Who Benefits and How: Five Dimensions of Adolescent Psychological Well-Being and Their Relative Impact on Cardiometabolic Health in Adulthood

Farah Qureshi, Anne Josee Guimond, Scott Delaney, Julia K. Boehm, Laura D. Kubzansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Positive dimensions of psychological well-being in adolescence may help youth preserve cardiometabolic health (CMH) as they age, but little is known about which aspects of well-being matter most and for whom. This study examines the differential impact of five dimensions of adolescent psychological well-being on CMH maintenance in adulthood and considers social patterning in both their distribution and respective health benefits. Methods: Data were from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 3,464), five dimensions of psychological well-being were identified at baseline (1994–1995; mean age = 15 years): happiness, optimism, self-esteem, belonging, and feeling loved. CMH was measured using seven biomarkers related to chronic disease risk in 2008 (mean age = 28 years) and 2016–2018 (mean age = 38 years): high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non–high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, hemoglobin A1c, C-reactive protein, and body mass index. CMH maintenance in adulthood was characterized as having healthy levels of ≥6 biomarkers at each follow-up. Results: Youth who reported higher levels of belonging in the teen years were more likely to maintain CMH across young adulthood than those who reported lower levels, regardless of one's social standing (ORper 1-standard deviation = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.03–1.46). Associations with other dimensions of well-being were heterogeneous by sex and race and ethnicity, while differences by socioeconomic factors were less apparent. Discussion: Fostering belonging through supportive social environments may help set youth on positive health trajectories and prevent chronic disease across the lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • Belonging
  • Cardiometabolic health
  • Health assets
  • Health disparities
  • Life course
  • Psychological well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Who Benefits and How: Five Dimensions of Adolescent Psychological Well-Being and Their Relative Impact on Cardiometabolic Health in Adulthood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this