Forrester, Kahric, Lewis, & Rose Published in Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal

Recent SSW graduates Dr. Patrice Forrester and Ursula Kahric, MSW, along with Assistant Professor Ericka M. Lewis, and Associate Professor Theda Rose published a new article that explored the influence of family, peers, and neighborhood factors on subjective well-being among urban children.


Purpose: Subjective well-being (SWB) is a significant contributor to quality of life and overall well-being in childhood through adulthood. However, less is known about the modifiable factors that support SWB among urban children. This study explored the association between socio-ecological factors (family, peers, and neighborhood) and child SWB.

Method: A convenience sample of 69 students was recruited from the 3rd (n = 40) and 5th (n = 29) grades at two urban elementary schools in a mid-Atlantic state. The average age for participants was 9.32 (SD = 1.33) and most of the sample identified as female (60.9%). We expected that better-perceived family and peer relationships, and neighborhood quality would be positively associated with higher child SWB. Regression analyses were conducted by SWB outcome, which included global and domain-specific life satisfaction (i.e., personal wellbeing), and core affect.

Results: Study findings indicated that family relationships were positively associated with overall life satisfaction and personal well-being. Neighborhood quality was also positively associated with student life satisfaction and core affect. Peer relationships were not associated with any of the SWB outcomes.

Discussion: The findings highlight the importance of strengthening a child’s relationships and environment to sustain positive child SWB.

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