Social Indicators Research

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 271–290 | Cite as

The Values Adolescents Aspire to, Their Well-being and the Values Parents Aspire to for Their Children

  • Ferran CasasEmail author
  • Cristina Figuer
  • Mònica González
  • Sara Malo


This paper presents a study of the relationship between the psychological well-being of Spanish adolescents from 12 to 16 years old and the values they aspire to for the future (N = 1,618). Adolescents’ well-being is explored through (a) their satisfaction with 19 specific life domains, (b) the Personal Well-Being Index (Cummins, Social Indicators Research, 43, 307−334, 1998) and (c) an item on overall satisfaction with life. The values they aspire to are explored by means of a list of 23 personal qualities or values. Satisfaction domains and values aspired to have been grouped into dimensions using principal component analysis (PCA). Boys scored significantly higher on the materialistic values dimension and the capacities and knowledge related values dimension, while girls scored higher on the interpersonal relationship related values dimension. The youngest adolescents scored higher on materialistic values, while the oldest scored higher on interpersonal relationships related values. Such results are similar to those obtained in a previous study, using a shorter version of the lists of satisfaction domains and of values aspired to and a sample of 8,995 adolescents and 4,381 of their parents from five different countries. In both studies results suggest that values aspired to can be considered a well-being related construct. However, an important change appears in the latest Spanish sample: Family values no longer fit with the interpersonal relationships related values dimension in the PCA, and now function as a separate value dimension which shows no correlation with overall life satisfaction, the PWI, or life satisfaction domains with the exception of family satisfaction. Interestingly, family values have also changed their loading dimension in the PCA developed with the answers from a sample of parents about the values they aspire to for their own child’s future (N = 723). Parents’ responses were compared with those of their own child, with concordances observed in about half of the families, low discrepancies in about one third and high or very high discrepancies in about 20%. Although the results of this study have their limitations, they suggest support for the hypothesis that important changes in values aspired to may be taking place over a short period of time, consistent with the findings of changes in values in several countries (Inglehart, Modernization and postmodernization. Cultural, economic and political change in 43 societies, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), but apparently with no outstanding impact on adolescents’ well-being.


Well-being Life satisfaction Values aspired to Adolescents Life domains satisfaction Personal well-being index Parents 



Project financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, National Plan for Scientific Research and Technological Innovation, reference BSO2002-03180.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferran Casas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cristina Figuer
    • 1
  • Mònica González
    • 1
  • Sara Malo
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut de Recerca sobre Qualitat de Vida (IRQV), Fac Econòmiques i Empresarials, soterraniUniversitat de GironaGironaSpain

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