Adolescents' friendship quality and over-time development of well-being: The explanatory role of self-esteem

Chantie C. Luijten*, Daphne van de Bongardt, Anna P. Nieboer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: The mechanism underlying the positive longitudinal link between adolescents' friendship quality and their well-being is unclear. The present study was performed to investigate whether this longitudinal association between friendship quality and well-being was established via adolescents' global self-esteem, and to examine gender differences in these associations. Methods: Online questionnaire data were collected in two waves (in Spring 2018 and Spring 2019) from 1298 Dutch adolescents aged 11–17 years (mean age 13.7 ± 1.1 years, 53.2% girls). Results: Multigroup path analyses revealed a significant indirect effect between friendship quality and well-being over time via global self-esteem for girls. For boys, significant direct effects of friendship quality on global self-esteem and well-being were found, but no significant indirect effect. Conclusions: The findings indicate that higher-quality friendships improve boys' global self-esteem and well-being directly, and that they affect girls' well-being indirectly and positively, by improving their global self-esteem. These results suggest that preventive and intervention-based strategies for the promotion of well-being during the developmental stage of adolescence should incorporate focus on friendships, global self-esteem, and gender specificities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1069
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number5
Early online date12 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to express their great appreciation to all adolescents who participated in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Journal of Adolescence published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Foundation for Professionals in Services to Adolescents.


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