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Designing online interventions in consideration of young people’s concepts of well-being: Exploratory qualitative study

Winsall, M., Orlowski, S., Vogl, G., Blake, V., Nicholas, M., Antezana, G., Schrader, G. and Bidargaddi, N. (2019) Designing online interventions in consideration of young people’s concepts of well-being: Exploratory qualitative study. JMIR Human Factors, 6 (1). Art. e10106.

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Background: A key challenge in developing online well-being interventions for young people is to ensure that they are based on theory and reflect adolescent concepts of well-being.

Objective: This exploratory qualitative study aimed to understand young people’s concepts of well-being in Australia.

Methods: Data were collected via workshops at five sites across rural and metropolitan sites with 37 young people from 15 to 21 years of age, inclusive. Inductive, data-driven coding was then used to analyze transcripts and artifacts (ie, written or image data).

Results: Young adults’ conceptions of well-being were diverse, personally contextualized, and shaped by ongoing individual experiences related to physical and mental health, along with ecological accounts acknowledging the role of family, community, and social factors. Key emerging themes were (1) positive emotions and enjoyable activities, (2) physical wellness, (3) relationships and social connectedness, (4) autonomy and control, (5) goals and purpose, (6) being engaged and challenged, and (7) self-esteem and confidence. Participants had no difficulty describing actions that led to positive well-being; however, they only considered their own well-being at times of stress.

Conclusions: In this study, young people appeared to think mostly about their well-being at times of stress. The challenge for online interventions is to encourage young people to monitor well-being prior to it becoming compromised. A more proactive focus that links the overall concept of well-being to everyday, concrete actions and activities young people engage in, and that encourages the creation of routine good habits, may lead to better outcomes from online well-being interventions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): College of Science, Health, Engineering and Education
Publisher: JMIR Publications
Copyright: © 2021 JMIR Publications
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