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Children's subjective well-being in rural communities of South Korea and the United States

Michael J. Lawler | University of South Dakota, USA

Changyog Choi | Seoul National University, South Korea

Joan Yoo | Seoul National University, South Korea

Juyeon Lee | University of California, Berkeley, USA

Soonhee Roh | University of South Dakota, USA

Lisa A. Newland | University of South Dakota, USA

Jarod T. Giger | University of Kentucky, USA

Ramu Sudhagoni | University of South Dakota, USA

Barbara L. Brockevelt | University of South Dakota, USA

Bong Joo Lee | Seoul National University, South Korea


Abstract

The study examined subjective well-being of 10- to 12-year-old children from rural South Korea (n =489) and rural United States (n =1286) using the Children's Worlds Survey within the framework of the ecological, relationship-based model of children's subjective well-being. Applying Structural Equation Modeling to the analysis, a large proportion of the variance was explained and children's subjective well-being was predicted in both countries by microsystem factors of family relationships, parent involvement, and school quality, and individual factors of age (younger), and gender (male). Additional microsystem factors predicting subjective wellbeing were neighborhood quality in South Korea, and peer relationships in the United States, which may reflect contextual influences of collectivistic (South Korea) and individualistic (United States) macrosystems.


Keywords: Well-being, Child, Rural, South Korea, United States


Children and Youth Services Review 85 (2018) 158–164

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.12.023