Religiosity and Youth Subjective Well-Being: A Multilevel Analysis

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Haridhan GOSWAMI, Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
There has been a growing interest among academics, policy makers and practitioners on youth subjective well-being over the past few decades. A large number of studies have been conducted in regional and national level to explain variations in well-being. Influenced by bottom- up theories, most of these studies emphasised micro-level demographic factors, which were consistently found to be able to explicate only a small amount of variation in well-being. To find better explanation, researchers are now focusing more on psycho-social and contextual factors. Although these studies have provided useful insights into youth well-being, there is little systematic evidence on how religiosity is associated with youth well-being especially whether this relationship is mediated by youth self-perceived discrimination. This paper aims to fill this gap by examining the complex relationship between youth subjective well-being, religiosity, and self-perceived discrimination by controlling a range a psycho-social and demographic factors including age, gender, religious affiliation, social class, level of civic and political participation, youth unemployment.

Data for this paper are from a recent survey conducted over 17,000 young people aged 16 to 25 from 14 European countries. The survey received funding from the European Commission under its FP-7 call. A multi-level model is used to examine the interaction of self-perceived discrimination and religiosity on youth subjective well-being. Although religiosity is found to be associated positively with youth subjective well-being, the effect of religiosity on well-being appears to differ significantly by level of discrimination reported by the youth. These findings are discussed in the context of previous empirical studies and theories of well-being, religiosity, and discrimination. Finally, the policy relevance of these findings in improving youth well-being is highlighted and suggestions for future research are put forward.