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Family Functioning and Life Satisfaction and Happiness in South African Household

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  • Ferdi Botha and Frikkie Booysen

Abstract

Families form an integral part of society and in fostering individual well-being. Despite the acknowledged importance of family, the association between family functioning and individual well-being outcomes have remained unexplored in the current body of knowledge. This paper explores the association between family functioning and reported levels of life satisfaction and happiness in South Africa. The paper employs the Family Attachment and Changeability Index (FACI8) to measure family functioning, using data from the 2011 South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS 2011). Four measures of family functioning are utilised, namely the aggregate FACI8 scale, the attachment and changeability subscales, and family type. Improvements in the level of family functioning as well as in the levels of attachment and changeability are positively associated with life satisfaction and happiness. In addition, individuals living in midrange or balanced family types aremore satisfied with life and happier compared to persons living in extremely or moderately dysfunctional families. The findings highlight the importance of supportive intra-family dynamics in fostering greater individual well-being. This in turn places emphasis on the investigation of likely correlates of family functioning and impact evaluations of family-focused social work interventions’ impact on family functioning as areas for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferdi Botha and Frikkie Booysen, 2013. "Family Functioning and Life Satisfaction and Happiness in South African Household," Working Papers 363, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  • Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:363
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    1. repec:gam:jsoctx:v:8:y:2017:i:1:p:1-:d:124389 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Byela Tibesigwa & Martine Visser & Brennan Hodkinson, 2016. "Effects of Objective and Subjective Income Comparisons on Subjective Wellbeing," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 128(1), pages 361-389, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family functioning; family; subjective well-being; South Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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