New paper: Values and happiness among Asian adolescents: a cross-national study

We published a new paper from Journal of Youth Studies.

Despite policy efforts to increase adolescent happiness, their impact has been unsatisfactory. Their limited impact may be rooted from a discrepancy between values that adolescents pursued and those that the policies were based on.

To provide policy implications, our study aims to identify prevailing values for South Korean, Japanese, and Chinese adolescents and to examine the relationship between the values and self-rated happiness (SRH). A cross-sectional study was conducted using survey data collected on approximately 2000 middle and high school students (7th to 12th school grade) from each country in 2008.

Firstly, an explanatory factor analysis was conducted to identify salient adolescent values from each country. Subsequently, a multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted for each population group to examine the relationship between the identified values and adolescent SRH after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics.

We found that benevolence and altruism were positively associated with adolescent SRH in all three population groups. Patriarchy was associated with SRH positively in Chinese yet inversely in Japanese. Success pursuit was inversely associated with SRH in Korean.

Policy efforts based on values of communities or social harmony may benefit adolescents’ SRH in these three countries.

Heo, J., Lin, S. F., Kondo, N., Hwang, J., Lee, J. K., & Oh, J. (2018). Values and happiness among Asian adolescents: a cross-national study. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-16.