Author:D'Silva, Jeffrey Lawrence


Well-being continuous to garner interests among researchers and policy-makers as it is deemed fundamental to human happiness (D'Silva, 2017). Historically during the period of Aristotle, individuals' progress to acquire knowledge and skills, income, social bonding, and health is closely related to well-being. Then came an era of classical economists that emphasized the importance of wealth on well-being and happiness. However, arguments continue to exist on just equalling individual happiness with national income (Easterlin, 2001; Cummins et al., 2003; Sen, 1987). Thus, more researchers began to examine the possible domains that contribute towards well-being from the perspective of economy, psychology, sociology and public policy. In this process, it generated a number of terms namely quality of life, happiness, objective wellbeing and subjective well-being (Diaz & Bui, 2017). Well-being has been divided into two approaches, namely the objective and subjective approaches (Western & Tomaszewski, 2016), and because it is believed that an individual's subjective evaluation of their emotions and quality of life is important as it reflects their position on their objective achievement. Lately, the concept of holistic well-being is being advocated as a means to measure well-being whereby it combines both objective and subjective well-being indicators (Forgeard et al., 2011). Another important element in the process of measuring well-being is the use of systems thinking and complexity science and a recent study by Rusoja et al. (2018) highlighted the importance of systems thinking to improve the execution of the Sustainable Development Goals. This study is an initial attempt to apply a systems thinking mechanism by using causal maps to depict the dimensions that could elevate youth holistic well-being.

Youth Well-Being

Youth undoubtedly is considered as a significant group in the world as they possess the creativity, potential, and capacity for changes to happen (UNESCO, 2018). UNESCO describes youth as the transition period between the over-dependence period of childhood and the independent period of adulthood. The age-range of youth varies according to countries whereby it could range from 15 to 35 years. Youth face a myriad of problems beginning from education right up to employment and thus the well-being of youth is paramount in the quest for sustainable development. There are a number of indicators used to measure youth well-being. For instance, the Global Youth Well-being Index encompasses seven dimensions, namely, economic, education, health, safety & security, information & communication technology, gender equality, and citizen participation (Sharma, 2017). On the other hand, the Malaysian Youth Index has 12 indicators to measure well-being. This study is intended to identify contributing factors on the holistic well-being of youth with the spatial range based on their current location.


Previous literature shows that there is a multidimensional linkage on the concept of wellbeing as it is placed together with other concepts like happiness, quality of life, life satisfaction, etc. Beginning...

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