Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 111–131 | Cite as

The Effect of Critical Changes and Gender on Adolescents’ Subjective Well-Being: Comparisons Across 8 Countries

  • Carme Montserrat
  • Tamar Dinisman
  • Sergiu Bălţătescu
  • Brînduşa Antonia Grigoraş
  • Ferran Casas


The aim of this article is to explore adolescents’ subjective well-being (SWB) in relation to critical changes in their lives during the last year in 8 countries: Brazil, England, Israel, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Uganda and the US. Furthermore, interactions between gender and critical changes are also examined. Data collection was conducted between 2011 and 2012 with 12 year-old boys and girls, as part of the ISCWeB project. Number of changes experienced was measured using five possible changes (moved house, changed local area, changed school, living in another country for over a month and change in the parents or carers they live with). The adolescents were then divided into three groups according to the amount of changes: ‘had not experienced any change’, ‘had experienced 1–2 changes’, and ‘had experienced three or more changes’. SWB was evaluated using satisfaction with five different life domains: school, material conditions, leisure time, oneself and social relationships along with the children’s overall life satisfaction. The findings indicate the negative effect of critical changes on adolescents’ SWB in most countries, with the exception of Uganda. The findings concerning the interaction between gender and critical changes show the complexity of the impact of gender, emphasizing the variation across life domains and cultures.


Subjective well-being (SWB) Critical life changes Cross-country research Gender Adolescents 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carme Montserrat
    • 1
  • Tamar Dinisman
    • 2
  • Sergiu Bălţătescu
    • 3
  • Brînduşa Antonia Grigoraş
    • 4
  • Ferran Casas
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute on Quality of LifeUniversity of GironaGironaSpain
  2. 2.Coordinator of the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB)MilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Social WorkUniversity of OradeaOradeaRomania
  4. 4.Faculty of Sociology and Social Work“Babeş-Bolyai” UniversityCluj-NapocaRomania

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