Volume 22, Issue 86 (11-2022)                   refahj 2022, 22(86): 9-53 | Back to browse issues page

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Habibpour Gatabi K. (2022). Assessing the Situation of Subjective Well-being among Iranian Youth. refahj. 22(86), 9-53. doi:10.32598/refahj.22.86.622.2
URL: http://refahj.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-4051-en.html
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Introduction: Well-being is a multidimensional and multifaceted structure, and this issue has made it very difficult and sometimes impossible to provide a comprehensive definition for it. Well-being is presented in two objective and subjective aspects, the objective aspect emphasizes on the concrete and objective aspects of the well-being of people’s (and societies) lives, such as income, housing, job, employment, etc., and the focus of subjective aspect is on categories, such as life satisfaction, enjoyment of citizenship rights, feeling of security, feeling of peace, social and mental health and the like. Subjective well-being refers to a person’s perception of himself and mental insight from his life experience. Subjective well-being includes emotional and cognitive evaluations of people. Subjective well-being includes a threefold structure: satisfaction with life, positive feeling and negative feeling. Therefore, the reality is that subjective well-being is a product, in other words, the process of evaluating a person’s well-being status can be evaluated based on the aforementioned components in a society. Based on this, after conceptualizing subjective well-being, this article evaluates its situation among Iranian youth.
Method: The present article is based on quantitative methodology and quantitative secondary analysis method that was conducted on the data of the national survey “Social, Cultural and Moral Status of Iranian Society” (2015). In terms of operationalization, subjective well-being in this article is based on two measures including 1) evaluation and satisfaction with life, and 2) pleasant affect, and 13 components: life preferences, satisfaction with areas of life, perception of justice, evaluation of society, perception of life situation, feeling of freedom, sense of security, evaluation of legalism, tendency to order, evaluation of the realization of citizenship in the society, feeling of prosperity, feeling of happiness, and sense of belonging and national pride.
Findings: The secondary analysis of the data related to the aforementioned national survey, which contained valid results, indicated the properties of subjective well-being of Iranian youth, which are as follows:
1. Life preferences: Iranian youth place a high value on preferences such as wealth, position, being famous, and to some extent science and knowledge, but on values such as honesty and maintaining reputation, being good and efficient, being religious and having a good end, they gave less preference.
2. Satisfaction with areas of life: In the eight studied areas, in general, young people are less satisfied with life compared to other age groups. So that among the components of life satisfaction, the level of satisfaction of young people in the components of satisfaction with health status and financial status is higher than other age groups, but regarding satisfaction with marriage, life partner, family members, quality of housing, employment status, and housing status, young people are less satisfied. In other words, the satisfaction of the youth is high in the areas that are mainly the responsibility of the person and their own abilities and capabilities, but the youth are less satisfied in the areas of satisfaction that are provided by related governmental, private and non-governmental institutions.
3. Perception of justice: In relation to the perception of justice, which was raised in the two domains of judicial justice and occupational justice, the results showed that in the domain of judicial justice, young people believe less (22.1% versus 25.6% and 29.3%) in judicial justice. In terms of job justice, young people feel less justice in the job field (17.9% versus 18.6% and 20%).
4. Evaluation of the society: Young people’s evaluation of the welfare situation of the society is more negative than other age groups, and they believe that the welfare situation of the society and even the situation of poverty and privation have worsened both in the present time compared to the past and in the future time compared to the present. In fact, they consider both the current situation worse than the past and the future situation compared to the present. Also, in response to the question that “Iran will become a developed country in the future”, young people had less faith in Iran’s progress in the future (52.5%) than other age groups (58.4% and 64.1%).
5. Perception of life situation: Young people more than other age groups evaluated the situation of the past 10 years more negatively than other groups (67.5% versus 65.5% and 70.6%), but regarding the situation of the next 10 years, the evaluation of young people was more positive than the rest (72.2% in against 68.9% and 67.1%). In fact, although the youth consider the situation of the past 10 years inappropriate, they evaluate the future better than that. Dissatisfaction with life, on the one hand, and negative evaluation of the society’s situation in the past, present, and to some extent the future, are related to another result in this field. So that as a result of such conditions in the country, young people prefer to live in another country. In relation to people’s desire to live in another country, the results showed that they (41.7%) have a greater tendency to live in another country compared to other age groups (26.9% and 13.4%).
6. Feeling of freedom: Young people feel less freedom than other age groups in response to “to what extent do you freely decide or take important choices that you have had or are about to make in your life” (51% vs. 53.2% and 54.8%).
7. Feeling of security: In response to the question “How secure do you feel in the society”, the feeling of security among young people (47.1%) is lower than other age groups (53.3% and 62.1%).
8. Evaluation of legalism: Young people (18.6%) in comparison with other age groups (20.9% and 24.8%) have less belief in the prevalence of legalism in the society and believe that people do not respect the law.
9. Tendency to order: In terms of tendency to order, young people are in favor of a fundamental change in the current situation (46.7%), while other age groups tend to gradually improve the current situation or maintain it.
10. Evaluation of the realization of citizenship in society: Compared to other age groups, young people believe that citizens are less committed to the principles of citizenship. For example, they underestimate the amount of respect citizens have for each other’s rights in society. So that 32.6% stated its amount as low and 24.7% as high, while the corresponding high ratio in other age groups was 26.5% and 29.4% for the age groups of 30 to 49 years and 50 years and above, respectively. Also, regarding indicators such as forgiveness, trustworthiness and fairness, young people believe in their low level in the society compared to other age groups. On the contrary, they believe that the ratio of values of citizenship ethics in cases such as lying, hypocrisy and pretending, and selfishness is high among people. On the other hand, when we ask them about the possibility of participation of Iranian people in solving society’s problems, we find that although the difference is very small, the possibility of participation of young people (16.6%) is slightly higher than other age groups (16.3% and 15.1%).
11. Feeling of prosperity: Young people have given a higher score to the prosperity of their family in response to the question, “Suppose we give a score of 20 to the most prosperity family, what score would you give to your family in terms of prosperity?” So that the score of family prosperity among young people (69.4%) is higher than other age groups (69.3% and 68.4%).
12. Feeling of happiness: The feeling of depression, low mood and mental problems in young people (34.6%) is more than other age groups (34.2% and 31.1%). Also, young people (51.5%) experience more pressure and stress compared to the rest (51.2% and 47.5%).
13. Sense of belonging and national pride: The sense of belonging and national pride is less among the young people than in other age groups. Therefore, doing anything against the violation of the country (65.6% against 71.1% and 74.3%), readiness for voluntary work (49.1% against 53.1% and 56.4%) and feeling proud of being Iranian (77.8% against 83.6% and 89.1%)) is less in the young people.
Discussion: Based on the narrative that was mentioned in the previous lines, we witnessed that the situation of subjective well-being of young people in many of the constructive components and indicators that are considered in this article is unfavorable compared to the other age groups, and they are concerned about wealth, position, and status, and being famous is more valuable than values, such as honesty and maintaining reputation, being kind and helpful, being religious and doing good; they are less satisfied with life; they have a more negative evaluation of the situation of society, they feel less security, prosperity, happiness, freedom, belonging,  and national pride, etc.
Ethical considerations
Financial resources
This article was written independently and no financial support was received from any organization to write it.
Contribution of authors
The article is written by a single author.
Conflict of interest
According to the author, there is no conflict of interest in this article.
Follow the principles of research ethics
The author has complied all the ethical points, especially the non-manipulation and distortion of data in this article.
Type of Study: orginal |
Received: 2022/02/28 | Accepted: 2022/06/13 | Published: 2022/11/13

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