Sense of Community and Life Satisfaction in Chilean Adolescents

Abstract

This study aims to contribute to the understanding of life satisfaction in Chilean adolescents, integrating dimensions regarding the relationship between the individual and their community environment. Specifically, this study examines the contribution that variables such as sense of community have on life satisfaction, examining the association between sense of community and overall life satisfaction. During the 2014/2015 school year, 438 adolescents between 1st and 4th year of their high school from 7 municipalities in 3 regions of Chile participated in the study. The instruments used were the Sense of Community Scale, and the Personal Well-being Index – School Children (PWI-SC). The analysis included descriptive and multivariate analyses. The main results indicate that the sense of community is significantly associated with life satisfaction, even when controlling for demographic variables. In addition, the two sense of community subscales were also associated with life satisfaction. These preliminary findings support the hypothesis that the perception of community variables influences the assessment that adolescents have on their lives. The discussion includes the implications for future research and community psychology in developing countries.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Universidad del Desarrollo for funding the following research projects used for this study: (1) “Validation of a battery of instruments for the study of subjective well-being and social well-being in Chilean adolescents” and (2) “Proposal of an explanatory model of well-being in adolescents.”

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Correspondence to Javier Guzmán.

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Guzmán, J., Alfaro, J. & Varela, J.J. Sense of Community and Life Satisfaction in Chilean Adolescents. Applied Research Quality Life 14, 589–601 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9615-2

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Keywords

  • Sense of community
  • Life satisfaction
  • Chile
  • Adolescents