This study examined how Israeli students, despite exposure to contextual risk factors, may experience a high ratio of self-reported positive to negative emotions (i.e., positivity ratio). Self-control skills and perceived social support were tested as protective factors, where each was posited to moderate the relation between risk status and positivity ratio. The participants were 460 Israeli students (51% girls) in grades 8-10. Contrary to expectations, students attending a school with high contextual risks did not differ from students attending a school with low contextual risks in their scores on self-control skills, perceived social support, or positivity ratio. However, an exploratory follow-up moderation analysis revealed a significant three-way interaction, indicating that while low self-control skills eliminate the link between social support and positivity ratio for students attending the school defined as at-risk, high self-control protects this link. These results suggest that neither contextual risk in itself nor initial differences in self-control or social support account for differences in students' positivity ratio. Rather, it is the way these factors interact with each other that matters. Study limitations and implications are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by Alony-Hetz Ltd. and Emili Sagol Creative Arts Therapies Research Center .
© 2015 Society for the Study of School Psychology.
- Perceived social support
- Positivity ratio
- Self-control skills
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology