Reconsidering Life Domains that Contribute to Subjective Well-Being Among Adolescents with Data from Three Countries

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Several theoretical models and testing procedures are presented with the aim of identifying the most relevant items and domains to include in a model for evaluating adolescents' subjective well-being, above and beyond those usually included in adults' scales. Data were collected in three countries based on a list of 30 items regarding adolescents' satisfaction with different domains or facets of life. Responses to these 30 items (including Personal Well-Being Index and Brief Multidimensional Students' Life Satisfaction Scale items) have been analysed by means of Confirmatory Factor Analysis using different Structural Equation Models (SEM) on a pooled sample comprising 5,316 twelve to sixteen-year-olds from Spain, Brazil and Chile. Several models have shown good enough fit statistics. A model using 14 items shows excellent fit statistics and is conceptually coherent. However, the inclusion or non-inclusion of items related to satisfaction with religion or spirituality results in both advantages and disadvantages when comparing the alternative models analysed. The relevance of including these items may therefore depend on the socio-cultural context where data are collected and their inclusion makes cross-country comparison more statistically challenging. The 14-item model has also been tested using multigroup SEM in order to check comparability of data among the three countries. All things considered, multigroup models have shown good fit with constrained loadings, but not with constrained loadings and intercepts, suggesting we can compare correlations and regressions among countries, but not means. Additional multigroup SEM with the five age groups available from the pooled sample have demonstrated that responses-and means-are comparable across different age groups during early adolescence ​
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