Problem Statement: Life satisfaction has been conceptualized as a judgmental or cognitive component of subjective well-being. Life satisfaction among college students is an important research area for several reasons. Modern college students are in a transitional social period, during which they encounter many confusions and challenges. Strengthening prospective teachers’ life satisfaction is particularly essential, in light of teachers’ responsibility for training children and adolescents and for being role models.
Purpose of Study: The purpose of the study was, first, to assess the level of life satisfaction of prospective teachers and, second, to determine the correlates and predictors of life satisfaction.
Methods: A total of 272 college students in Turkey participated in the present study. All participants were recruited from different departments of the faculty of education. The Beck Depression Inventory, The Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Satisfaction with Life Scale and a demographic information form were used to gather data.
Findings and Results: The results showed that prospective teachers were quite satisfied with their lives. The results of correlation analysis indicated that life satisfaction was significantly and negatively correlated with depression scores and significantly and positively correlated with perceived social support subscores and total scores. Furthermore, significant gender differences were found for the life satisfaction scores. Female students scored significantly higher than male students on life satisfaction. Moreover, the life satisfaction scores significantly differed according to participants’ preferences for department and estimated probability of finding a job. Finally, stepwise regression analysis revealed that depression, department preference, general social support, and gender accounted for 34% of variance in life satisfaction scores.
Conclusions and Recommendations: The above findings have important implications for mental health professionals who work with college students. They indicate that it is important for mental health professionals to inform students of the necessity of seeking help immediately when they feel depressed and to help students cope with this common college student problem. It is also important to help students develop new support systems and establish effective interpersonal relationships. Finally, the findings of this study may be utilized by high school counselors. To enhance students’ life satisfaction, high school counselors should help students enhance their self-awareness, develop career management skills, and become aware of the links between career choice and well-being.
Keywords: life satisfaction; prospective teachers; predictors.