Effects of Irritability of the Youth on Subjective Well-Being: Mediating Effect of Coping Styles

  • Ling ZHANG Mail Center for Mental Health, Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, China
  • Benxian YAO College of Educational Science, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China
  • Xiaodan ZHANG College of Teacher Education, Hefei Normal University, Hefei, China
  • Hao XU Center for Mental Health, Shaoxing University, Shaoxing, China
Youth, Irritability, Coping style, Subjective well-being


Background: The global COVID-19 pandemic caused great impacts and influences to human psychology. As a result, youths who are kept at home for a long time easily develop irritability and problematic behaviors. However, relatively little attention has been paid to the relations among irritability, coping style, and subjective well-being of the youth.

Methods: Overall, 1,033 youth respondents (aged 18–30 yr) from seven provinces in China were investigated in 2020 using the irritability, depression, and anxiety scale, coping style scale, and well-being index scale.

Results: Among the dimensions of irritability of the youth, anxiety received the highest score, followed by introversion irritability, extroversion irritability, and depression. Irritability had significant regional differences. The total score of irritability among rural youth was significantly higher than that of urban youth (P<0.05). The irritability level of youths with parents’ emotional status was harmonious and good relations with family members and peers was far lower than those of youths who have poor relations between parents, family members, and peers (P<0.05). The irritability level of youths with a lower monthly household income was higher (P<0.05). Irritability of the youth had significantly negative correlations with positive response and SWB, and it had a significantly positive correlative with negative response. Coping style can mediate the relationship between irritability and SWB of the youth to some extent.

Conclusion: Significant correlations exist among irritability, coping style, and SWB of the youth. Irritability can be used to predict SWB indirectly through positive response.


1. Eyre O, Riglin L, Leibenluft E, et al (2019). Irritability in ADHD: association with lat-er depression symptoms. Eur Child Ado-lesc Psychiatry, 28(10): 1375-84.
2. Evans SC, Burke JD, Roberts MC, et al (2017). Irritability in child and adolescent psychopathology: an integrative review for ICD-11. Clin Psychol Rev, 53: 29-45.
3. McKinney C, Steele EH, Story A (2019). Ef-fects of parental internalizing problems on irritability in adolescents: Moderation by parental warmth and overprotection. J Child Fam Stud, 28(10): 2791-9.
4. Brotman MA, Kircanski K, Leibenluft E (2017). Irritability in children and adoles-cents. Annu Rev Clin Psychol, 13: 317-41.
5. Jara N, Casas JA, Ortega-Ruiz R (2017). Proactive and reactive aggressive behavior in bullying: the role of values. Int J Edu Psychol, 6(1): 1-24.
6. Brotman MA, Kircanski K, Stringaris A, et al (2017). Irritability in youths: a translational model. Am J Psychiatry, 174(6): 520-32.
7. Vidal-Ribas P, Brotman MA, Valdivieso I, et al (2016). The status of irritability in psy-chiatry: a conceptual and quantitative re-view. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 55: 556–70.
8. Stringaris A, Vida-Ribas P, Brotman MA, et al (2018). Practitioner review: definition, recognition, and treatment challenges of irritability in young people. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 59(7): 721-39.
9. Flowers J, Lantz J, Hamlin T, et al (2020). Associated factors of self-injury among adolescents with autism spectrum disor-der in a community and residential treat-ment setting. J Autism Dev Disord, 1: 1-18.
10. Bielas H, Barra S, Skrivanek C, et al (2016). The associations of cumulative adverse childhood experiences and irritability with mental disorders in detained male adoles-cent offenders. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health, 10(1): 34.
11. Craig W, Harel-Fisch Y, Fogel-Grinvald H, et al (2009). A cross-national profile of bullying and victimization among adoles-cents in 40 countries. Int J Public Health, 54(2): 216-24.
12. Kircanski K, White LK, Tseng WL, et al (2018). A latent variable approach to dif-ferentiating neural mechanisms of irrita-bility and anxiety in youth. Jama Psychiatry, 75(6): 631-9.
13. Orri M, Galera C. Turecki G, et al (2019). Pathways of association between child-hood irritability and adolescent suicidality. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry, 58(1): 99-107.
14. Ezpeleta L, Granero R, de la Osa N, et al (2016). Trajectories of oppositional defi-ant disorder irritability symptoms in pre-school children. J Abnorm Child Psychl, 44(1): 115-28.
15. Salum G A, Mogg K, Bradley BP, et al (2017). Association between irritability and bias in attention orienting to threat in children and adolescents. J Child Psychol Psychiatry, 58(5): 595-602.
16. Chen KM (2020). Subjective poverty, depri-vation, and the subjective well-being of children and young people: a multilevel growth curve analysis in Taiwan. Child Youth Serv Rev, 114: 105-46.
17. Linke JO, Jones E, Pagliaccio D, et al (2019). Efficacy and mechanisms underlying a gamified attention bias modification training in anxious youth: protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMC Psychia-try, 19(1): 246.
18. Chia A, Kern ML, Neville BA (2020). CSR for Happiness: corporate determinants of societal happiness as social responsibility. Bus Ethics, 29(3): 422-37.
19. Snaith RP, Tay CM (1985). Irritability: defini-tion, assessment and associated factors. Br J Psychiatry, 147(2): 127-36.
20. Xie YN (1998). The reliability and validity of the simple coping style scale. Chin J Clin Psycol, 2: 53-4.
21. Wang XD, Wang XL, Ma H (1999). Mental health rating scale manual. Chin J Men Health, 12: 83-6.
22. Eckert EM, Dominick KC, Pedapati EV, et al (2019). Pharmacologic interventions for irritability, aggression, agitation and self-injurious behavior in fragile X syndrome: an initial cross-sectional analysis. J Autism Dev Disord, 49(11): 4595-602.
23. Harjoto MA, Laksmana I, Yang YW (2019). Board nationality and educational back-ground diversity and corporate social performance. Corp Gov: Int J Bus Soc, 19(2): 217-39.
24. Bayer JK, Morgan A, Prendergast LA, et al (2019). Predicting temperamentally inhib-ited young children’s clinical-level anxiety and internalizing problems from parent-ing and parent wellbeing: a population study. J Abnorm Child Psychol, 47(7): 1165-81.
25. Abate A, Marek RJ, Venta A, et al (2019). The effectiveness of a home-based deliv-ery of triple P in high-risk families in rural areas. J Child Fam Stud, 29(4): 997-1007.
26. Uçar HN, Eray Ş, Vural AP, et al (2020). Perceived family climate and self-esteem in adolescents with ADHD: A study with a control group. J Atten Disord, 24(8): 1132-40.
27. McKinney C, Steele EH, Story A (2019). Ef-fects of parental internalizing problems on irritability in adolescents: moderation by parental warmth and overprotection. J Child Fam Stud, 28(10): 2791-99.
28. Baharudin AD, Din NC, Subramaniam P, et al (2019). The associations between be-havioral-psychological symptoms of de-mentia (BPSD) and coping strategy, bur-den of care and personality style among low-income caregivers of patients with dementia. BMC Public Health, 19(4): 447.
29. Kelly MR, Hillier E, Aria F, et al (2019). Re-covery sleep versus emotion regulation in predicting fire service shift workers stress, fatigue and irritability. Behav Sleep Med, 1: 1-12.
How to Cite
ZHANG L, YAO B, ZHANG X, XU H. Effects of Irritability of the Youth on Subjective Well-Being: Mediating Effect of Coping Styles. Iran J Public Health. 49(10):1848-1856.
Original Article(s)