Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

The Multidimensionality of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Students’ Wellbeing (#414)

Rhonda Craven 1 , Anthony Dillon 1
  1. Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, NSW, Australia

Students’ subjective wellbeing has gained increasing attention in school systems worldwide, but the conceptualisation and measurement of student wellbeing are yet to be established. This study conceptualised student wellbeing as a multidimensional construct in 5 wellbeing domains, developed a suite of multidimensional wellbeing measures to test the salience of the theoretical model proposed, and tested the multidimensional structure with survey data from Australian students of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a 5-dimension model with multiple factors pertaining to each. Invariance tests found that the 15 factors were applicable to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students in this sample, who were similar for most factors except for affective cultural identity where Indigenous students seemed to be stronger, and self-esteem in performance terms where they were relatively weaker. The student wellbeing multidimensional model offers a theoretical conceptualisation of student wellbeing to the literature and an instrument that measures wellbeing factors of interest to educators that may be amenable to intervention. The results also demonstrate the vital interplay of theory, research, and practice whereby they are inextricably interwoven such that weaknesses in any one area can undermine the others.