The Relationship Between Well-Being and Value Priorities as Well as Intersubjective Norms Among Emerging Adults in South Africa

Document Type

Book Chapter


Institute for Human Development


Abstract: Emerging adults are at a vital stage in their personal development as they work towards negotiating their personal values and goals with those of their social groups, significant others and the society at large. The chapter examined the association between value priorities and well-being among emerging adults in South Africa, who grow up in a multicultural, multilingual country to which they are exposed to groups who are different to theirs. A total of 192 (35% male, M Age = 20.41 years, SD = 1.76) participants were recruited. Results indicated that personal value priorities correlated significantly with life satisfaction, positive and negative affect but not mental health. Intersubjective norms (perceived value priorities of significant others and society) showed no association with well-being. The effects of incongruence between reported personal value priorities and those of significant others were non-significant. We conclude that, personal values are more important for well-being than perceived values of significant others and larger society.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Well-Being of Youth and Emerging Adults across Cultures

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