Social Indicators Research

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 1013-1031

First online:

The Subjective Wellbeing of Indigenous Australian Adolescents: Validating the Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children

  • Adrian J. TomynAffiliated withSchool of Health Sciences, Discipline of Psychology, RMIT University Email author 
  • , Jacolyn M. NorrishAffiliated withSchool of Health Sciences, Discipline of Psychology, RMIT University
  • , Robert A. CumminsAffiliated withSchool of Psychology, Deakin University

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By almost all measures of objective life quality, Indigenous Australians are disadvantaged relative to the general population. However, no measures of their Subjective Wellbeing (SWB) have been published. This paper presents the first such data, norm-referenced to the general Australian population. A total of 519 Indigenous adolescents, aged between 12 and 19 years, were administered the Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children, which measures SWB. This scale is a parallel form of the Personal Wellbeing-Adult. The PWI-SC exhibited adequate psychometric properties. Moreover, consistent with SWB Homeostasis theory, participants’ mean SWB was within the Australian adult normative range. However, female SWB was lower than males. These results suggest that Indigenous adolescents are resilient.


Subjective wellbeing Indigenous Australians Adolescents Personal Wellbeing Index