2013. Vol.4, No.3A, 217-223
Published Online March 2013 in SciRes (http://www.scirp.org/journal/psych) http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/psych.2013.43A033
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 217
The Well-Being of Junior High School Students in Taiwan in
Relation to Familial Socioeconomic Status, School Life
Adjustment, and Deviant Behavior
Graduate Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, MingDao University, Changhua County, Taiwan
Received October 14th, 2012; revised December 5th, 2012; accepted January 2nd, 2013
This study explores the influence that familial socioeconomic status, school life adjustment, and deviant
behavior have on the well-being of junior high school students. The participants were 1886 first-year jun-
ior high school students recruited using the Taiwan Education Panel Survey (TEPS). The findings of this
study indicated that a) the well-being of male students exceeded that of female students; b) significant in-
teraction effects were exhibited between familial socioeconomic status and school life adjustment, and
higher familial socioeconomic status and higher school life adjustment with higher well-being; and c) de-
viant behavior was related to lower well-being.
Keywords: Familial Socioeconomic Status; School Life Adjustment; Deviant Behavior; Well-Being;
Junior High School Students
The issue of well-being has become a growing concern for
people worldwide because everyone wants to have a happy life.
The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy once said, “To live happy,
we should believe in the possibility of happiness”. Thus, we
may ask where the optimum place to be born is. In the “where-
to-be-born index” published by the Economist magazine in
2013, Switzerland was ranked number one. Lyubomirsky, King,
& Diener (2005) stated that happiness can increase a person’s
quality of life and is the self-realization goal pursued by every-
one. Regarding Leicester university psychologist, Adrian White,
reported the first worldwide well-being map in 2006, he pointed
out Denmark was the most pleasant and well-being nation
among 178 nations and places which attended investigation.
Finland was ranked 6th, the US was 23th, Taiwan was 68th,
China was 92nd, Japan was 90th, and South Korea was 102.
Previous studies have shown that the factors that most influence
well-being are national health care, affluence, education, na-
tional identity, and homeland landscape aesthetics. The four
Nordic countries of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Sweden are
ranked among the highest primarily because of their excellent
health care and education systems (Global Views Magazine,
2011). This demonstrates the significant influence that educa-
tion has on well-being.
People generally believe that one’s school days are the purest
time of life, and that adolescence should be a period of carefree,
happy growth. However, contemporary junior high school stu-
dents in Taiwan commonly feel unhappy. According to data
obtained from the 2010 Taiwan-Fukien Area Child and Youth
Living Conditions Survey Report published by the Department
of Statistics, Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan, approximately
62.8% of young people between 12 and 18 years of age con-
sidered schoolwork to be a bothersome problem. Regarding
deviant behavior, approximately 30% had experience of
cheating during an examination, with a relatively high 40%
prevalence among juveniles from northern regions compared to
those from other regions. Furthermore, approximately 25% had
previously viewed pornographic material; 14% had truancy
experience; 15% had beaten, kicked or used tools to harm class-
mates; and 50% admitted using swear words or foul language to
insult classmates. However, the prevalence of these conditions
declined as the parents’ level of education increased. In ad-
dition, 12% of young people had been beaten, kicked, or hurt
with tools by classmates, and approximately 40% had been
sworn at or been insulted by their classmates using foul lan-
guage (Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior, 2011). Junior high
school students typically spend the majority of their time at
school. Most of their interactions are with their teachers and
peers. Thus, whether their relationships with teachers and peers
are harmonious is often used as an index of perceived happiness
(Wu & Chang, 2003). Liu (2008) indicated that a correlation
exists between school life adjustment and happiness, and that
school life adjustment has a predictive effect for feelings of
well-being. Adolescence is an important stage of personality
development, and home and school are the most important life
places during adolescence. Most previous research has examin-
ed issues related to depression. In recent years, positive psycho-
logy has become a popular field of psychology. In this study,
we investigate the well-being of junior high school students in
Taiwan in relation to familial socioeconomic status, school life
adjustment, and deviant behavior.
Familial Socioecono mic Status
Paula and Andrew (2007) found that children in unstable
families are typically prone to exhibiting behavioral problems,
whereas children raised in stable two-parent families generally
exhibit greater happiness because the behavior and attitudes of
parents can affect the well-being of children. Socioeconomic
status generally includes education, profession, and income as
measurement indicators. These factors reflect one’s position in
the social hierarchy (Hwang, 2008). Coleman (1988, 1990)
indicated that familial resources are present as three types of
capital, that is, familial social capital, human capital, and finan-
cial capital. Familial social capital refers to the potential or
actual resources produced through the interpersonal relationship
interactions within the familial network. The head of the famil-
ial network generally holds the greatest human and financial
capital. In other words, the head of a family typically has a
higher level of education and income, which they pass to the
next generation in the form of familial social capital (Werum,
2000). Lin (2001) also highlighted that because the socioeco-
nomic statuses of families differ, inequality in familial social
capital exists. Families with a higher socioeconomic status have
greater financial capital and their children have greater access
to educational resources, facilitating the attainment of greater
Students from families with a high socioeconomic status
have a clear advantage in adjusting to school life compared to
students from families with a low socioeconomic status. This is
primarily because students from families with a high socioeco-
nomic status have more cultural and financial capital. This
capital not only influences the students’ relationships with their
teachers and peers, but also affects their school life adjustment
(Wu & Chang, 2003).
School Life Adjustment
Lazarus (1976) stated that “adjustment” refers to the respon-
sive steps individuals take to survive in various environments
or societies. These steps aim to enhance the psychological
preservation of harmony between the individual and the envi-
ronment. Lazarus also stated that adjustment is a responsive
behavior executed by an individual to satisfy the demands of
the environment. Adjustment can be employed to overcome
internal pressure and enable an individual to maintain a harmo-
nious relationship between their inner self and the external
environment. Ladd (1989) reported that “school life adjust-
ment” emphasizes the perceptions and attitudes children have
toward school and their exhibited behavior at school, such as
their attendance, participation in school activities, interactions
with peers, and learning performance. Developmental psy-
chologists contend that peers and friends have a significant
influence on the development and adjustment of adolescents.
Good interpersonal relationships increase the satisfaction ado-
lescents have regarding school life and also improve their aca-
demic achievements (Epstein, 1983). Wu and Chang (2003)
held that the meaning of “school life adjustment” included peer
relationships, as well as the three items proposed by Ladd
(1989). Lin (2000) argued that school life adjustment also in-
cludes the adjustment to studies, adjustment to conventions,
and relationships with teachers and peers.
Adjustment to studies is the most important aspect of adjust-
ing to school life and includes study habits, methods, and atti-
tudes. Adjustment to conventions refers to the conditions and
attitudes that students have toward following school conven-
tions. Relationship with teachers refers to the quality of rela-
tionships between students and teachers, including interactions
in class and the attitudes teachers have regarding students’
study behaviors. Relationship with peers refers to the quality of
relationships between students and classmates in typical joint
study situations. Wentzel (1996) and Konu, Lintonen, and Au-
tio (2002) held that when students and teachers have better
relationships, overall well-being increases. In addition, Leung
and Leung (1992) indicated that the relationship between par-
ents and children is the optimum predictor of life satisfaction
among young people. When parents’ child-rearing methods are
supportive or adopt a positive approach, they positively influ-
ence the life adjustment of school-aged children. When parents’
child-rearing methods are overly controlling, parents negatively
influence life adjustment (Lewis, 1995).
Clinard and Meier (1992) defined deviant behavior as be-
havioral displays that violate social norms and value judgments
set according to societal standards. In other words, the individ-
ual acts against the legal behavior or moral standards of the
social system. So-called problem students in the school atmos-
phere are labeled “deviants” in the field of sociology. The be-
havior they exhibit is “deviant behavior,” which often involves
damaging school property and behavior that violates school
rules and social norms (Liu, 2003). Adopting social control
theory developed, Chiang (2003) emphasized that when an
individual cannot maintain an appropriate relationship with
society and other important institutions, such as the family,
school, and peer groups, deviant or criminal behavior can po-
tentially occur. Agnew and White (1992) indicated that one of
the reasons deviant behavior is exhibited by adolescents is to
alleviate feelings of insecurity and anxiety created by the gap
between their anticipated and received achievements. Ollendick,
Weist, Bordon, and Grace (1992) also indicated that if children
lack positive peer relationships for a lengthy duration, they may
engage in deviant behavior in the future. Academic accom-
plishments, teacher relationships, and peer relationships are the
factors that influence the display of deviant behavior.
Students with exceptional academic achievements clearly
engage in deviant behavior less frequently than that of students
with a comparatively lower academic performance (Huang &
Lou, 2005). This is primarily because for students to attain a
high academic performance, they must invest more energy in
academic work; thus, they seldom interact with peers who en-
gage in deviant behavior. In addition, their parents are typically
more concerned with the discipline, education, and supervision
of their children’s lives. Consequently, deviant behavior is a
rare occurrence. However, problems in school life adjustment
may result from study conditions, teacher relationships, and
peer relationships. When school life adjustment is poor, indi-
viduals can easily develop feelings of anxiety and insecurity.
Individuals who lack appropriate ways to resolve these feelings
are more likely to engage in deviant behavior as an escape or to
vent their emotions. Maladjustment to school life may follow
the manifestation of deviant behavior or, the display of deviant
behavior may be an explicit behavioral response to the failure
to adjust to school life.
In 2000, when serving as chairman of the Psychology As-
sociation, Seligamn proposed positive psychology theory (Se-
ligamn & Crikszentmihalyi, 2000). Well-being is among the
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
focuses of positive psychology and emphasizes the overall
evaluation of an individual’s life. Andrews and Withey (1976)
were the first psychologists to propose a complete definition for
well-being. They contended that well-being comprises positive
emotions, negative emotions, and life satisfaction. Diener (1984)
proposed the following three main features of well-being: 1)
Personal subjective feelings (Campbell, 1976), also known as
subjective well-being (SWB); 2) possesses high positive emo-
tions and low negative emotions; and 3) includes an overall
evaluation of quality of life. Therefore, when people are satis-
fied with their overall life, their physical and mental health is
enhanced, which increase their happiness. Brinkman (2002)
believed that well-being is the result of the individual’s overall
self-evaluation of their quality of life. The level of well-being
comes from the individual’s acknowledged evaluation and in-
terpretation of life. In other words, the level of satisfaction the
individual has toward life is an indicator of their well-being.
Diener (2000) held that emotional experience is the essential
factor comprising subjective well-being. Emotional experience
is divided into two aspects: positive emotions (such as joy,
excitement, and satisfaction) and negative emotions (such as
nervousness, depression, and anxiety). Cowley and Underwood
(2002) discussed well-being from the perspective of physical
and mental health, highlighting that people with superior
physical health who are satisfied with their lives generally ex-
hibit greater happiness. Freeman, Templer, and Hill (1999) held
that a relationship exists between subjective health conditions
and happiness. When a person’s physical and mental health are
both high, happiness is more easily felt.
Good life adjustment refers to an individual’s perception that
life thus far has been extremely satisfying overall. Thus, the
level of satisfaction with life is a subjective indicator of well-
being (Diener, 2000; Diener, Suh, Smith, & Shao, 1995). Be-
sides their home, junior high school students spend a significant
proportion of their time at school. Li (2002) found that har-
mony in interpersonal relationships among adolescents is the
most significant factor influencing perceptions of well-being.
During studies at school, the quality of students’ academic ac-
complishments and life adjustment is greatly influenced by
their academic advisors (Lin & Huang, 2008). Murray (2002)
indicated that if teachers provide friendly support to students,
students’ life adjustment can improve and complications asso-
ciated with negative emotions can be reduced. Numerous stud-
ies show that superior relationships between teachers and stu-
dents can increase students’ feelings of well-being (Wentzel,
1996; Konu, Lintonen, & Autio, 2002).
The level of harmony in peer relationships is positively cor-
related with feelings of well-being (Noll et al., 1996). The de-
gree of happiness felt by junior high school students is related
to whether their relationships with peers and teachers are har-
monious. Liu (2008) indicated that school life adjustment is
intimately related to well-being. Healthy relationships between
teachers, students, and peers increase one’s well-being. Shyu
(2007) showed that as deviant behavior declines among ado-
lescents, feelings of happiness increase. Huang and Lou (2005)
found that negative moods prompt the emergence of deviant
behavior. Therefore, for individuals exhibiting significant be-
havior deviations, their sense of well-being is typically lower
because deviant behavior and well-being exist in correlation.
Summarizing these findings, this study investigates the rela-
tionships between Taiwanese junior high school students’ fa-
milial socioeconomic status, school life adjustment, deviant
behavior, and their well-being. From a gender perspective, Mc-
Culloch (1992) conducted a meta-analysis of a previous survey
regarding well-being survey. He found that, because of the
traditional orientation of gender roles, women were more
sensitive to emotions, possessed greater emotional expression
characteristics, and were more inclined to express a sense of
positive well-being compared to men.
Reviewing relevant literature, we found that numerous stud-
ies and reports regarding the well-being of junior high school
students have examined students’ family socioeconomic status,
school life adjustment, and deviant behavior. The issue of de-
viant behavior is a significant challenge when dealing with
youth problems. Thus, in addition to deviant behavior and life
adjustment issues, this study explores feelings of depression
and criminal behavior from a positive psychology perspective
to understand the current well-being of students in Taiwan.
Data examined in this study was obtained from the first wave
of junior high school student questionnaires in the public ver-
sion of the Taiwan Education Panel Survey (TEPS) (Chang,
2003). After removing invalid questionnaires, 1886 valid sam-
ples remained, comprising 875 questionnaires completed by
male students (47.39%) and 1011 questionnaires completed by
female students (53.61%).
The TEPS is a long-term tracking database established by
Academia Sinica, the most prestigious academic institution in
Taiwan. This database tracked one sample group, collecting
first-year junior high school data in 2001, third-year junior high
school data in 2003, first-year high school data in 2005, and
third-year high school data in 2007. Many scholars in Taiwan
continue to use this database for research because the infor-
mation within this database possesses good reliability and
validity. That the research data were collected a long time ago
did not affect the study results.
The tools employed for this study were the responses to the
junior high school student questionnaire and parent ques-
tionnaire from TEPS 2001. Following the TEPS database user
manual instructions, we selected familial socioeconomic status,
school life adjustment, behavior deviation, and well-being as
the measurement variables for this study. Explanations of each
variable are provided below.
Familial Socioeconomic Status
The fifth section of the parent questionnaire in TEPS 2001
concerns parental occupation. The answer options referenced
the occupational categories established in the “New Occupa-
tional Prestige and Socioeconomic Scores for Taiwan”, and
were transformed into continuous variables using SPSS 18.0.
Because the range of this scale was insufficient, we followed
the recommendations of Hwang (2008) and employed the
“Improved Version of New Occupational Prestige and Socio-
economic Scores for Taiwan”. The resulting formula was
“Improved Version of New Occupational Prestige and Socio-
economic Scores for Taiwan = (New Occupational Socioeco-
nomic Scores-55) × 3”. Parents’ occupational prestige scores
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 219
were obtained after the conversion. The occupational prestige
score achieved by fathers was combined with that achieved by
mothers, and the average value was used to determine the
familial socioeconomic status. The samples were then divided
into three groups according to their socioeconomic status scores;
scores ranging from 81 to 94 were categorized as high so-
cioeconomic status, scores ranging from 76 to 80 were cate-
gorized as average socioeconomic status, and scores ranging
from 35 to 75 were categorized as low socioeconomic status.
School Life Adjustment
Seven items were selected for “school life” from the third
section of the junior high school student questionnaire, and six
items were selected for “about me” from the fifth section, for a
total of 13 items, which were used as school life adjustment
measurement variables. Exploratory factor analysis and vari-
max rotation were used to extract the following three factors:
study adjustment, peer relationships, and student-teacher rela-
tionships. The extraction sums of the squared loadings were
23.05%, 15.23%, and 12.76%. The cumulative extraction sum
of squared loadings was 51.04%, and Cronbach’s α value
was .83. Subsequently, the “learning adjustment” and “peer
relationship” factors were subjected to reverse scoring. The
higher score the better the school life adjustment. The samples
were divided into three groups from high to low according to
their school life adjustment scores; scores ranging from 40 to
52 were categorized as high school life adjustment, scores
ranging from 35 to 39 were categorized as ordinary school life
adjustment, and scores ranging from 14 to 34 were categorized
as low school life adjustment.
Using the definition of behavior deviation provided by Wu
(1978), seven items were selected for “about me” from the fifth
section of the junior high school student questionnaire. A
four-point Likert scale was used for scoring, with 1 denoting
“never,” 2 denoting “sometimes,” 3 denoting “often,” and 4
denoting “usually.” Higher scores indicated more serious dis-
plays of deviant behavior. In other words, the higher score, the
more serious the deviant behavior. Using exploratory factor
analysis and varimax rotation, an eigenvalue of 3.62 was ob-
tained. The factor loading of each measurement variable was
greater than .5, the cumulative extraction sums of squared
loading was 51.66%, and Cronbach’s α was .75. The samples
were divided into two groups according to their deviant
behavior scores; scores ranging from 11 to 21 were categorized
as high deviant behavior, and scores ranging from 1 to 10 were
categorized as low deviant behavior.
Four items were selected for “school life” from the third
section of the junior high school student questionnaire, and 10
items were selected for “about me” from the fifth section, for a
total of 14 items, which were used as well-being measurement
variables. A four-point Likert scale was used to score the par-
ticipants’ responses regarding “emotional reaction” and “physi-
cal health,” with 1 denoting “never,” 2 denoting “sometimes,” 3
denoting “often,” and 4 denoting “usually”.
Self-satisfaction was scored using a three-point scale, with 1
denoting “not at all satisfied,” 2 denoting “somewhat satisfied,”
and 3 denoting “mostly satisfied”. Exploratory factor analysis
and varimax rotation were used to extract three factors, namely,
“emotional reaction,” “self-satisfaction”, and “physical health.”
The extraction sums of squared loading were 24.95%, 15.24%,
and 13.35%. The cumulative extraction sum of squared loading
was 53.54%, and Cronbach’s α was .88. Higher scores indi-
cated superior well-being.
The Influence of Gender on Well-Being
Comparing emotional reactions, self-satisfaction, and feel-
ings of physical health between the male and female students,
Table 1 shows that regarding emotional reaction, male students
exhibited superior emotional reactions compared to female
students (t = 7.64, p < .001). Regarding self-satisfaction, male
and female students showed no discrepancies (t = .84, p > .05).
Regarding physical health, male and female students also
showed no discrepancies (t = 1.63, p > .05). Regarding well-
being, male students exhibited higher well-being compared to
female students (t = 6.07, p > .001). Considering the effect size,
the value of η2 = .03 (< .06) for emotional reaction indicated a
weak relationship. Gender also showed a weak correlation with
well-being (η2 = .005). These results suggest that a minimal
correlation exists between gender and well-being.
Two-Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for Familial
Socioeconomic Status and School Life Adjustme nt in
Relation to Junior High School Students’ Well-Being
A two-way ANOVA comparing family socioeconomic status
and school life adjustment in relation to junior high school stu-
dents’ well-being showed a significant difference, with (famil-
ial socioeconomic status * school life adjustment) achieving an
F = 10.664 and p = .000. This shows that both familial socio-
economic status and school life adjustment significantly influ-
ence well-being. Thus, a simple main effect test was performed
for further analysis, as shown in Table 2.
The following findings have been inferred based on the re-
sults shown in Table 2:
1) Regardless of the level of school life adjustment, students
from families with a high socioeconomic status exhibit the
highest level of well-being, followed by those from families
with a moderate socioeconomic status and a low socioeconomic
2) In families with a high and moderate socioeconomic status,
junior high school students with a good and moderate school
life adjustment exhibited higher levels of well-being compared
to students with poor school life adjustment. No significant
difference was observed between students with good and mod-
erate school life adjustment.
3) In families with a low socioeconomic status, students
Summary of the t-test results for each dimension of well-being.
Factor t η2 Notes
Emotional reaction 7.64*** .03 Male > female
Self-satisfaction .84 _
Physical health 1.63 _
Well-being 6.07*** .005 Male > female
Note: ***p < .001.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 221
Summary of the results of a simple main effect test on the ANOVA results for familial socioeconomic status and school life adjustment in relation to
junior high school students’ well-being.
Source SS df MS F post hoc
A factor (familial socioeconomic status) at
b1 (High) 2506.728 2 1253.364 282.386*** high > middle > low
b2 (Middle) 1382.793 2 691.397 120.992*** high > middle > l o w
b3 (Low) 2729.282 2 1364.641 58.466*** high > middle > low
B factor (school life adjustment) at
a1 (High) 6377.500 2 3188.750 170.137*** high > low; midd l e > low
a2 (Middle) 2551.133 2 1275.566 187.981*** high > low; midd l e > low
a3 (Low) 2402.310 2 1201.155 164.020*** high > middle > low
Note: ***p < .001.
with good school life adjustment exhibit the highest levels of
well-being, followed by students with moderate school life
adjustment and students with poor school life adjustment.
Two-Way ANOVA of Familial Soci oe conomic Status and
Behavioral Deviation in Relation to Junior High School
The results of a two-way ANOVA comparing familial so-
cioeconomic status and behavioral deviation in relation to jun-
ior high school students’ well-being did not show significant
differences, with (familial socioeconomic status * behavior
deviation) achieving an F = .376 and p = .687. Thus, we can
infer that the combined effect of familial socioeconomic status
and behavioral deviance does not have a significant influence
on well-being. However, a significant difference exists between
familial socioeconomic status and well-being. A main effect
test on the results of a one-way ANOVA with F = 968.71 and p
< .001 indicated that students’ overall well-being differs sig-
nificantly according to familial socioeconomic status. The
overall well-being of Taiwanese junior high school students is
higher for students from families with a high socioeconomic
status compared to those with a moderate socioeconomic status;
students from families with a moderate socioeconomic status
also showed higher levels of well-being compared to those
from families with a low socioeconomic status.
Two-Way ANOVA of School Life Adjustment and
Behavioral Deviation in Relation to Junior High School
The results of a two-way ANOVA comparing school life ad-
justment and deviant behavior in relation to junior high school
students’ well-being did not show significant differences, with
(deviant behavior * school life adjustment) achieving a F
= .067 and p = .935. Thus we can infer that the combined effect
of school life adjustment and deviant behavior does not signify-
cantly influence well-being. The results of one-way ANOVA
for overall well-being showed an F = 744.29 and p < .001, indi-
cating that overall well-being differs according to the level of
school life adjustment. The post hoc test results show that stu-
dents with a good school life adjustment have higher levels of
well-being than those with a moderate school life adjustment,
and that those with a moderate school life adjustment have
higher levels of well-being than those with a poor school life
adjustment. The interactions of deviant behavior and familial
socioeconomic status and school life adjustment did not sig-
nificantly influence well-being; thus, we further compared the
influence on varying levels of deviant behavior on emotional
reaction, self-satisfaction, and physical health. For emotional
reaction, t = 8.65 and p < .001, indicating that low deviant
behavior generated a higher emotional reaction compared to
high deviant behavior. For physical health, t = 7.01 and p
< .001, indicating that low deviant behavior generated superior
physical health compared to high deviant behavior. For well-
being, t = 7.93 and p < .001, indicating that low deviant be-
havior generated higher well-being compared to high deviant
behavior, as shown in Table 3.
The results of this study show that familial socioeconomic
status, school life adjustment, and deviant behavior influenced
the perceived well-being of junior high students, and male
students had more positive perceptions compared to female
students. Although junior high school students are gradually
being independent of their family, their family, school, and
personal behavior also affects their perceived well-being. The
results show that an interaction exists between family socio-
economic status and school life adjustment. Children that ex-
perience a poor family atmosphere, a lack of warmth and fa-
mily support, school setbacks or difficulties, learning diffi-
culties, or conflicts with classmates or teachers and unlikely to
discuss their problems with their parents, resulting in the in-
creased accumulation of negative emotions that are difficult to
release and ultimately leading to unhappiness. Junior high
school students must face challenges and develop physically
and mentally to cope with increased academic stress. In an
effort to reduce their reliance on family members, students tend
to turn to their peers; they actively seek the recognition and
support of their peers and teachers because they need people
with whom to share their joys and sorrows.
In addition, students that do not participate in learning
activities or exhibit academic ambition have a tendency to
display deviant behavior. Maladjustment in school resulting
from learning difficulties, teacher-student relationship, or pro-
blems with peers increase students’ life stress. Then, in an effort
to eliminate their anxiety and restlessness, students engage in
deviant behavior. Deviant behavior is exhibited to alleviate
Summary of the t test results for the influence that each dimension of
deviant behavior had on well-being.
Factor t η2 Notes
Emotional reaction 8.65*** .07 Low > high
Self-satisfaction –12 -
Physical health 7.01*** .04 Low > high
Well-being 7.93*** .05 Low > high
Note: ***p < .001.
current jitters or vent feelings anguish, which indicates that the
adolescent is unhappy. Thus, school educators should consider
students’ school life adjustment problems, understand students’
family situations, and monitor deviant behavior to increase
students’ sense of well-being when learning.
Regarding the well-being of junior high school students, the
results showed that differences exist between male and female
students for emotional reaction and overall well-being. Male
students exhibited comparatively more positive reactions.
Significant differences existed in the combined effect that
familial socioeconomic status, deviant behavior, and school life
adjustment had on the well-being of junior high school students.
Students from families with a high socioeconomic status who
were better adjusted to school life exhibited a greater sense of
well-being. Students from families with a relatively low socio-
economic status who were poorly adjusted to school life exhib-
ited the highest levels of unhappiness. These findings should be
considered by schools and teachers.
Although well-being is a subjective feeling, the factors that
influence well-being are external. Familial socioeconomic
status, school life adjustment, and deviant behavior all influ-
ence well-being and are not necessarily limited to a single fac-
tor. Numerous factors can influence well-being simultaneously.
For example, a student may have a disharmonious family life
and difficulty adjusting to school life, leading to deviant be-
havior and low morale; thus, the student struggles to be happy.
If learning setbacks or difficulties combined with poor inter-
personal interactions result in an inability to receive support
and assistance from parents and teachers, a student in this situa-
tion would certainly be unhappy. Therefore, if students are
found to be exhibiting low moods or they are unhappy, besides
inquiring as to the cause, the potential background factors that
influence their well-being should be considered, and timely
The data used for this study was obtained from one database.
Although this database is verified to possess high quality and
reliability in Taiwan, readers may consider the data somewhat
Agnew, R., & White, H. R. (1992). An empirical test of general strain
theory. Criminology, 30, 475-499.
Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of well-
being: America’s perception of life quality. New York: Plenum.
Brinkman (2002). Culture and subjective well-being. Journal of Eco-
nomic Issues, 36, 830-834.
Chang (2003). Taiwan education panel survey (TEPS): Junior high
school students questionnaire data (2001). Academic Sinica Survey
Research Data Archive (SRDA), Taiwan.
Chiang, T. L. (2003). Attachment, social learning and juvenile deviant
behavior. Unpublished M.S. Thesis, ChiaYi: Graduate Institute of
Sociology of Education of Nanhua University.
Clinard, M. B., & Meier, R. F. (1992). Sociology of deviant behavior
(8th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Pub-
Coleman, J. S. (1988). Social capital in the creation of human capital.
Supplement to American Journ al of Sociology, 94, 95-120.
Coleman, J. S. (1990a). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press.
Campbell, A. (1976). Subjective measures of well-being. American
Psychologist, 31, 117-124. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.31.2.117
Cowley, G., & Underwood, A. (2002). The science of happiness. News-
week, 140, 46-48.
Diener, E. (1984). Subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 95,
Diener, E. (2000). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and
a proposal for a national index. American Psychologist, 55, 34-43.
Diener, E., Shu, E. M., Smith, H., & Shao, L. (1995). National differ-
ences in reported subjective well-being: Why do they occur? Social
Indicators Research, 34, 7-32. doi:10.1007/BF01078966
Epstein, J. L. (1983). The influence of friends on achievement and af-
fective outcomes. In J. L. Epstein, & N. Karweit (Eds.), Friends in
school: Patterns of selection and influence (pp. 177-200). New York:
Freeman, L. J., Templer, D. I., & Hill, C. (1999). The relationship be-
tween adult happiness and self-appraised childhood happiness and
events. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 160 , 46-54.
Hollingshed, A. B. (1958). Social class and mental illness: A commu-
nity study. New York: Wiley. doi:10.1037/10645-000
Konu, A. I., Lintonen, T. P., & Autio, V. J. (2002). Evaluation of well-
being in schools: A multilevel analysis of general subjective well-
being. School Effectivene s s a n d Sc h ool Improvement, 13, 187-200.
Ladd, G. W. (1989). Children’s social competence and supports: Pre-
cursors of early school adjustment? In B. H. Schneider, G. Attili, J.
Nadel, & R. Weissberg (Eds.), Social competence in developmental
perspective (pp. 277-299). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publisher.
Lazarus, R. S. (1976). Patterns of adjustment. New York: McGraw-
Leung, J. P., & Leung, K. (1992). Life satisfaction, self-concept and
relationship with parents in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Ado-
lescence, 21, 653-665. doi:10.1007/BF01538737
Lewis, M. (1995). Shame: The expo sed self. New York: Free Press.
Li, S. C. (2002). The study of the relationships between adolescent’s
family support and well-being-the example of the junior high school
students in Taichung. Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Taichung: Provi-
Lin, N. (2001). Social capital: A theory of social structure and action.
New York: Cambridge. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511815447
Lin, S. H., & Huang, Y. C. (2008). The relationship between school
factors and subjective well-being for high school students. The Ar-
chive of Guidance & Counseling, 30, 83-106.
Lin, S. L. (2000). The relationship among self-concept, study behaviors
and school adjustment of returned probationary students in voca-
tional senior high school. Unpublished M.S. Thesis, Taiwan: Na-
tional Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan.
Liu, F. F. (2008). The Relationship among life experience, school life
Copyright © 2013 SciRes.
Copyright © 2013 SciRes. 223
adjustment and well-being on junior high school students. Unpub-
lished M.S. Thesis, ChangHua: Professional Development in Educa-
tion of DA-YEH University.
Liu, J. C. (2003). The relevant research of teenager’s family attachment,
school experience, and deviance—Nantou county as an example.
Unpublished M.S. Thesis, ChiaYi: Graduate Institute of Sociology of
Education of Nanhua University.
Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of fre-
quent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological
Bulletin, 131, 803-855. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803
McCulloch, B. J. (1992). Gender and race: An interaction affecting the
replicability of well-being across groups. Women & Health, 19, 65-
Murray, C. (2002). Supportive teacher-student relationships: Promoting
the social and emotional health of early adolescents with high inci-
dence disabilities. Childhood Education, 78, 285-290.
Noll, R. B., Vannatta, K., Koontz, K., Kalinyak, K. A., Bukowski, W.
M., & Davies, W. H. (1996). Peer relationships and emotional well-
being of children with sickle cell disease. Child Development, 67,
Ollendick, T.H., Weist, M.D., Borden, C., & Greene, R.W. (1992). So-
ciometric status and academic, behavioral, and psychological adjust-
ment: A five-year longitudinal study. Journal of Consulting and Cli-
nical Psychology, 60, 80-87.
Paula, F., & Andrew, J. C. (2007). Family instability and child well-
being. American Sociol og i c a l Review, 72, 181-204.
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology:
An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14.
Shyu, M. L. (2007). Correlational study of social relationships, mental
health, deviant behaviors, and happiness among young adolescents.
New Taipei Journal of Nursing, 9, 23-34.
Wentzel, K. R. (1996). Social goals and social relationships as moti-
vators of school adjustment. In J. Juvonen, & K. R. Wentzel (Eds.),
Social motivation: Understanding children’s school adjustment. Bos-
ton: Cambridge University Press.
Werum, R. E. (2000). The ethnic dimension of social capital: How
parental networks sharp track placement in Germany. Annual Con-
ference of the American Educational Research Association. New
Wu, C. J., & Chang, T. S. (2003). The comparison between elementary
students reared by grandparents and students reared by parents re-
garding to school life adaptation. Journal of National Hualien Tea-
chers College, 16, 109-134.
Wu, W. D. (1978). Bad behavior counseling strategies. Testing and
Counseling, 7, 469-474.
Peng, L. Y. (2011). Importing welling-being from Bhutan to Taiwan.
Globalviews Magazine, 296. URL (last checked 14 January 2013).