Mental health and life satisfaction in a sample of students from Northern Chile



Palabras clave:

mental health, life satisfaction, child/youth, self-esteem, well-being


It is important to specifically understand which are the mental health variables that affect the life satisfaction of children and adolescents most, in order to optimally design programs aimed at promoting their wellbeing. The relationship between mental health and life satisfaction in students aged 9 to 18 years from Northern Chile was analyzed. A correlational cross-sectional study was carried out, using the Assessment System for Children and Adolescents (SENA) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS-C). A total sample of 3455 students was used, divided into primary and secondary school students. Two structural equation models with good fit were obtained. In both, depression, self-esteem and age were maintained. Among primary school students there also emerged problems with school. However, among secondary school students, problems related to family and gender appeared. The relationship was stronger concerning secondary school. Implications for public policies and interventions are discussed.


Los datos de descargas todavía no están disponibles.

Biografía del autor/a

Jerome Flores, Centro de Justicia Educacional, Universidad de Tarapacá

Associated researcher. Escuela de Psicología y fliosofía. Universidad de Tarapacá

Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar, Instituto de Alta Investigación. Universidad de Tarapacá, Arica, Chile

Instituto de Alta Investigación.

Guillermo Vega Latorre, Escuela de psicología y Filosofía. Universidad de Tarapacá

Escuela de psicología y Filosofía

Aura Zepeda, Escuela de psicología y Filosofía. Universidad de Tarapacá

Escuela de psicología y Filosofía.

Yanira Rivera Bartolo, Escuela de psicología y Filosofía. Universidad de Tarapacá

Escuela de psicología y Filosofía.

Nechelle González Ramírez, Escuela de psicología y Filosofía. Universidad de Tarapacá

Escuela de psicología y Filosofía.


Álvarez, C. A., Briceño, A. M., Álvarez, K., Abufhele, M., & Delgado, I. (2018). Estudio de adaptación y validación transcultural de una escala de satisfacción con la vida para adolescentes. Revista Chilena de Pediatría, 89(1), 51–58.

Brown, T.A. (2015). Methodology in the social sciences. Confirmatory factor analysis for applied research. 2nd ed. New York: The Guilford Press

Cohen, J. (1992). Statistical Power Analysis. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 1(3), 98–101.

Diener, E. (2009). Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities. In E. Diener (Ed.), Social indicators research series: Vol. 39. Assessing well-being: The collected works of Ed Diener (p. 25–65). Springer Science + Business Media.

Diener, E., Emmons, R.A., Larsen, R.J., Griffin, S. (1985) The Satisfaction with life scale. J Personal Assess, 49, 71-75

Fernández-Pinto, I., Santamaría, P., Sánchez-Sánchez, F., Carrasco, M. A. y del Barrio, V. (2015). SENA. Sistema de Evaluación de Niños y Adolescentes. Manual de aplicación, corrección e interpretación. Madrid: TEA Ediciones.

Gadermann, A. M., Guhn, M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A., Hymel, S., Thomson, K., & Hertzman, C. (2015). A Population-Based Study of Children's Well-Being and Health: The Relative Importance of Social Relationships, Health-Related Activities, and Income. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(5), 1847–1872. doi:10.1007/s10902-015-9673-1

Gadermann, A. M., Schonert-Reichl, K. A. y Zumbo, B. D. (2009). Investigating Validity Evidence of the Satisfaction with Life Scale Adapted for Children. Soc Indic Res 96:229–247.

Gilman, R., & Huebner, S. (2003). A review of life satisfaction research with children and adolescents. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 192–205.

Hu, L.-t., y Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1–55.

Huebner, E. S., Suldo, S. M., Smith, L. C., & McKnight, C. G. (2003). Life satisfaction in children and youth: Empirical foundations and implications for school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 81–93. doi:10.1002/pits.10140

Li C. H. (2016). Confirmatory factor analysis with ordinal data: Comparing robust maximum likelihood and diagonally weighted least squares. Behavior research methods, 48(3), 936–949.

Lowry, P. B. & Gaskin, J. (2014). Partial Least Squares (PLS) Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) for Building and Testing Behavioral Causal Theory: When to Choose It and How to Use It. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57(2), 123-146.

McDonald, R. P., y Ho, M.-H. R. (2002). Principles and practice in reporting structural equation analyses. Psychological Methods, 7(1), 64–82.

McKnight, C. G., Huebner, E. S., & Suldo, S. (2002). Relationships among stressful life events, temperament, problem behavior, and global life satisfaction in adolescents. Psychology in the Schools, 39(6), 677–687. doi:10.1002/pits.10062

Nadeau, J. M., Jacob, M. L., Keene, A. C., Alderman, S. M., Hacker, L. E., Cavitt, M. A., … Storch, E. A. (2014). Correlates and Mediators of Life Satisfaction Among Youth With Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Children's Health Care, 44(2), 169–182. doi:10.1080/02739615.2014.896215

Proctor, C., Tsukayama, E., Wood, A. M., Maltby, J., Eades, J. F., & Linley, P. A. (2011). Strengths Gym: The impact of a character strengths-based intervention on the life satisfaction and well-being of adolescents. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 6(5), 377–388. doi:10.1080/17439760.2011.594079

Reynolds, C. R., & Kamphaus, R. W. (2004). Behavior assessment system for children (2nd ed.). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.

Sánchez-Hernández, Ó., Méndez, F. X., & Garber, J. (2014). Prevención de la depresión en niños y adolescentes: Revisión y reflexión [Prevention of depression in children and adolescents: Review and reflection]. Revista de Psicopatología y Psicología Clínica, 19(1), 63.

State, T. M., & Kern, L. (2017). Life Satisfaction Among High School Students With Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Problems. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 19(4), 205–215. doi:10.1177/1098300717714573

Suldo, S. M., & Huebner, E. S. (2004). Does life Satisfaction moderate the effects of stressful life events on psychopathological behavior during adolescence? School Psychology Quarterly, 19(2), 93–105. doi:10.1521/scpq.

Suldo, S. M., & Huebner, E. S. (2005). Is Extremely High Life Satisfaction During Adolescence Advantageous? Social Indicators Research, 78(2), 179–203. doi:10.1007/s11205-005-8208-2

Suldo, S. M., Savage, J. A., & Mercer, S. H. (2013). Increasing Middle School Students' Life Satisfaction: Efficacy of a Positive Psychology Group Intervention. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15(1), 19–42. doi:10.1007/s10902-013-9414-2

Sun, R. C. F., & Shek, D. T. L. (2009). Life Satisfaction, Positive Youth Development, and Problem Behaviour Among Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong. Social Indicators Research, 95(3), 455–474. doi:10.1007/s11205-009-9531-9

Sun, R. C. F., & Shek, D. T. L. (2011). Positive Youth Development, Life Satisfaction and Problem Behaviour Among Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong: A Replication. Social Indicators Research, 105(3), 541–559. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9786-9



2021-08-13 — Actualizado el 2021-08-13


Cómo citar

Flores, J., Caqueo-Urízar, A., Vega Latorre, G., Zepeda, A., Rivera Bartolo, Y., & González Ramírez, N. (2021). Mental health and life satisfaction in a sample of students from Northern Chile. Revista De Psicopatología Y Psicología Clínica, 26(2), 109–120.



Artículos de investigación originales