A Qualitative Longitudinal Study on the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents
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The aim of this article is to identify factors influencing well-being (whether positively or negatively) reported by children and adolescents from their own perspective, in the context of focus groups and individual interviews, and variations in their answers at two different points in time (one year apart), according to: 1) their previous scores (higher or lower) measured using psychometric scales of subjective well-being (SWB) and related constructs (temperamental traits, specifically via variables related to perceptual and pleasure sensitivity and life optimism), and 2) their age (measured through school year and classified into five cohorts). Important commonalites were observed in the answers reported by participants regardless of their prior levels of SWB and related constructs, the cohort they belonged to, the two separate data collections and the data collection technique used. This finding is interpreted as being due to the existence of a shared and fairly stable bottom-up effect in children and adolescents’ well-being. However, interesting discrepances are also observed between the groups of participants, which contributes to converging theoretical explanations arising out of two different traditions in the study of well-being (the hedonic and the eudaimonic), while also furthering scientific knowledge on how to better research children and adolescents’ well-being from a qualitative point of view.
KeywordsFocus groups Individual interviews Subjective well-being Psychological well-being Qualitative analysis Children and adolescents
This project was funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) as part of the National Research Project Programme, within the 6th National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation 2008–2011, with reference PSI2010-19404. Thanks are due to Barney Griffins for editing of the English text.
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