A1 Journal article (refereed)
Adolescent reading and math skills and self-concept beliefs as predictors of age 20 emotional well-being (2023)

Torppa, M., Aro, T., Eklund, K., Parrila, R., Eloranta, A.-K., & Ahonen, T. (2023). Adolescent reading and math skills and self-concept beliefs as predictors of age 20 emotional well-being. Reading and Writing, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-023-10461-z

The research was funded by Strategic Research Council at the Research Council of Finland.

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsTorppa, Minna; Aro, Tuija; Eklund, Kenneth; Parrila, Rauno; Eloranta, Anna-Kaija; Ahonen, Timo

Journal or seriesReading and Writing



Publication year2023

Publication date10/07/2023

VolumeEarly online


Publication countryNetherlands

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/88396


This study examines longitudinal associations among reading skills, math skills and emotional well-being in a Finnish sample (n = 586) followed from the end of comprehensive school (Grade 9, age 15–16) to age 20. In particular, we determine whether the associations between skills and well-being are mediated by self-concept beliefs. In Grade 9, the participants’ reading fluency, PISA reading comprehension and math skills were assessed in classrooms, and questionnaires were used to assess self-concept (global and skill-specific) and internalising problems. At age 20, questionnaires were used to self-report emotional well-being and educational attainment. The results showed no direct predictive association between academic skills and age-20 emotional well-being, while indirect effects from academic skills on emotional well-being were found for reading skills through reading comprehension self-concept belief and educational attainment and for math skills through global self-concept belief. In addition, adolescent global self-concept and internalising problems predicted age-20 emotional well-being. The results suggest that adolescent self-concept beliefs and internalising problems, rather than academic skills per se, can predict emotional problems in young adulthood.

Keywordsmathematicsreadingwell-beingmathematical skillsliteracyyoung people

Free keywordsreading fluency; reading comprehension; mathematics; self-concept beliefs; emotional well-being

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2023

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-15-05 at 13:14