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Family Support and Subjective Well-Being: An Exploratory Study of University Students in Southern Chile

Abstract

In order to distinguish typologies of university students based on family support received in the form of tangible and intangible resources, their level of satisfaction with life and food-related life as well as subjective happiness, a survey was applied to a non-probabilistic sample of 347 students in southern Chile. The questionnaire included the following scales: Family Resources scale, Satisfaction with Life Scale, Satisfaction with Food-related Life and Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS). Using factor analysis, two dimensions were detected on the Family Resources scale: intangible resources (Cronbach’s α = 0.886) and tangible resources (Cronbach’s α = 0.824). A cluster analysis applied to the Z-scores from the factor analysis classified three typologies: students with high support in tangible resources, satisfied with their life and their food-related life (18.2 %), students with low support from their families, moderately satisfied with their life and their food-related life (20.7 %), and students with support in intangible and tangible resources, satisfied with their life and their food-related life (61.1 %), who scored significantly higher on the SHS. The typologies differed in the place of residence during the period of studies, socioeconomic level, need to work while studying, frequency and time available for having lunch in the place of residence, and body mass index. The family support students receive as tangible or economic resources is positively related to life satisfaction and to the domain of food, whereas family support in intangible or social resources is related to happiness.

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Acknowledgments

The results presented correspond to Fondecyt Project 1130165.

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Schnettler, B., Denegri, M., Miranda, H. et al. Family Support and Subjective Well-Being: An Exploratory Study of University Students in Southern Chile. Soc Indic Res 122, 833–864 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-014-0718-3

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Keywords

  • Tangible family support
  • Intangible family support
  • Satisfaction with life
  • Satisfaction with food-related life
  • Happiness
  • Place of residence