Social Indicators Research

, Volume 110, Issue 3, pp 1013–1031

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


    • School of Health SciencesDiscipline of Psychology, RMIT University
  • Jacolyn M. Norrish
    • School of Health SciencesDiscipline of Psychology, RMIT University
  • Robert A. Cummins
    • School of PsychologyDeakin University

DOI: 10.1007/s11205-011-9970-y

Cite this article as:
Tomyn, A.J., Norrish, J.M. & Cummins, R.A. Soc Indic Res (2013) 110: 1013. doi:10.1007/s11205-011-9970-y


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 wellbeingIndigenous AustraliansAdolescentsPersonal Wellbeing Index

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011