. Finally, relatedness was shown to serve as a buffer for the relationship of stress on distress. Implications for practice, as well as limitations and strengths are discussed.

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