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We explore whether disadvantage exists in domain specific happiness with Indigenous youth of Australia. Data were collected from 52,270 Australian's, aged 15-28 years, 4% of whom were Indigenous, and came from four birth cohorts between the years 1997-2013. Random and fixed effects decomposed differences in wellbeing into persistent (present at the earliest wave and consistent over time), maturation (changes over age), and period (changes in response to a particular year) components. Results suggested that happiness differences were small to moderate but favored non-Indigenous groups. There were small, persistent differences in happiness with social and future prospects and developmental differences for happiness with life and government. Period effects were observed for happiness with the government. This research reveals that a nuanced approach to Indigenous wellbeing disadvantage is needed including not just a multi-dimensional approach but also one that is sensitive of the means by which disadvantage may emerge.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

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Open Access


Philip D. Parker, Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Rhiannon B. Parker, Trends in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Multidomain Wellbeing: Decomposing Persistent, Maturation, and Period Effects in Emerging Adulthood, Emerging Adulthood, pp. 1-20. Copyright © 2018, (The authors). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/2167696818782018