The Subjective Well-being of Adolescents from Two Different Cultures: Applying Three Versions of the PWI in Algeria and Spain
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This paper analyses the crosscultural comparability of well-being among 13–20 year-old adolescents using two samples, one from Oran County (Wilaya) in Algeria and another from Catalonia (Spain). The following are used as well-being indicators: a modified version of the original Personal Well-being Index (PWI) (Cummins et al. in Soc Indicat Res 64:159–190, 2003b), a single-item scale on overall life satisfaction (OLS) and a list of complementary items on satisfaction with various life domains. This research tests the original version of the PWI with some changes and two other versions with additional items. Confirmatory factor analyses show good fit statistics for the three versions with the pooled sample of adolescents from the two countries. The multigroup models show that correlations and regressions may be compared between the two samples, but not means, probably due to different cultural response styles among adolescents in the two countries. Structural equation models including OLS also show good fit statistics. When gender and age are included in these models, the former does not show any correlation with PWI11 in either of the two countries, whereas age shows a clearly negative correlation in both. A new version of the PWI with 11 items has shown higher standardized regression coefficients when the items are regressed on OLS and higher R2 and each of the items has shown to contribute with unique explained variance using the pooled sample, although 3 of the original scale items do not show a significant contribution in Algeria. The fact that a multigroup model using this 11-item version shows good fit with constrained loadings when comparing samples from such different cultural and linguistic contexts as Catalonia and Algeria offers new opportunities for international comparative research of adolescents’ subjective well-being.
KeywordsSubjective well-being Adolescents PWI Life satisfaction Personal well-being Confirmatory factor analysis Structural equation modelling Crosscultural
Spanish data were collected with the support of Spanish Ministry of Education and Science grant SEJ2007-62813/PS. Members of the Laboratory of Educational Processes and Social Context kindly contributed to data collection on the Algerian side. Thanks are due to Barney Griffiths for the editing of the English text and for the clarification of some translation difficulties.
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