Associations between health behaviors and adolescents life satisfaction using structural equation modeling (SEM)
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Life satisfaction is an important indicator in suicidal behavior. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influences of health-related behaviors on adolescent life satisfaction using structural equation modeling (SEM). Data were obtained from the Health Behavior in School-Age Children (HBSC), 2001-2002. Because of the complex nature, SEM was preferred to be used over regression models in the present study. The results indicated that good eating habits and high scores of self-reported health played the greatest roles in promoting life satisfaction. The effects of both factors on life satisfaction were also mediated by academic achievement. Physical activity was a positive predictor of life satisfaction, but its effect appears to be mediated by health and academic achievement, rather than affecting life satisfaction directly. Moreover, physical activity was positively associated with good eating habits. These results generated from SEM were also compared with that from multiple linear regressions. Slight differences in the standardized coefficients for the total effects between SEM and regression models were detected due to the existing latent variable in SEM, but the general proportion variance accounted for in each outcome variable were similar across the two analyses. In summary, although there were some limitations for the study design and the building of the model, this study suggested that good habits with respect to diets may be beneficial for improvements in health and academic achievement, which in turn lead to positive scores of adolescent life satisfaction. High frequent physical activity and low BMI were poor but acceptable predictors of life satisfaction.