Youth-headed households in HIV-endemic sub-Saharan Africa face harsh realities of poverty and loss of parental care. Scientific knowledge of these youth is generally limited to socio-economic and psychological indicators of vulnerability while much less is known about youth-centric meanings of well-being. This is the first known study on the subjective well-being of youth heads of households.
The purpose of this exploratory, youth-centric, qualitative study was to identify experiences of subjective well-being, factors for regulating well-being, and meanings of well-being among youth heads of household in the Thyolo and Chiradzulu districts of rural southern Malawi. The theoretical foundation for this study was Diener's model of subjective well-being and a nursing perspective of health.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted across a convenience sample (n=10) of youth ages 10-21 years. Half of the families had at least one child who was a beneficiary of a local, faith-based, non-governmental organization (NGO) that directed a community-based program for vulnerable children. A focus group of NGO administrators was convened to elicit beliefs about the well-being of vulnerable children.
Narrative analysis revealed that youth rely on a referential framework of virtue for appraisal of their subjective well-being. The language of virtue was useful for understanding health, interpersonal relationships, faith, and goals. Three specific findings emerged: (1) Eight Experiential Contexts of Subjective Well-Being (provision of basic needs, benevolent belonging, experiencing God, growth through adversity, help, hope, intellectual development, and protection), (2) The regulation of subjective well-being as an interactive social process between the virtue-agency of self, others, and God, and actual or potential opportunities, (3) The Integrative Virtue Model of Health and Well-Being, a description of an inferentially-derived meaning of subjective well-being.
This is the first known study to identify virtue as integral to the subjective well-being of youth heads of households. Despite difficult hardships, youth were active agents in promoting their subjective well-being through virtue, maturity of character, and faith. Future research is needed to explore the relationships between virtue, agency, faith, and subjective well-being, among vulnerable youth in low-resource settings of rural Malawi.
|Commitee:||Bornstein, Erica, Kako, Peninnah, Stevens, Patricia, Tluczek, Audrey|
|School:||The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee|
|School Location:||United States -- Wisconsin|
|Source:||DAI-B 76/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Nursing, Public health, Cognitive psychology|
|Keywords:||Child-headed household, Human immunodeficiency virus, Malawi, Orphan, Subjective well-being, Vulnerable children, Youth|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be