The association between flourishing and anxiety in adolescents
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Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental disorders among young people in the Netherlands. Previous research showed that young people with a flourishing mental health experience less feelings of anxiety. However, little is known about the nature of this association and the possible roles of other protective factors within this association. The present study examined the association between flourishing and anxiety, and the possible moderating roles of resilience and social support within this association. A sample of 5,587 Dutch adolescents (aged 12-16 years) was used from the national representative study ‘Geluk onder druk?’ (in English: Happiness under pressure). Results showed that flourishing was negatively associated with anxiety. In addition, this association was moderated by both resilience and social support. The level of resilience did not seem to have a strong effect on the association between flourishing and anxiety, but for adolescents with lower levels of resilience, the negative association between flourishing and anxiety was slightly stronger. With regard to social support, the negative association between flourishing and anxiety was found only for adolescents high in social support. Longitudinal studies are needed to further investigate the direction of the association between flourishing and anxiety.