Graduation Year


Document Type

Ed. Specalist



Degree Name

Education Specialist (Ed.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Psychological and Social Foundations

Major Professor

Shannon Suldo, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Shaunessy-Dedrick, Ph.D.


academic performance, middle adolescence, psychopathology, student engagement, subjective well-being


Middle adolescence (ages 14 to 18 years old) has been associated with declines in both psychopathology and subjective well-being (SWB). This study examined a dual-factor model (DFM) of mental health, which conceptualizes complete mental health as including both low levels of psychopathology and high levels of SWB, across three time points, each 9-12 months apart, in a sample of 328 9th grade students enrolled in accelerated coursework. This study aimed to determine (1) the stability of students’ mental health status over time, (2) the role of psychopathology versus SWB for students who changed mental health status, and (3) the relationship between students’ initial mental health status at the beginning of 9th grade and academic outcomes (GPA, student engagement) over time. Descriptive analyses provided support for the moderate stability of mental health status within a DFM across time, with students who shifted mental health status tending to do so due to changes in both psychopathology and SWB. Multilevel modeling indicated that initial mental health status was linked to both immediate and long-term outcomes, especially for students with low levels of SWB. These findings contribute to the literature by utilizing clinically meaningful cut-scores across three waves of data and illustrating the importance of assessing and addressing SWB in addition to psychopathology, particularly due to the significant relationship between mental health status and both immediate and delayed academic outcomes.