What Makes You Happy? Predicting Wellbeing in Nicaraguan High School and College Students Using Socioeconomic Status, Depression, Anxiety, and Resilience

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Daniel A. Rodriguez, Kelly B.T. Chang, Winston Seegobin, Kathleen Gathercoal Baxodirovna


The present study sought to identify significant predictors of wellbeing within a sample of 2,764 high school and university students in Nicaragua, a country where significant stressful events and suicide are common. Ages ranged from 11-22 years (M = 16.63, SD = 2.85), and 60.3% identified as female. Measures used include the Personal Wellbeing Index, the Child and Youth Resilience Measure, the Patient Health Questionnaire-4, and demographic questions.  Parent occupations were coded using the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO-08). A multiple regression was conducted to identify five core variables that combined to predict approximately 30% of the variance of wellbeing, R= .30, R2adj = .297, F(11, 2727) = 106.188, < .001. Resilience is positively related to wellbeing, while age, depression, anxiety, and mother’s education are inversely related to wellbeing. These findings could inform mental health workers in Latin America and contribute to increased wellbeing for the youth they work with, especially in Nicaragua, as the population has experienced increasing civil unrest. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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