Perugia University, Italy
Well-being in adolescence: a cross-cultural perspective

Elisa Delvecchio, Ph.D., is research assistant in Clinic and Dynamic Psychology at the Department of Philosophy, Human and Social Sciences at the University of Perugia (Italy). She works as a psychologist at the center for students’ psychological well-being (FOCUS) of the University of Perugia. Her research focuses on the role of personal and interpersonal values (e.g., self-esteem, attachment relationships) for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders in adolescence adopting a cross-cultural perspective.

Adolescence is often considered as a period of changes and challenges, during which youth are at particular risk for developing psychological disorders (Lee & Bukowski, 2012; Verona, Javdani, & Sprague, 2011). Some empirical studies report that good quality of attachment relationships and positive evaluation of self as two of the most crucial protective factors for the psychological well-being in adolescence (Lee & Hankin, 2009; Tambelli, Laghi, Odorisio, & Notari, 2012; Wilkinson, 2004). Furthermore, literature reports that cultural factors may play a key role in both risk and protective factors (Baxter et al. 2013). Some cross-cultural research supports the existence of differences in the distribution of anxiety disorders in individualistic and collectivistic cultures (Delvecchio et al., 2014; Schreier et al. 2010), whereas others report few cross-cultural differences in depressive symptoms (Li et al., 2015). This symposium is aimed to shed some light in adolescents well-being considering cultural values (e.g. familism, cultural orientation) in a cross-cultural perspective that involves individualistic (i.e., Italy, Poland) as well as collectivistic (i.e., China, Costa Rica) countries (Hofstede’s classification).
More specifically, the first presentation discusses the role of protective factors (such as attachment relationships and cultural values) for depression in Italian adolescents. The second presentation looks at attachment relationships and self-esteem in adolescence comparing Chinese, Costa Rican and Italian’s results. The third one shows self-control in adolescence and its association with self-report and parent report difficulties and strength among Chinese and Italian adolescents. The last presentation focuses on identity, life goals and life satisfaction in Polish and French adolescents.