Values and Subjective Well-Being in Teenage Girls and Older Women Affiliated with a Guatemalan Development Project


The influence of modern western values is evident and seldom questioned in Guatemala, from the presence of international food chains and mass media to the abundance of development agencies based out of western (i.e. rich and powerful) countries. This study explores the connection between modern western values influence and subjective well being among Guatemalan women in two different age brackets, 15 to 18-year-olds, and those over 55. Five women from each age group were interviewed about their values, aspirations, and subjective well being (SWB) with the intention of exploring differences between the two generations. Although many of the results were mixed, some conclusions can be gleaned. First, the qualitative responses of my participants would indicate that providing greater educational and work opportunities for women has a positive influence on their SWB. Furthermore, although not across the board, younger women and some older women did show certain characteristics of post-materialist values, shown to be conducive to SWB according to some researchers (Inglehart and Carballo 1997). Because of the inconclusive nature of the results and the small research sample, further research is recommended. Such research should expand the sample size and population (to include men and different ethnic groups) and explore different angles of culture and socio-psychological well-being.


International and Intercultural Communication | Social Psychology

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