Late-Adolescent Well-Being: The Balance of Life Domains

Rebecca Petrie, Pace University


Life balance is a widely heralded, yet commonly contested, strategy for reducing stress and maintaining psychological well-being. Popular culture has seen a rise in over-scheduling children's activities to build focused expertise early on, in hopes of fostering success. Dissidents worry that such narrow investment is an unhealthy approach. Nevertheless, little is known about the components of the life-balance construct and how they contribute to an experience of well-being and satisfaction with life. The purpose of the current study was to survey late adolescents on their domain use profiles to determine which aspects of life balance lead to satisfaction with life and psychological well-being. Late adolescence was determined to be a period of development when individuals are first beginning to create their own schedules and resolve where and how their time will be spent. Understanding which components of time-use and balance contribute most to well-being, should provide important information to university clinics and therapists in best advising their student population. University undergraduates (N = 139) were surveyed and administered a Life Domains Survey based on Frisch's (2006) 16 life domains, the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), and the Psychological Well-Being Scale (PWBS). Findings indicated that life domain balance, when defined as participating in a broad range of domains, was significantly related to overall positive well-being, as well as autonomy, personal growth and feelings of having a purpose in life. Life domain integration, when defined as pairs of integrated activities, had a positive association with life satisfaction, academic success, well-being, and feelings of personal growth and self-acceptance. Also, the more time one spent in integrated activities, the higher levels of over-all well-being, and feelings of personal growth and self-acceptance they reported. It is beneficial to know that particular life activities, such as self-esteem, philosophy of life, recreation, friendship, community, work, physical health, and creativity-related activities, better predict aspects of well-being for adolescents. These findings suggest that it may be one's pattern and profile of time use that are actually more important than balancing a specific number of hours across a number of domains, which has been the common definition in previous research.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Petrie, Rebecca, "Late-Adolescent Well-Being: The Balance of Life Domains" (2013). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3570712.



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