Self-control and subjective-wellbeing of adolescents in residential care: The moderator role of experienced happiness and daily-life activities with caregivers

Harry Orúzar, Rafael Miranda, Xavier Oriol, Carme Montserrat - Children and Youth Services Review


Literature on subjective-wellbeing (SWB) of children and adolescents in residential care is still scarce. In addition, few studies relate self-control and SWB at these ages, particularly in this population. This study aims to examine this relationship based on different measures to assess the cognitive component of this construct: Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), Overall Life Satisfaction (OLS) and Students Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS). The main objective is to explore, from a bottom-up perspective, the moderating effect of an experienced happiness indicator (OHS) and the daily-life activities shared between caregivers and adolescents in the residential care system. The sample is composed of 391 adolescents between 12 and 18 years old (M = 14.62; SD = 1.60), who are living in 47 residential care centers (RCC) from Peru. The results show a positive and significant relationship between self-control and the cognitive and affective measurements of SWB, specifically, a stronger relationship with SLSS. A moderating effect of daily-life activities with caregivers and OHS is observed on the relationship between self-control and the two indicators of life satisfaction (SLSS and OLS). In the case of SLSS only daily-life activities show a significant moderation. In contrast, there are non-significant moderations for PWI. Finally, results are discussed to enhance the socio-educative function of residential care centers, considering the importance of daily activities for SWB.