This article takes a health assets approach to extract policy lessons for Ghana’s present Child and Family Welfare Policy, introduced in 2014. We examine the role of Ghanaian adolescents’ socioeconomic status and family social capital in their subjective well-being using data obtained from a representative survey of adolescents (aged 13-18 years) in Ghana’s Upper West Region. Our empirical results revealed that various sub-components of family social capital, including family sense of belonging, autonomy support, control, and social support, varied with adolescents’ self-reported life satisfaction and happiness after controlling for their family socioeconomic status and other personal characteristics. Once family social capital was controlled for, socioeconomic status explained adolescents’ life satisfaction, but not their happiness. These findings confirm existing studies suggesting that family social capital can function as a protective ‘safety net’ for adolescents with low SES in the specific Ghanaian context. Consequently, this study contributes to the literature by arguing that, in order to develop Ghana’s Child and Family Welfare Policy further, adolescent ‘social empowerment’ ought to be accentuated alongside its current focus on enhancing household ‘economic empowerment’ via social protection interventions.
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press.
- Family Social Capital
- Socioeconomic Status
- Child and Family Welfare Policy
- Subjective Well-being
- Young People