n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Youth wellbeing in South Africa : what dimensions should we measure?

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1727-7140



There is growing interest in the development of measures and indexes of youth wellbeing. However, there has been a limited discussion on indicators to measure and select them. This paper reports on the results of a qualitative study on the selection of indicators to measure the wellbeing of young people in South Africa, and reflects on the relevance of the content of their values in choosing indicators for measuring their wellbeing. The data used in this analysis is based on telephone (9) and email (6) interviews conducted with 15 young people (male=5, female=10) aged 22 to 32 from five South African cities during July 2010. In the interviews, participants were asked to identify five issues they considered important to their lives, after which they were asked to rank them in order of importance. The issues indicated by the participants are described and discussed in six dimensions: economic, relationships, spiritual and health, education, time use and material. The indicators developed from this study are discussed in terms of their relevance for use in a measure of youth wellbeing in South Africa.

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