The subjective wellbeing of 'at-risk' indigenous and non-indigenous Australian adolescents

Tomyn, Adrian J., Cummins, Robert A. and Norrish, Jacolyn M. 2015, The subjective wellbeing of 'at-risk' indigenous and non-indigenous Australian adolescents, Journal of happiness studies, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 813-837, doi: 10.1007/s10902-014-9535-2.

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Title The subjective wellbeing of 'at-risk' indigenous and non-indigenous Australian adolescents
Author(s) Tomyn, Adrian J.
Cummins, Robert A.ORCID iD for Cummins, Robert A.
Norrish, Jacolyn M.
Journal name Journal of happiness studies
Volume number 16
Issue number 4
Start page 813
End page 837
Total pages 25
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2015-08
ISSN 1389-4978
Keyword(s) Adolescents
Personal Wellbeing Index
Subjective wellbeing
Summary Quantitative comparisons of subjective wellbeing (SWB) between samples of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian adolescents are scarce. This paper contributes to this literature by studying adolescents 'at-risk' of disengaging, or who have already disengaged, from school, their families or society. A three-group cross-sectional comparative design was employed, comparing Indigenous (N = 3,187) and non-Indigenous (N = 14,522) 'at-risk' adolescents with a mainstream sample of Victorian high-school students (N = 1,105). Age and gender differences in SWB within the three groups were also explored. All participants completed the Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children (PWI-SC), which measures SWB. Mean SWB was significantly higher in the mainstream sample than in both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous 'at-risk' groups. However, within the at-risk adolescents, the Indigenous sample scored higher than the non-Indigenous. In the mainstream sample, male and female SWB did not significantly differ, whereas males scored higher than females in both at-risk groups-with males scoring higher on all seven PWI-SC domains. Finally, in all three samples, a decline in SWB from early to mid-adolescence was observed. This suggests that mid-adolescence is a challenging time for all young people as they approach adulthood. The implications of this research for educational and government policy concerning youths in Australia is discussed. For example, the importance of obtaining normative data that will assist in the identification of young people who are most at-risk for experiencing low personal wellbeing and who are in the greatest need of support. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s10902-014-9535-2
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920401 Behaviour and Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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