Notions of Life Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction in Children and Adolescents of Low Socioeconomic Status in Chile

  • Jaime Alfaro-InzunzaEmail author
  • Lorena Ramírez-Casas Del Valle
  • Jorge J. Varela


The study of subjective well-being in childhood and adolescence has had a recent and dynamic growth, however, there still exist few qualitative studies that contribute to getting to know about and discussing the sociocultural diversity of well-being, in particular those considering the socioeconomic belonging of the studied groups. The aim of this study is to identify and describe the notions of life satisfaction and dissatisfaction in children and adolescents between 10 and 14 years old, who belong to families of low socioeconomic status. For this, we used a qualitative methodology and qualitative techniques of 12 individual interviews and 6 group interviews, with a total of 52 children and adolescents. Thematic content analysis of emerging categories was carried out. The results indicate that the main and most relevant aspects of children’s and adolescents’ well-being are: the value of close and harmonious relationships; and feeling cared for, loved and supported by significant adults. In turn, they assess entertainment and playing with their friends as satisfactory. At school they value entertaining and participatory learning. It is also significant for them that they feel supported with their personal life projects and that they have opportunities for personal and family progress. Finally, it is noted that they attribute importance to social justice for all persons in situations of inequality or exclusion; and that they assess having clean and safe public spaces as satisfactory.


Well-being Life satisfaction Children Adolescence Qualitative studies 



Research Center for Inclusive Education, PIA Conicyt CIE 160009, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso; and Center for well-being and social coexistence studies, Universidad del Desarrollo.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversidad del DesarolloSantiagoChile
  2. 2.School of Psychology and the Center for Research in Inclusive Education, Chile School of PsychologyPontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Universidad Central de ChileValparaísoChile

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