Testing two measures of subjective well-being amongst a sample of children in the Western Cape
Recent advancements in child well-being research have shown an increased interest in the importance of subjective well-being. The development of instruments and scales to measure subjective well-being among children and adolescents is in its infancy. Furthermore, there are few existing cross-cultural studies with child and adolescent populations. Validation of existing measures and cross-cultural comparisons has been identified by a number of researchers as critical in contributing to the international dialogue. In the current study, two measures of subjective well-being (Student Life Satisfaction Scale and Personal Well-Being Index-School Children) are tested among a sample of children in the Western Cape region of South Africa. Noting the diversity of experience between children from different socio-economic status groups in South Africa, the study further aims to determine the extent to which the measures are comparable across socio-economic status groups. Data from the Children’s World Survey were used; and includes a sample of 1004 children randomly selected from 15 schools within the Cape Town Metropole. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to test the overall fit structure and multi-group factor analysis, with Scalar and Metric invariance constraints. The results show appropriate fit structure for the overall model, with Scalar and Metric factor invariance tenable across socio-economic status groups. The overall findings suggest that the two measures are appropriate for use with children from low and medium socio-economic status groups in the Western Cape province of South Africa.