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Friendship networks and psychological well-being from late adolescence to young adulthood: a gender-specific structural equation modeling approach.

Miething A, Almquist YB, Östberg V, Rostila M, Edling C, Rydgren J - BMC Psychol (2016)

Bottom Line: The results show that network quality increased while well-being decreased from age 19 to age 23.Females reported worse well-being at both time points, whereas no gender differences were found for network quality.The results further show positive correlations between network quality and well-being for males and females alike.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden. alexander.miething@sociology.su.se.

ABSTRACT

Background: The importance of supportive social relationships for psychological well-being has been previously recognized, but the direction of associations between both dimensions and how they evolve when adolescents enter adulthood have scarcely been addressed. The present study aims to examine the gender-specific associations between self-reported friendship network quality and psychological well-being of young people during the transition from late adolescence to young adulthood by taking into account the direction of association.

Methods: A random sample of Swedes born in 1990 were surveyed at age 19 and again at age 23 regarding their own health and their relationships with a maximum of five self-nominated friends. The response rate was 55.3 % at baseline and 43.7 % at follow-up, resulting in 772 cases eligible for analysis. Gender-specific structural equation modeling was conducted to explore the associations between network quality and well-being. The measurement part included a latent measure of well-being, whereas the structural part accounted for autocorrelation for network quality and for well-being over time and further examined the cross-lagged associations.

Results: The results show that network quality increased while well-being decreased from age 19 to age 23. Females reported worse well-being at both time points, whereas no gender differences were found for network quality. Network quality at age 19 predicted network quality at age 23, and well-being at age 19 predicted well-being at age 23. The results further show positive correlations between network quality and well-being for males and females alike. The strength of the correlations diminished over time but remained significant at age 23. Simultaneously testing social causation and social selection in a series of competing models indicates that while there were no cross-lagged associations among males, there was a weak reverse association between well-being at age 19 and network quality at age 23 among females.

Conclusions: The study contributes to the understanding of the direction of associations between friendship networks and psychological well-being from late adolescence to young adulthood by showing that while these dimensions are closely intertwined among males and females alike, females' social relationships seem to be more vulnerable to changes in health status.

No MeSH data available.


The associations between friendship network quality and psychological well-being (Males n = 393, Females n = 379). Results from structural equation modeling. Estimates (standardized) are displayed as males/females. *** p <.001, ** p <.01, * p <.05, †p <.10
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Fig2: The associations between friendship network quality and psychological well-being (Males n = 393, Females n = 379). Results from structural equation modeling. Estimates (standardized) are displayed as males/females. *** p <.001, ** p <.01, * p <.05, †p <.10

Mentions: Based on the model fit statistics, it was decided to proceed with Model 1 for males and Model 3 for females. The results from structural equation modeling are shown in Fig. 2 (for clarity, the error terms have been omitted from the figure). Concerning the measurement model, i.e., the latent factors representing psychological well-being, the included items show factor loadings of .38–.67 for males and .44–.75 for females at Time 1, and .31–.70 for males and .29–.69 for females at Time 2. It should be noted that a step-wise removal of the items with the weakest loadings did not significantly improve the model fit (data not presented).Fig. 2


Friendship networks and psychological well-being from late adolescence to young adulthood: a gender-specific structural equation modeling approach.

Miething A, Almquist YB, Östberg V, Rostila M, Edling C, Rydgren J - BMC Psychol (2016)

The associations between friendship network quality and psychological well-being (Males n = 393, Females n = 379). Results from structural equation modeling. Estimates (standardized) are displayed as males/females. *** p <.001, ** p <.01, * p <.05, †p <.10
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4940724&req=5

Fig2: The associations between friendship network quality and psychological well-being (Males n = 393, Females n = 379). Results from structural equation modeling. Estimates (standardized) are displayed as males/females. *** p <.001, ** p <.01, * p <.05, †p <.10
Mentions: Based on the model fit statistics, it was decided to proceed with Model 1 for males and Model 3 for females. The results from structural equation modeling are shown in Fig. 2 (for clarity, the error terms have been omitted from the figure). Concerning the measurement model, i.e., the latent factors representing psychological well-being, the included items show factor loadings of .38–.67 for males and .44–.75 for females at Time 1, and .31–.70 for males and .29–.69 for females at Time 2. It should be noted that a step-wise removal of the items with the weakest loadings did not significantly improve the model fit (data not presented).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: The results show that network quality increased while well-being decreased from age 19 to age 23.Females reported worse well-being at both time points, whereas no gender differences were found for network quality.The results further show positive correlations between network quality and well-being for males and females alike.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91, Stockholm, Sweden. alexander.miething@sociology.su.se.

ABSTRACT

Background: The importance of supportive social relationships for psychological well-being has been previously recognized, but the direction of associations between both dimensions and how they evolve when adolescents enter adulthood have scarcely been addressed. The present study aims to examine the gender-specific associations between self-reported friendship network quality and psychological well-being of young people during the transition from late adolescence to young adulthood by taking into account the direction of association.

Methods: A random sample of Swedes born in 1990 were surveyed at age 19 and again at age 23 regarding their own health and their relationships with a maximum of five self-nominated friends. The response rate was 55.3 % at baseline and 43.7 % at follow-up, resulting in 772 cases eligible for analysis. Gender-specific structural equation modeling was conducted to explore the associations between network quality and well-being. The measurement part included a latent measure of well-being, whereas the structural part accounted for autocorrelation for network quality and for well-being over time and further examined the cross-lagged associations.

Results: The results show that network quality increased while well-being decreased from age 19 to age 23. Females reported worse well-being at both time points, whereas no gender differences were found for network quality. Network quality at age 19 predicted network quality at age 23, and well-being at age 19 predicted well-being at age 23. The results further show positive correlations between network quality and well-being for males and females alike. The strength of the correlations diminished over time but remained significant at age 23. Simultaneously testing social causation and social selection in a series of competing models indicates that while there were no cross-lagged associations among males, there was a weak reverse association between well-being at age 19 and network quality at age 23 among females.

Conclusions: The study contributes to the understanding of the direction of associations between friendship networks and psychological well-being from late adolescence to young adulthood by showing that while these dimensions are closely intertwined among males and females alike, females' social relationships seem to be more vulnerable to changes in health status.

No MeSH data available.