Examining the Longitudinal Stability of a Dual-Factor Model of Mental Health in Early Elementary School Students
Compton, Amy Lee
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The field of psychology has historically defined mental health as the absence of psychopathology, but emerging research has suggested that wellness and illness are not opposite ends of a single continuum, yet rather two distinct, interrelated constructs of a dual-factor model measured by indicators of well-being and distress (Herron & Trent, 2000; Keyes, 2002). The current study examined the longitudinal stability and change of mental health status according to a dual-factor model in early elementary-aged children. Group-based trajectory modeling (Nagin, 2005) was used to identify clusters of individuals following similar mental health trajectories over an 18-month time period. Findings suggested that clusters of children tend to follow one of five different developmental trajectories when measured according to both illness and wellness, and these distinct pathways varied in patterns of stability and change. The majority of students belonged to stable trajectories of either moderate or complete mental health, however, three less favorable trajectories characterized by a combination of high psychopathology and low well-being emerged.
- Education - Seattle