Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Adolescent wellbeing in West Africa: Subjective wellbeing of adolescents in Cote d'Ivoire
by Jones, Joy L., Ph.D., Tulane University, Payson Center for International Development, 2011, 277; 3482745
Abstract (Summary)

Adolescence is a critical developmental period marked by complex transitions. The wellbeing of this population, currently the largest in human history, is important, as adolescents are the future world leaders, citizens, workers, mothers and fathers. Subjective wellbeing research has become popular in recent years, but there are important gaps in the literature. Cross-cultural examinations and comparisons of subjective wellbeing have focused on developed countries. Less is known about subjective wellbeing in developing countries. There are gaps in research on special populations or groups and in the comparison of sub-groups within a population.

This analysis assesses the subjective wellbeing of adolescents in Côte d'Ivoire, a developing country in sub-Saharan Africa. Multiple measures are used to evaluate adolescent wellbeing from an overall perspective and to explore satisfaction with specific life domains. Potential adolescent risk factors and protective factors are examined to explore if and how they may influence individual assessments of wellbeing. Gender and age-related differences in self-reported wellbeing are examined to explore if and how these groups experience adolescence differently. The Personal Wellbeing Index for School Children is tested as valid a cross-cultural measure of subjective wellbeing.

Findings suggest that Ivorian adolescents overall report high satisfaction with life. Evidence for gender and age-related differences in subjective wellbeing produced mixed results, which warrants further investigation. The findings also indicate that the experience of different risk and protective factors effects adolescents' perceptions of wellbeing. The results indicate there are gender and age-related differences in the effects of these factors on subjective wellbeing.

In addition, the evidence suggests that the PWI-SC is a moderately valid and reliable tool for assessing subjective wellbeing in Ivorian adolescents. Ultimately, additional research with adolescent populations in other developing countries is needed to further assess the validity of the PWI-SC as a cross-cultural measure of subjective wellbeing.

The findings may be used to inform policy on programs targeting adolescents in developing countries. This research could provide guidance to policy makers and program planners about specific factors and domains that could be incorporated into the design of policies and programs intended to protect and/or improve the wellbeing of adolescents.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bertrand, William E., Brayfield, April
Commitee: Carballo, Manuel, Kelly, Eamon M.
School: Tulane University, Payson Center for International Development
Department: Payson Center for International Development
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Individual & family studies, Public policy
Keywords: Adolescent development, Cote d'Ivoire, Personal wellbeing index, Protective factors, Risk factors, Subjective wellbeing
Publication Number: 3482745
ISBN: 978-1-267-04593-5
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