ACSPRI Conferences, RC33 Eighth International Conference on Social Science Methodology

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Using Multiple Socioeconomic Indices in a Multicontext Assessment Battery of Filipino Youth Development

Melissa Lopez Reyes

Building: Law Building
Room: Breakout 7 - Law Building, Room 028
Date: 2012-07-10 01:30 PM – 03:00 PM
Last modified: 2011-12-25


While the positive youth development paradigm recognizes youth's inner resources as drivers of their own development, external resources or constraints, including family socioeconomic characteristics, influence developmental processes and outcomes. In order to examine the socioeconomic correlates of youth development, it is important to construct a valid socioeconomic index out of various singular socioeconomic indicators, and the multidimensional nature of poverty and affluence in fact warrants the construction of multiple indices. Of special interest, moreover, is the computation of indices from youth’s self-reports.

Household-amenities, quality-of-housing, perceived-financial-difficulties, and sources-of-regular-income indices were analyzed using multiple data sets from pilot administrations of the Multicontext Assessment Battery of Youth Development to Filipino undergraduates from two private universities and one state university and to Filipino working youth from one state university and two local government units.

Principal components analyses of the indicators constituting each index were conducted separately for the undergraduate and working-youth data. Both sets of analyses show all indices having a single-factor structure, except for the sources-of-regular-income index, which has the two factors of family-sourced and other-sourced incomes. Some differences in the factor loadings obtained from the undergraduate and working-youth data suggest the need to modify indices so they are more appropriate to the population under study. Differing patterns of intercorrelations among the indices and of the indices’ correlations with family membership profiles (number of children, proportion of children in different age groups) reflect nuanced distinctions among the indices.

Using new data sets, medium-sized canonical correlations of the constructed indices with youth development indicators were obtained. Canonical weights indicate varying contributions of socioeconomic indices to the canonical correlations, with the housing-amenities index consistently having the largest contribution. Lower socioeconomic index scores are associated with: families assigning more roles to the youth; the youth having more positive perceptions of their roles, and having greater self-discipline but lower self-efficacy in enacting them; and, the youth experiencing more problems and needing to resort to more varied coping strategies. The canonical correlation of the SES indices with youth’s inner strengths was not significant, however.

The constructed socioeconomic indices are useful in examining the so-called “socioeconomic ecologies” that determine youth’s developmental and adaptive processes. In particular, such indices are useful in characterizing the differing facets of and paths to development of poor and non-poor Filipino youth, thus, informing current discourse on the dynamics between self and family poverty/affluence that triggers, sustains, or inhibits desired developmental outcomes.