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Life Satisfaction Impacts Youth Well-Being

Life satisfaction and positive affect, together with (the lack of) negative affect, form the components of subjective well-being, which refers to individuals’ evaluation of the quality of their lives in general (Diener, 2000). Life satisfaction is considered to be a cognitive global appraisal of one’s life, whereas positive affect refers to the frequency of pleasant feelings and moods. Life satisfaction is a commonly used indicator of subjective well-being in youth, and is important not only as an indicator of well-being, but also as a predictor and indicator of other important behaviors (Gilman & Huebner, 2003; Park, 2004).

Levels of life satisfaction have been used to predict the onset of depression, whereas changes in life satisfaction have been associated with health status, occupational functioning, effective interpersonal relationships, and school dropout (for reviews of life satisfaction research with adolescents, see Gilman & Huebner, 2003; Park, 2004). Confidence and future orientation refer to positive self-regard and a sense of self-efficacy in relation to both the present and future. In the youth development field, confidence is considered one of five key developmental outcomes, and consists of elements including self-esteem, self-concept, self-efficacy, identity, and belief in the future (Lerner, Fisher, & Weinberg, 2000; Roth & Brooks-Gunn, 2003).

IINII uses a revolutionary Design Thinking process to help your school community gain an understanding of one’s sense of self, as well as developing an understanding of students’ and parents’ values; having an understanding of one’s values matters because research has shown that it is linked to better well-being, less stress, and increased confidence in one’s ability to succeed. IINII has extensive experience in building and using an Indigenous research paradigm.

Understanding students’ values can be developed with culturally sustaining practices that reflect a student’s identity and experience. Particularly helpful is focusing efforts on cultural competence and relevance and providing opportunities for students to practice bridging differences between diverse identities in a safe environment. To learn how you can create a dynamic youth-centered environment that honors the unique values of your students and parents, visit our website at, or contact us at or 1800-507-2502.

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