Research Article | Open Access

Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Self-efficacy: A Comparison of Nonresident Adolescents of Religious and Nonreligious Schools

    Zubia Bano

    Department of Psychology, Government College for Women, Karkhana Bazar, Faisalabad, Pakistan

    Aisha Sitwat

    Centre for Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

31 Dec, 2015
07 Nov, 2017
31 Dec, 2017

This study was aimed to compare nonresident male adolescents from the religious and nonreligious schools on psychological well-being, social support, and self-efficacy. Sixty students from religious schools and 65 students from nonreligious schools with age range 16-19 years were selected through purposive sampling. Social Support Questionnaire (Sarason, Sarason, Sheerin, & Pierce, 1987), Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale (Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995), Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999), Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), and Well-being Affectometer-2 Scale (Kammann & Flett, 1983) to assess study variables. Results indicated that the group from religious schools scored higher on satisfaction in life and on number of people providing support, but lower on self-efficacy as compared to group from nonreligious schools. Results further showed that social support had a significant main effect on all aspects of psychological well-being and self-efficacy, while, types of schools significantly affected only satisfaction with life and self-efficacy where religious schools were positive predictors of satisfaction with life, while, nonreligious schools were positive predictors of self-efficacy. Moreover, social support also had significant predictive association with life satisfaction. However, there was nonsignificant moderating impact of type of schools on relationship of social support with psychological well-being and self-efficacy.

In recent years and in developing nation like Pakistan, rising costs, lack of access, or availability of public educational institutions in certain areas and a desire for religious education have encouraged the poor (Aijazi, 2010) to send their children to religious schools that usually offer free religious and school education (till matriculation or intermediate level) to their students. According to Federal Bureau of Statistics of Pakistan (2005), total 12,153 religious schools were registered in 2005 with government, while Ahmad (2015) reported total number of religious schools is considered to range from 20000-40000 educating approximately 1.8 million to 3.5 million children, however, accurate numbers do not exist as not every madrassa is registered. Moulton (2008) described that “since 2001 these Islamic religious schools have become a concern to some in the West, largely for political reasons. The image of Madrassas spread through the press is often negative and has spurred the international community to do something” (p. 1). While to Atwan (2006), religious schools are the focus of attention due to abuses and acts of cruelty done against students, however, literature discloses that most of accusation of terrorism is a propaganda and overgeneralization of few militant type religious schools (Shaheen, Yousafzai, & Yousaf, 2011), which are perceived to be organized and financially funded by other countries (Singer, 2001).

Ahmed (2009) points out that madrassa system of education was very peaceful in past. There was no sign of violence in those religious organizations. The violence for the first time entered in madrassas during Russian war against Afghanistan. Some madrassas were motivated, funded, and pressurized by USA through Pakistani government to take part in the war. In this way, some madrassas started giving training to Afghanistan supporters to fight against Russia” (p. 3). Nevertheless, it is being reported that a vast majority of religious schools across Pakistan are “substandard, under-funded, under-resourced, and staffed by teachers of generally low quality” (Park & Niyozov, 2008, p. 330). Absence of essential facilities, lack of social support, and the stressful circumstances are reported frequently (Raza, Sabir, & Perveen, 2002); while, lack of social support has been found to have direct influences upon psychological functioning and self-efficacy (Schwarzer & Knoll, 2007). If these reports are assumed to be true even for few schools, there is a dire need to study social support, self-efficacy, and psychological well-being of students of religious schools and to compare them with students from nonreligious schools to have a graphic picture.

Historically, measurements for evaluating mental health remained focused on psychiatric illness, dividing the population into those who meet the standard for diagnosis of mental illness and those who do not. These measurements were not appropriate to measure positive mental health (Stewart-Brown, 2002). Positive dimension of health is stressed in World Health Organization’s (WHO; 2017) definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease defining human health clearly as more than the absence of illness”(p. 3). Mental health in positive terms is defined as “a state of well-being in which one realizes one’s own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to one’s community” (WHO, 2017, p. 3). There is evidence suggesting that the presence of a positive mood is more than not having negative mood, while, the absence of symptoms of any mental disorders is not an assurance of possessing high well-being (Clark and Watson, 1991 L.A. Clark and D. Watson, General affective dispositions in physical and psychological health. In: C.R. Snyder and D.R. Forsyth, Editors, Handbook of social and clinical psychology: The health perspective, Pergamon, New York (1991), pp. 221–245. (Huppert & Whittington, 2003). Modern positive psychology promotes a change in the focus of psychology from concerns only with repairing the damaged things in life to building positive characteristics (Compton, 2005). In this research, two broad facets of well-being in positive terms, the hedonic perspective, centering on the subjective experience of happiness and life satisfaction, and the eudaimonic perspective (psychological functioning) were taken for evaluating psychological well-being of students.

Although, a wide range of researches (e.g. Bal, Crombez, Van Oost, & De Bourdeaudhuij, 2003; Heponiemi et al., 2006) have been conducted on the psychological well-being of the adolescents, but they do not encompass psychological well-being in positive terms, most importantly ignoring those adolescents who are studying in religious schools; specifically, in Pakistan as the environment and teaching strategies that adolescents experience in these institutes are quite different from other institutes and mostly criticized nationally and internationally. The most general goal of this project was to illustrate whether the students of two entirely different types of school systems are different in terms of social support, self-efficacy, and psychological well-being? In previous documented literature, little attention has been paid to religious schools in Pakistan specifically no study has been conducted on students of religious schools investigating their psychological well-being in positive context and social support or self-efficacy.

The author of current research did not succeed in tracing literature based on religious schools dealing same population and same dimensions of interest from both foreign and Pakistani studies. However, an important research by Raza et al. (2000) reporting the environment, subculture, and important demographic variables of the females’ students of religious schools in Pakistan demonstrated the lack of social network and activities for students in religious schools. The researchers further mentioned that no recreational activities were observed within 14 hours of studies in a day. Furthermore, poor quality food, banned mass media, no audio visual aid in teaching, and absence of bedrooms (for resident students) were observed. As students visited their families with large temporal intervals, it weakened their social ties with their families as reported by them.

Wang, Wu, and Liu (2003) argued that social support significantly predicted all physical and psychological health outcomes. Rosenfeld, Richman, and Bowen (2000) indicated that high school students who perceived support by large number of people showed higher well-being, school satisfaction, and self-efficacy. Heponiemi et al. (2006) concluded that social support is a long-term protective factor from depression. A study by Bal et al. (2003) indicated that a highly perceived availability of social support is directly related with fewer stress related symptoms. Another study by Tong and Song (2004) stated general self-efficacy of low socio-economic status college students was found having significantly positive correlation with life satisfaction and well-being and socio-economic status had an important effect on general self-efficacy and subjective well-being. Torres and Solberg (2001) found that higher self-efficacy indicates stronger availability of social support. A study by Ali and Kausar (2016) indicated negative relationship of social support and psychological distress. Butt (2014) stated significant positive relationship between religious orientation and psychological well-being and it has significant predictive association with psychological well-being. Keeping in view the hedonic perspective (focusing on the subjective experience of happiness and life satisfaction) and the eudemonic perspective which focuses psychological functioning and self-realization (Ryff, Singer, & Love, 2004), psychological well-being was also measured through life satisfaction, happiness, along well-being.

Religious schools are scarce and generally less preferred for education purpose as compare to prevailing education/school systems. Therefore, students studying in these two altogether separate systems may differ on perceived social support, self-efficacy, and psychological well-being. Hence, based on past literature it is assumed that; firstly, to examine the difference between students from religious and nonreligious schools on three variable; psychological well-being, self-efficacy, and social support. Secondly, to examine the moderating effect of types of schools on the relationship of social support with self-efficacy and all aspects of psychological well-being.


1. Adolescents from religious schools have lower perceived social support as compared to group from nonreligious schools
2. Adolescents from religious schools have lower psychological well-being as compared to group from nonreligious schools
3. Adolescents from religious schools have lower self-efficacy as compared to group from nonreligious schools
4. Types of schools (religious and nonreligious) have moderating effect on the relationship of social support with self-efficacy and all aspects of psychological well-being


The study design was causal comparative method. According to Dalen (1962), the causal comparative method of research provides insights into life situations. Instead of arranging a controlled laboratory experiment and inducing subjects to do or become something, a researcher studies a life situation in which subjects are playing, experiencing, or being what he/she wants to investigate. To study school integration riots, for example, rather than setting up an experiment to test whether various factors will cause a riot, the researcher compares a community that has experienced a riot with one that has not. After studying the likenesses and differences between the two situations, the researcher describes the factors that appear to account for the riot in the one instance and not in the other (p. 201). Therefore, in the current study existence of one phenomenon in one group than other would account for their difference in predicting psychological well-being and self-efficacy.

Purposive sampling was used to collect data in this study. As mentioned by Candland (2005), in Pakistan approximately 70% of religious schools are Deobandi, 16% are Barelvi, 5% are Jamaat-i-Islami, 4% Ahl-i-Hadith, and 3% Shia. Keeping this in view, only Deobandi and Barelvi religious schools were taken as they both constituted the large proportion of religious schools. All residential religious schools of Lahore currently registered with the Wafaq-ul-Madaris al Arabia, Pakistan and Tanzeem-ul-Madaris, Pakistan constituted the study population of religious schools. Two lists of religious schools of Lahore along with their phone numbers were taken from the office of Wafaq-ul-Madaris and Tanzeem-ul-Madaris, Lahore, Pakistan. Each religious school from the list was contacted on phone and only those religious schools which were enrolling resident students (for other study) along with non-resident students were taken from the list. Total 32 resident religious schools from list of the Wafaq-ul-Madaris and 22 from the list of Tanzeem-ul-Madaris were identified. During the same process, the list of all government and private schools was drawn from the Intermediate and Secondary Board of Education, Lahore for the sampling of students from nonreligious schools.

From these total religious schools, only 12 religious schools from the list of Wafaq-ul-Madaris were drawn randomly from the method of table of random numbers and 8 religious schools from the Tanzeem-ul-Madaris’s list were drawn in the same way. The number of religious schools from both lists was decided keeping in view their proportion to each other in both lists that were 32:22. The administrators of each religious school were visited to explain the purpose of the study, to convince and seek the permissions and the help needed from the religious schools. During the same process; nine schools from nonreligious schools were selected with the method of table of random numbers. Keeping in view the ratio of private and government schools that is, 2:1 in Lahore in the list provided by Board of Secondary Education, six private and three government schools were selected. Owing to serious lack of resident nonreligious schools, residency was not considered as a factor in selection. From each school nine students were taken from class 10th. The age range was 15-19 years with mean age 17.71 (1.13) for male adolescents from religious schools and 16.8 (.43) for male adolescents from nonreligious schools.

The nature and purpose of research was explained to the heads and confidentiality regarding identity and responses, was assured. After this exercise, most administrators of religious schools expressed their willingness to participate. To understand the nature of sample, a reader may like to understand the levels of students in religious schools. There are four levels of Darse-Nizami course [Study Curriculum by Mulla Nizam Uddin] that is Sania Ama [Secondary, 2 years], Sania Khasa [Higher Secondary, 2 years], Shahadat-e-Alia[Graduation, 2 years], and Shahadat-e-Almia [Master, 2 years]. Only two levels of classes were taken from Darse-Nizami course [Study Curriculum by Mulla Nizam Uddin]-one Sania Ama and second Sania Khasa [Secondary and Higher Secondary]. Students were taken randomly according to their strength (10 students from total 100 students). In the same way, from each of 8 religious schools of Wafaq-ul-Madaris and Tanzeem-ul-Madaris, ten percent of students were taken to get representative data. Each religious school was selected randomly from the list of religious schools.

The total number of students drawn from religious schools was 202 comprising resident and nonresident students both. Among them 60 were nonresident participants for this study. On the other hand, 65 students (nonresident) were taken from nonreligious schools. Current part of the study is based on nonresident students only.

Well-being Affectometer-2 Scale (WBAS; Kammann & Flett, 1983).
According to Stewart-Brown (2002), this scale relates well to definitions of positive mental health. It covers eudemonic aspects of positive mental health. It consists of 39 items, each having 5 point Likert scale. It has two parts, Part A has 20 and Part B has 19 questions. Test-retest reliability is .80 and convergent validity is .63 to .75 with several measures of happiness (Tennant, Fishwick, Platt, Joseph, & Stewart-Brown, 2006). It was translated in Urdu by Naheed (1997).

Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al., 1985). It is a 5-items measure with 7-point scale of life satisfaction for adolescents and adults (Atienza, Balaguer, & García-Merita, 2003). Test-retest correlation coefficient is .89 (Alfonso, Allison, Rader, & Gorman, 1996; Pavot & Diener, 1993) and criterion-related validity is found to be .50 or higher with ten other measures of subjective well-being. Content validity of 10 items has been established by having loadings greater than .60 on a factor reflecting cognitive-judgmental evaluative processes (Pavot & Diener, 1993). It was translated in the current study.

Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS; Lyubomirsk & Lepper, 1999). It is a 4-item scale of global subjective happiness. Each of item is completed by choosing one of 7 options that finish a given sentence fragment. The options are different for each of the four questions. Correlations with related constructs were moderate, ranging from .36 to .60 (M = .51). Urdu translation of Subjective Happiness Scale and Satisfaction with Life Scale has been done through back translation method in the current study.

Generalized Self-efficacy Scale (GSES; Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). It is a 10 item unidimensional scale to be rated on 4-point Likert type scale that measures general sense of perceived self-efficacy to cope with a variety of stressful situations and novel demands in life. For the present research, Urdu version of GSES is used translated by Tabassum and Rehman (2005). Internal consistency of the scale ranged from .82 to .93; while, test-retest reliability values ranged from .47 (Rimm & Jerusalem, 1999).

Short Form Social Support Questionnaire (Sarason et al., 1987). The two-part questionnaire measures both the number of people perceived to be providing social support (SSQN) and satisfaction with that support (SSQS). It consists of 7 items and the correlation between the SSQN scores and SSQS scores turned out to be .34, suggesting that the two components are best treated separately (Sarason et al., 1987). The short form of the SSQ has been found to correlate very highly with the regular form (Sarason et al., 1987). It has been translated in Urdu by Sitwat (2005) and 7th item was added to measure instrumental support.

Translation of measures. Urdu translation of Happiness Scale and Life Satisfaction Scale was done through back translation method. Translation in Urdu was done by five experts who had sufficient experience and were fluent in both languages and had the cultural understanding of satisfaction and happiness. Then the Urdu translation was given to three other bilingual experts who translated back the items into English. In the last phase, back translations so received were matched with the original in a committee to finalize the translation into Urdu.

Pilot study. To identify potential unanticipated practical problems in following the research procedure and to see understandability and conceptual clarity of Urdu version of all measures for the students of religious and nonreligious schools and the time needed for administration, a pilot study was conducted on a sample of students aged 15-19 years. Two religious schools and two nonreligious schools were selected randomly from the list and 12 students from religious schools and 12 from nonreligious schools were taken and questionnaires were administered. Certain problems regarding understandability of Social Support Questionnaire were reported by students. To make the Questionnaire easier to comprehend and respond, a solved example was added in the start of scale to help them understand the way to answer the question.

Measures were administered on small group of students in each institution. Once the administrator of the school gave permission for data collection, the researcher briefed the teacher in-charge about the nature and purpose of the study and its relevance. Students were approached and purpose and relevance of the study was conveyed to them. Each student signed a consent form that reiterated the voluntary participation, confidentiality of information, anonymity of all the responses, their rights to withdraw at any time, and whom to contact for questions about the research. They were told that the information sought would only be used for research and academic purposes.

During administration researcher was present there to answer any queries on the part of participants. Students, on average took 20 minutes to complete the assessment. Among religious schools, two religious schools did not allow the researcher to administer the questionnaire herself saying that a woman is not allowed to come in front of their male students. Moreover, four religious schools were excluded from research project after administration of questionnaire because of not following instructions fully.


The mean age and standard deviation of group from religious schools was 17.71 years (SD = 1.13) and for group from nonreligious schools was 16.8 years (SD = 0.43). Independent sample t-test revealed significant difference in age, t = 8.75, df = 123, p < .00, with the group from nonreligious schools (n = 65) being significantly younger than religious group (n = 60).

Table 1 displays the frequencies and percentages of information regarding education. Parents of students from religious group has higher illiteracy rate (school education) as compared to group from nonreligious schools, while, mothers are reported to be more uneducated as compared to fathers in group from religious schools.

Information about occupation of fathers of nonresident students from religious schools depicted 26% as laborer, 15% as employees somewhere, 11% as teachers, 10 % as drivers as compared to 10% laborers, 23% employees, 6% teachers, 0% drivers in group from nonreligious schools.

Table 1:
Frequencies and Percentages on Education of Students (N = 125)

**p < .00. ***p < .000

Table 2:
Demographic Characteristics on Family Dynamics (N = 125)

Note. Only reported cases are included in the Table, remaining percentages are missing data.
*p < .05

A significantly large number of students from religious group report that they belong to low socioeconomic class as compared to other group. Along family size, most of the participants in religious group belong to large family size, while, participants for nonreligious system belong to medium size family. For family system and environment there is nonsignificant sample distribution across categories between two groups.

Table 3:
Demographic Characteristics along Personal Preferences (N = 125)

Note. The total response of the participants are included in the table, remaining percentages are
missing data. ns = nonsignificant
*p < .05

Table 3 shows demographic characteristics of two groups along personal preferences. The Table showed that approximately half of the students from religious schools report that they came there with their own will as compared to 19% students from nonreligious schools, while, 32% students from religious group report that they come there with their family’s will as compared to almost half of students from nonreligious schools.

The religious and nonreligious school students differ on their choices for future profession, but difference is nonsignificant. Most of the students from religious schools report their wish to become Aalim, while, among the nonreligious group only 1.5% endorse that category. For this group, the most preferred profession (40%) is to become engineer followed by doctor and joining army or police. More students from religious schools reported that they selected their future profession because of their strong liking of that profession as compared to group from nonreligious schools. From religious group 63% and from nonreligious group 69% report that if they are born again they would prefer to get both religious and modern education together, nevertheless, difference is nonsignificant.

Group’s difference between adolescents of religious and nonreligious schools with respect to perceived social support, psychological well-being, self-efficacy, happiness, and satisfaction with life were studied through independent sample t-test was conducted.

Table 4:
Differences on Three Measures of Psychological Well-being

Note. SHS = Subjective Happiness Scale; SWL = Satisfaction with Life Scale; WBAS = Well-
being (Affectometer-2) Scale; PWB = Psychological Well-being; GSES = Generalized Self-
efficacy Scale; SSQN = Number of people perceived to be providing social support in
Social Support Questionnaire; SSQS = Satisfaction with the support in Social Support
*p < .05. **p < .01

Results in Table 4 shows a significant difference between two groups on the Satisfaction with Life Scale in that the participants from religious schools report significantly higher satisfaction with their life as compared to group from nonreligious school. Students from nonreligious schools are significantly higher in self-efficacy and lower in perceived social support as compared to students from religious schools. Effect sizes for significant group differences reflect moderate level of difference. While, for happiness, psychological well-being, and satisfaction from social support, results are nonsignificant.

To study moderating role of school type for social support in predicting self-efficacy and aspects of psychological well-being, hierarchical multiple regression analysis was carried out. Religious schools were categorized as 2 and Nonreligious group as 1. None of the interaction was found significant. Here findings where predictor and moderator had significant main effect is reported.

Table 5:
Moderating Effect of Types of Schools in Relationship
between Social Support with Self-efficacy and Satisfaction
with Life (N = 125)

*p ≤ .05. **p ≤ .01. ***p ≤ .00

Table 5 shows nonsignificant interaction between the predictor variable social support (satisfaction with social support) and moderator variable (types of schools) is seen for outcome variables (self-efficacy, satisfaction with life, subjective happiness, and well-being). However, results of multiple regression shows that social support has a significant effect on all aspects of psychological well-being and self-efficacy, while types of schools significantly affect only satisfaction with life and self-efficacy in that type 2, religious schools holds positive prediction in satisfaction with life, while type 1, nonreligious schools holds significant prediction for self-efficacy. Moreover, schools hold strong prediction a better predictor of satisfaction with life than social support, while social support also had significant predictive association with satisfaction with life.


This study sought to examine whether students from religious schools are different from students of the nonreligious schools in terms of social support, psychological well-being, and self-efficacy.

Significant difference in family income of both groups was found with the nonreligious group having significantly higher family income than the group from religious school which is supporting the assertion of Raza et al. (2002) that almost 70% of students from religious schools belong to low socioeconomic status group. It may confirm findings of Aijazi (2010) that indicated that high enrollment in religious schools shows “Pakistani state has failed to provide adequate access to education and social services” (p.4). The education sector in Pakistan has three choices of schools that is private schools including elite private schools that often use the British System of studies. Common private schools, charging tuition fees that are substantially lower than that of Elite private schools. Public schools, that usually offer low quality education and lower fees than private schools. Mostly, parents who cannot afford education in government schools too, send their children to religious schools (Imtiaz, 2017). The solution can be found in the political economy of Pakistan which can be seen clearly in the way in which revenue is raised by the state, utilization of states resources, and level of opportunities shared with nation.The political elite of the country take decisions which are solely in their own benefit depriving the majority from quality education, technical skills, and job opportunities denying investments to enhance the quality of the nation’s human capital.

As far as the main objective of the study was concerned it was hypothesized that adolescents from religious schools would differ from adolescents from the nonreligious schools having lower social support. A significant difference in perceived number of people providing social support was seen with lower number reported by group from nonreligious schools as compared to the group from religious schools while both groups indicated same level of satisfaction with that perceived number of people providing social support.

These findings about social support can be said to be consistent with the researches (King & Roeser, 2009; King, Ramos, & Clardy, 2010; Pargament & Park, 1995) that demonstrated that religious involvement of adolescents acts as a source of social support, making adolescent (Good & Willough, 2008; Maton & Wells, 1995; Scales, Benson, & Mannes, 2006; Ysseldyk, Matheson, & Hymie, 2010; Werner & Smith, 1992) an integral part of religious community that exposes him or her to multiple social support resources. It might also be consistent with the assertion that social support via religion is more powerful than secular social support (Maton & Wells, 1995; Ysseldyk et al., 2010). It may also support the findings that religiosity has positive relation with social support (Elliott & Hayward 2007).

Dealing with Hypothesis 2, the difference between both groups remained non-significant on two measures of psychological well-being but differed significantly on third measure of psychological well-being that was the satisfaction with life. Interestingly, the religious group reported predominantly higher satisfaction with life than nonreligious group. Although, these findings were unexpected; however, these findings may be affirming several researches that demonstrate that more religious involvement (Adeyemo & Adeleye, 2008; Butt, 2014; Furrow, King, & White, 2004; King & Benson, 2006; Koo, Park, & Jang, 2006; Ysseldyk et al., 2010) acts as a source of high psychological well-being. It may be that it is religious well-being which is proved to be impacting satisfaction with life as there was found positive correlation between religious involvement and satisfaction with life (Amit, 2010; Ismail & Desmukh , 2012). These findings are also in line with a study that indicated that God and members of one’s religious community as sources of support are associated with more life satisfaction positively (Yi & Bjorck, 2014). As students from religious schools majorly belong to low income families, their higher score on an aspect of well-being partially rejecting assertion that well-being is related to family income (Raju, Raju, Babu, & Rao, 2009; Tong & Song, 2004).

Regarding third hypothesis, adolescents from nonreligious schools scored higher on generalized self-efficacy as compared to adolescents from religious schools. This is affirming researcher’s hypothesis that group from religious schools would be lower on self-efficacy. Furthermore, correlation findings of this study also supported this by negating that self-efficacy is associated with satisfaction with life and number of people providing support, specifically in adolescents from religious schools. Further studies should be carried out to study main and paramount causes of significantly lower self-efficacy in students from religious schools and high self-efficacy in nonreligious schools.

No interaction between the predictor variable social support (satisfaction with social support) and moderator variable (types of schools) was seen for outcome variables (self-efficacy, satisfaction with life, subjective happiness and well-being). Social support had significant predictive relationship with all dependent variables, while types of schools also indicated significant predictive relationship with satisfaction in life and self-efficacy. The religious group had signification role in satisfaction in life and this group was also significantly higher on satisfaction with life as compared to nonreligious group. These findings may be affirming several researches that demonstrate that religious involvement (Adeyemo & Adeleye, 2008; Butt, 2014; Furrow et al., 2004; King & Benson, 2006; Koo et al., 2006; Ysseldyk et al., 2010) acts as a source of high psychological well-being. It also seems to be in line with a study by Butt (2014) reporting significant positive relationship between religious orientation and psychological well-being while religious orientation has significant predictive association with psychological well-being. Lower satisfaction with life in group from nonreligious schools had already suggested another unexplored absent factor playing role in satisfaction in life which may be “religiosity or religious school”. In future religious orientation should be measured during further investigations on these variables.

Regarding higher satisfaction with life in group from religious schools several arguments students from religious schools gave to the researcher. Their verbatim were “teachings of my religion taught me to remain content with whatever I have been bestowed upon”; “it is my understanding of the weight given by God to one’s deeds not to worldly positions”; “my inner satisfaction I achieved through religious teachings”; as well as “this is a short life as compared to the hereafter”; and “I believe I am pleasing my God while learning the best of knowledge and it is the reason why I am fully satisfied with my life”.

Another reason of satisfaction with life on the part of religious students may be explicable in part, by considering their little exposure to worldly pleasures and latest technologies, as the researcher observed during this study that most of electronic and print media were banned in majority of religious schools and there was also seen paucity of information on the part of students, consistent with the findings of Raza et al. (2002) and Singer (2001). As a result they maybe more satisfied with life. Perhaps it is another reason for getting more time for social relationships and having higher number of people providing social support.

Nevertheless, most of the students from nonreligious schools stated very interesting reasons for their low satisfaction with life. Their verbatim were “I want to have more what I possess now”; “more successful and luxurious life”; “latest models of cars”; “latest video games”; “splendid home”; and “I want to be a famous doctor/engineer with a huge earning”; etc. In part, it might be the change in the value system and different preferences of the parents of group from nonreligious schools as this group belongs to more educated and higher income parents than religious group.

Regarding social support, relatively lower score on number of people providing social support on the part of nonreligious group might be due to the hectic modern life style, study demands and type of modern leisure activities of those students e.g. video games, internet, iPods etc. as being a better income group as compared to religious group which belongs to a lower income group. Perhaps, their activities and hobbies are more attractive to them than sparing time for family members and social activities. However, both groups showed same level of satisfaction with the social support that depicted no adverse effect of small number of people available for support on adolescent’s satisfaction with social support. Further analysis of the answers of students from religious schools on social support questionnaire revealed that religious groups mentioned “Allah” (God) as primary supporter more frequently than nonreligious group and reported highest level of satisfaction with social support perceived to be given by Allah as compared to social support given by other relations to them. Some also wrote that they thought prayer and Quran also played a role of strong supporter for them in distress. While writing the answers of question “who accepts you with your negatives and positives both” majority of students wrote “Allah”.


The findings suggested that groups from religious and nonreligious schools differed on self-efficacy, satisfaction with life and number of people perceived to be supporting in that the group from religious schools scored higher on number of people supporting and satisfaction with life except self-efficacy which was lower than other group. Social support had a significant effect on all aspects of psychological well-being and self-efficacy, while, religious schools were positive predictors of satisfaction with life and nonreligious schools were positive predictors of self-efficacy. Moreover, schools were a better predictor of satisfaction with life than social support, while social support also had significant predictive association with satisfaction with life.

It is important to view the limitation of the study to establish to what extent results can be generalizable. Although the both groups of participants were taken within 15-19 age range, however, most religious schools adolescents were in 17-19 years’ age range as compared to group from nonreligious schools that largely constituted younger participants. Because of the unavailability of adolescents of intermediate classes from colleges during the period of research due to their ongoing exams and subsequent summer vacation, same age group could not be taken. College students of same age are recommended to be taken in future researches to match the age factor of the religious group for generalizability. The current study was limited to male adolescents only, which decreases its generalizability to female student population as well as adults. The girl’s religious schools were excluded from the research due to quite different environment of their religious schools as compared to male religious schools observed by the researcher. Another reason was the time constraint for undertaking a separate sampling procedure for females which should be included in the future researches and separate analysis should be run on both genders for comparison.

The sample of the current study consisted of religious and nonreligious schools of urban areas of Lahore city only. Suburbs and rural areas of Lahore city were not taken during sampling that requires caution in generalizing the findings. The researcher did not succeed in tracing literature based on religious schools of Pakistan, investigating same variables from both foreign and Pakistani studies as very limited researches were available on these religious schools. Furthermore, religiosity was not formally measured in this study which must be given exclusive focus in the subsequent researches on this population.


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How to Cite this paper?

APA-7 Style
Bano, Z., , A.S. (2017). Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Self-efficacy: A Comparison of Nonresident Adolescents of Religious and Nonreligious Schools. Pak. J. Psychol. Res, 32(2), 371-392.

ACS Style
Bano, Z.; , A.S. Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Self-efficacy: A Comparison of Nonresident Adolescents of Religious and Nonreligious Schools. Pak. J. Psychol. Res 2017, 32, 371-392.

AMA Style
Bano Z, AS. Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Self-efficacy: A Comparison of Nonresident Adolescents of Religious and Nonreligious Schools. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research. 2017; 32(2): 371-392.

Chicago/Turabian Style
Bano, Zubia, and Aisha Sitwat . 2017. "Psychological Well-Being, Social Support, and Self-efficacy: A Comparison of Nonresident Adolescents of Religious and Nonreligious Schools" Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 32, no. 2: 371-392.