A Qualitative Study of Children's Perceptions of Their Subjective Well-Being in Botswana

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Publication Date



Educational Psychology | Student Counseling and Personnel Services


This paper will be exploring perceptions children in Botswana have about their subjective well-being. Botswana's culture has always considered children to be of high value, evidenced by parental, extended family and community care and protection. Through recent years we have seen child well-being become a greater priority in the broader society, more recently with the Nation's Development Plan, 'Vision 2036'. The voice of the child has previously been eclipsed by the voice of caregivers under the cultural guise of 'children must be seen, not heard'. However, research has shown that the need to hear a child's voice has become important when addressing their well-being. This qualitative study is the first of its kind in Botswana offering children the opportunity to have their voices heard. When considering child subjective well-being two main areas with be explored; Environment/Contexts and Relationships. Previous research has shown that these two main areas play a crucial role in determining child well-being. The socioeconomic divide in Botswana is important to consider as many opportunities available to children are unequally distributed based on socioeconomic status. Families will be invited to participate in this study. In the home, parents will be asked to complete a demographic questionnaire while children will participate in a voice-recorded mapping exercise and semi-structured interview. They will be asked about what is most important to them including, who and what makes them feel well and good. Interviews will be transcribed and analysed using phenomenological data analysis procedures following Creswell and Poth's (2018) data analysis spiral. Themes and connections across themes will be explored.

First Advisor

Lisa Newland

Research Area

Counseling & Psychology in Education

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