Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Alyson Williams, PhD

Second Advisor

Holly Hetrick Weger, PsyD

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, PhD, ABPP


Children today are faced with risks which can adversely affect their short- and long-term functioning across important areas of their lives. There is a need for school-based assessment which focuses on prevention and early identification of potential risks. For children, high levels of Life Satisfaction have been correlated with optimal mental health including academic success, attachment with parents and peers, and positive self-concept. In contrast, low levels of Life Satisfaction have been associated with adverse outcomes for children including internalizing and externalizing behaviors, peer alienation, familial discord, difficulties at school, and low self-appraisal. The Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (MSLSS: Huebner, 1994) is an ideal tool for school-based assessment of risks because it explores satisfaction in life domains in children which parallel areas where risk may occur (i.e., School, Family, Self, Living Environment, and Friends domains). The current study examined the relationship between 3rd and 4th grader’s judgments of their Life Satisfaction, as measured by MSLSS, and parent and guardian report of potential risks in their child’s life. The results indicated a significant positive correlation between children’s motivation for school and levels of satisfaction in the School domain. Gender differences were illuminated with girls endorsing higher total satisfaction and higher satisfaction with school compared to boys. Strengths and limitations of the project are addressed and implications of the findings including future directions for research are discussed.


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