Obtaining a Hierarchy of Contextual Factors in Shaping the SOC of Male and Female Adolescents
Sense of coherence (SOC) is an important predictor of health and subjective well-being, but research on the factors that shape SOC development is scarce. Using structural equation modeling, this study obtained a hierarchy of the contributions of several contextual factors to SOC in a representative sample of adolescents (N = 4,943, M age = 15.43) selected for the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey in Spain. Goodness-of-fit indices consistent with good fit, logical parameter estimates and a level of explained variability of 38.2 % were found in the final model. The examination of parameter estimates provided a hierarchy of contextual factors in shaping SOC. Quality of parent–child relationships was the most influential factor and appeared at the top of the hierarchy. Positive models of behavior in the peer group, neighborhood assets and classmate support occupied intermediate positions, and teacher support appeared at the bottom of the hierarchy. Multi-group analysis revealed more commonalities than differences between male and female adolescents, with the exception of teacher support, which seemed to have a higher significance for the SOC of females.