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A cross-cultural study comparing British and Ghanaian children’s levels and sources of subjective well-being

Russell, Anna (2013) A cross-cultural study comparing British and Ghanaian children’s levels and sources of subjective well-being. University of Winchester.

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Abstract

The current study adopted a cross-cultural approach to examine individualistic and collectivistic cultural influences on children’s subjective well-being. Research suggests person-centred individualistic and social-centred collectivistic cultures differ in their specific pathways for achieving subjective well-being. Previous research has focused on adults from wealthy cultures. The present study aimed to examine subjective well-being in children, incorporating a low economically developed country. 200 children from Britain and Ghana completed The Individual and Socially Orientated Subjective Well-Being Scale, Happiness Ladder Scale and responded to the question “what makes you happy?”. Questionnaire results found children were strongly influenced by their culture’s values. Ghanaian children rated themselves higher than British children in levels of subjective well-being. Individualistic and collectivistic influences were found in children’s qualitative responses. Furthermore, poverty influences were apparent in Ghanaian children’s responses. The present study highlights the impact that culture has on influencing children’s sources and levels of subjective well-being.

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