Measuring Wellbeing in Developing Countries: The Case of Algeria Author(s): Habib Tiliouine, Robert A.

Cummins and Melanie Davern Reviewed work(s): Source: Social Indicators Research, Vol. 75, No. 1 (Jan., 2006), pp. 1-30 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27522524 . Accessed: 06/05/2012 05:57
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Social DOI

Indicators 10.1007/s

Research (2006) 75: 1-30 11205-004-2012-2

?

Springer

2006

HABIB TILIOUINE, ROBERT A. CUMMINS andMELANIE DAVERN

MEASURING WELLBEING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES: THE CASE OF ALGERIA
(Accepted 6 August 2004)

ABSTRACT.
complementary cross-cultural

The

International Wellbeing
to already well-known two It comprises

Index (IWI) has been developed
economic subscales: measures, the Personal and as a tool Wellbeing

as a
for Index

measure comparisons. test

(PWI) and theNational Wellbeing
Firstly, to

Index (NWI). The aims of this paper are two-fold.

to study how the psychometric characteristics of the IWI. Secondly, a third world from a harsch economical that is yet suffering of Algeria, country people to questions and social with their own lives and life in their situation, dealing respond in general, to samples countries where from more country developed compared The IWI items or were self-rated expected, that were in interview low presented sessions. to individuals total of The on such basis lives, groups both

was measured. wellbeing previously to be either in a questionnaire form were 1417 answers As was analysed. was

a very reported

satisfaction

scales

to the results found, compared or Hong on the Kong. Comparisons women are significantly more satisfied differences PWI showed those were found with

in countries, characteristics their personal age

as Australia show though rated that no the

demographic than men with Eldest groups. in favour and

significantly

were levels. Marginal differences found significant statistically to the PWI in favour in the of the higher but no differences group, regard earning as far as marital NWI. No results were found of status, number statistically significant are concerned. and income The results add to the evidence of the usefulness children, with of the scale Its to predict satisfaction of people was with their own lives very and life in in their terms of of the to be

higher ratings with university

higher on

to NWI. regard than other age both subscales

youngest Education

of groups

groups no with

comparisons education and

country. validity, Homeostasis KEY

psychometric and reliability Theory and

performance The sensitivity. the particular

proved results were of

situation

interpreted the Algerian wellbeing in Algeria

high on the society.

light

WORDS: personal

cross-cultural wellbeing,

measurement, population

international wellbeing

index,

national

wellbeing,

INTRODUCTION
Judging product the dominant or gross domestic economic product measures, (GDP) such and as gross national as not their variants,

2 sufficient progress, on their own

HABIB TILIOUINE to monitor world

ET AL. countries' and this have Index

researchers many opt for additional a plethora as Social of measures, known reason, them is the International been developed. Amongst

performance measures. For Indicators, Wellbeing occasions

(IWI) developed

from

the Australian
It has been and Asian since 2001

Unity Wellbeing
in many

Project
with

et al., 2003a). (Cummins inWestern large surveys Wellbeing Index

tested countries

Reports Lau http://acqol.deakin.edu.au, The results show that at least measures subjective

(The Australian Unity are published in the website:

which

et al., 2003). the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI), in terms of is highly consistent wellbeing,

its psychometric has previously

people's to lie within dicted Scale Maximum scale. The proposed et al., 2002; This narrow the

It and sensitivity). performance (validity, reliability which deals with that subjective wellbeing, been found with their own lives, inWestern is pre nations satisfaction a narrow range of 70-80% data onto SM. The a of percentage standardised 0-100 has been

(%SM) projects theory of subjective wellbeing to explain this narrow positive Cummins et al., 2003a). that model holds individual, and

(SW) homeostasis range of values SW is not is maintained free

(Cummins within a over in a It devices 75%, at which a set of is

theoretical range

for each 0-100

theoretical

manner

pressure active system interlocking proposed which has the task of maintaining wellbeing, analogous that an this high level. These affective absorb and devices

range. to blood

Rather,

simply it is held fairly or body temperature. of psychological about averages include and of personality, influences

to vary constant

reasonably the provides cognitive

steady that buffers

background the impact

different needs

need activate

states. moti

Together, personality at the most of habit fundamental level the process vation. Finally, the first line of resistance and adaptation the uation represents facing to homeostasis. As a result, depression is de environmental threats et al., 2002, in terms of homeostasis failure scribed (Cummins Cummins et al., 2003a).

the action

of unmet

It has also been found
measures normally satisfaction lower than that with are PW.

that national wellbeing

(NW) which

issues general dants personal

is in the whole country living conditions more it concerns This may be because concern to respon not of direct personal satisfaction with aspects of national life

lives. Thus,

MEASURING been normally Australia (Cummins has found

WELLBEING to fall

IN ALGERIA the range 55-65%

3 in

within

sur et al., 2003a, results of the nine b). The a quarterly to December basis 2003 pro veys conducted up results. duced consistent highly to usefulness et al. (2003) brought Lau of the further support on

measure

as they compared for cross-cultural comparisons, samples from Hong Kong concluded that the PWI yiel and Australia. They as a tool ded comparable results and so it has promise psychometric the Hong Kong for cross-cultural Generally speaking, comparisons. fell within the lower range of 65-75%SM. population The main aim of the present study is to test some the IWI the psychometric of a developing and How of performance that has country of these findings, in the particular known and very social once hard diffi does

mainly context times, culties. such fulness mainly based,

from harsh is yet suffering sensitive is the IWI to such affect the wellbeing of index has been confirmed?

recently economical

a situation of such the fit

a situation, the individuals Does on which

and how

the use

the theoretical

of personal homeostasis theory as well? in this particular context,

basis, is the PWI

THE CONTEXT OF THE STUDY
state. It is a large country, is an important North African Algeria with an area of more than 2 381 000 sq km, populated 32 by about an Arab It is mostly millions that inhabitants. and Islamic country, a has considerable oil and gas reserves and a geo-strategic position, few kilometers country recent history. a fierce battle the period of 1954-1962, it fought During from the French colonisation that had dominated independence country since 1832. This cost more than one million human swung totalitarian into a socialist regimes, coasts from the Southern This of Europe. away in the attention in many occasions of the world captured for the lives.

Subsequently, with one of Front

Algeria the most

system of governance, under the rules of a single which held a discourse

party of revolutionary this period, independence

de Lib?ration and

Nationale

(FLN),

historical of

high figures to the mid-1980s

(Tiliouine, legitimacy economical growth were economic growth

2003). During reached. From averaged 6%

4

HABIB TILIOUINE

ET AL.

This allowed for the preservation of average annually. expenditures on education and health 10% of GDP. Basic of about social indi cators pid continued to improve and remained very slowed down development. growth 1987 the population of 2.3% grew the high, although ra

population Between 1977 and

at an annual

average and

of 3.1%, and remained still high 2.8%
tapering off to an average during

in the late 1980s before
1987-1998 period

1.5% in 1999-2001 (IMF, 2003: 2). The good times ended with the 1986 oil shock, when the price of
oil fell by almost 50% compared economic crisis that slashed prolonged year on average riots of over 1987-2001, thus crude a to 1985. Algeria underwent to a mere 1.5% per growth to rising unem contributing

ployment and poverty (IMF, 2003: 2).
The 1988 forced reforms and political tion phase. A market established. parties. The This first ever to allow for economical the regime and a plural democratic so Algeria entered transi economy included and and system the legalisation multipartism of some were

latter

local

organised round of

in the country were elections legislative of

legislative dominated was not won

democratic

religious to be elections

in 1991. The system Front) and decided the nullifying was plunged in an armed

could

by Islamic parties. The first salvation by FIS (Islamic swallow such "a sanction vote" the country Consequently, between Islamists' struggle

the results.

armed open-ended groups on the one hand, and the army on the other hand, with sources in between. the civil population press caught Independent

indicate that more than 15 000 lives were lost between 1991 and 2002 (Tiliouine, 2003).
to calm down after the amnes violence has a tendency Although tiation of many since 2000, within "the civil concor armed groups dance initiative" which was launched by President Bouteflika (elected for five years since 1999), such violence effected badly the deteriorated economic rural areas situation and with a large proportion of the population fleeing to settle down in the already crowded and weakened external worsened

poorly prepared This fragile economic and relying on oil and cause of this violence (Joffe, the supremacy parallel economy:

villages cities.

situation,

gas exportation for and allowed

by heavy was revenues,

debt, be

2002).

to take the parallel economy two forms of Joffe distinguished between

MEASURING
The first

WELLBEING

IN ALGERIA

5

define

to the regime themselves is connected and into what Algerians integrated of the "Mafia", individuals and groups part of the nomenklatura originally rent state who and derive the Algerian their positions for private advantage exploited who from them... of the trabendo The other consisted economy group... smuggling as

enjoyed little political weight but exploited the opportunities violence inside Algeria (Joffe, 2002). The subsidised private sector gains, sector lost made or other suffered with profits necessities from

offered by the growth of

productivity, meanwhile 450

marginal the public 000 workers have

little regard for for development, massive losses. Over of are

their jobs

the last decade under the age

and, even worse, of 30, as the labour has been in 2001, the

in the restructuring exercises of the unemployed three-quarters force is growing

by an estimated

250 000 people a year (IMF, 2003).
Unemployment in 2000. While rising from 10% in 1985 to close to 30% at about labour force was estimated 9

million,

about 29% of the population
announced the figure international indicates World

(IMF, 2003: 2). In 2003, the
are unemployed. that more indicate figures a daily 2003:

officially In 2000, live

that 23.3% Bank

than 1/3 of theAlgerian population
in rural of areas. one And per 20% of revenue dollar inhabitant

live in poverty, and 70% of them
this population live with in Moulai-Hadj, (cited

191).
that a lot of people with permanent jobs, and a noting are not beyond because of the income the line of poverty, regular consumer While the legally binding minimum wage rising prices. which is set by the "tri {salaire national minimum garanti (SNMG) It is worth the government, that includes committee, partite" at the national and employers level, and to which 1997, consumer recorded a cumulative SNMG 1998) again rate was to offset the labour the private increase raised by the adverse union, sector is

also legally bound) remained fixed at DA 4000 from January 1994 to
during Although 15 months (July 1997-September of high inflation and was increased S102 per month at an July 85% prices of about 50% over this period.

impact (IMF, last

by one-third =

in 2001

2003), until the end of 2003 (AD8000 per month
exchange of AD78.62

is the equivalent of
$1 in the

quarter of 2000) (Joffe, 2002). The figures reported by Joffe (2002) indicate that average wages
a household is available, 1997, for which survey at a time when been below the public $200 per month, in seem to have sector wage

6

HABIB TILIOUINE

ET AL.

to national the usuallyguide accepted for a worker, for a technician per month

- was levels S136 earnings it was $186 per month and for a manager month. These wages have been increased $227 per by consumer to inflation. However, 10% since then in response overall, only risen by con is now under have

prices have risen by 66% since 1995, whilst wages 44% over the same period inflation although

trol, having steadily fallen from 5.7% in 1997 to 0.3% in 2000 (Joffe, 2002) and is officially estimated to have reached 2.3% by the end of 2003.
Housing Algeria has is poor and four million and one of inadequate, with units for housing at the highest in the world ratios occupancy two million unit. Some additional units are standards. worsening its 30-million-strong

population 7.5 persons

per housing

required but the state builds just over 130 000 per year, half the
level, and required construction system the private has fallen but largely publicly-financed to massive prey speculation auto and

scandal (Joffe, 2002).
to the state secretary of planning, According by the year 2030, should build the equivalent of the already of Algeria existing number as the population to reach 45 houses and infrastructure is estimated million the daily newspaper of 25. 01. 2004). The of the parallel informal economy, speculators to make profits out of backed by a corrupted administration continue these persistent needs. {Le quotidien and profiteers d'Oran, The age structure was

In 1998, 48% of the population remains young. under the age of 20, down of the population from 55% in 1987 are the prime It is the youth of this population who (IMF, 2003). of living standards and unemployment. targets of the deterioration The low performance of the Algerian educational system (UNESCO, are estimated to condemnation. at Annual is subject 2000) dropouts to the rate of 500 000-560 000 pupils. These youth have little chance an appropriate or even a suitable find in the training system, place are students Even worse, 29% of the total population job. presently and is estimated to reach 32% by the year 2015 {Le quotidien d'Oran, 25. 01. 2004). The discourse of crossing

which

is still dominant sea for for

amongst

the Mediterranean countries Algeria searching has common

these youth is that to the nearest immigration

European Moreover,

stable

borders

life. jobs and a better with the poorest subsaharian

MEASURING African Europe, and countries, with hundreds to cross so

WELLBEING

IN ALGERIA a crossing border down awaiting Marocoo,

7 to the

it is becoming itself of Africans settling mainly

opportunities The victims of social health

to Europe,

through

as was

described by Moulai-Hadj
every services. are system year. This Having is

(2003).
with many making epidemics with is accompanied the mismanagement that major said this, it should be noted inefficient This is due to the of significant fol security

changes

improvements The Bouteflika. taken by President courageous steps reserves has reached $32.9 billion money country's by the officially assurance to face future it more chal end of 2003, which gives improvements the lowing and acquire lenges investors. Recently, gory as more more attractiveness facilities of us have the in been legal taking the eyes offered international to this cate

since 2001. taking place of oil prices, and the

the adjustment through not diverge should prospects it is. into consideration

from

future Yet, system. situation the present

Taking have been to measure

are viewed and how do they affect the a population. a matter of such Is wellbeing of personality, (well)being or is it a the economic from and social conditions independently mere Western construct to poor theoretical that cannot be applicable nations? So, the aims of the present study can be summarised as follows:

itmay described, how such realities

in Algeria that living conditions be of some interest for the social scientist the

To compare world Arab

in a third and national ratings of the personal wellbeing and Islamic country, which is Algeria, with that ratings were found more as Australia in other far such countries, developed was previously and Hong Kong, where wellbeing measured. To study the relationships between the sample demographic charac teristics and their of children, status, number education, (age, marital income) of PWI and NWI and to compare the findings with ratings of previous in other countries. studies the psychometric the extent to which properties of IWI in this particular the PWI and NWI and "life in

results To

examine

context.

To

evaluate

the domains

of

explain Algeria"

variance

in the general items "life as a whole" et al., 2003a, Lau Cummins respectively (e.g.,

et al., 2003).

8

HABIB TILIOUINE

ET AL.

THE INTERNATIONAL
The IWI version 2002 The used in this

WELLBEING

INDEX

(IWI)
in two life

February, subscales. domains:

the second, reviewed study was It comprises Cummins web document). (2002, by are with seven PWI asks how satisfied people of living, personal health, achievement

standard

personal personal relationships, and future security. It is derived

safety, community from the Comprehensive

in life, connectedness Quality of

Life Scale (ComQol) that was originally developed by Cummins Index is theoretically derived as (1997). The Personal Wellbeing
representing Empirical seven domains
construct.

the first studies

level

deconstruction

of

"Life

as

a whole".

explain scale

(Cummins around

et al., 2003b) have that the shown in the parent 50-55% of the variance distant this level from economic oneself. Ini

The NW three

operates

at a more formed

only tially, questions state of environment and social 2 of February (Version to the national added are with: designed Algeria". Both domains. government, as the first-level

scale:

conditions.

In the more

situation, recent version items were people index is life in

2002, web document) concern domain. They business and national deconstruction

three more how

satisfied This with

security. of "Satisfaction an

subscales The

yield results of

a

score

derived subscales

from cannot

average

of

their

the two

be combined.

METHOD
Translation As to is mainly the translation the Algerian bilingual, population was achieved the the target languages and French) (Arabic through who followed of six university senior collaboration lecturers, studies command in either England or of these languages. in the University of Oran, in the translation from part a draft 2003, was and other and hence have the USA, are all lecturers of They for the at least target on 15 years. languages the and 14th sociology Six to

postgraduate got a good social others English. Afterwards, September, took

sciences

to a panel

printed of eight

presented psychology

of

MEASURING lecturers, members Context comments relevance the final words who of volunteered

WELLBEING

IN ALGERIA are

9 They and all

the Laboratory and were (Labo-PECS) about of draft in either more

to supervise the fieldwork. of educational Processes

Social

their asked to separately write down the suitability and the the clarity of the language, for The solution the items to the local context. adopted was to add between brackets of the key equivalents or French in order to avoid to the subjects. This concerns

presenting a very few One concerns

Arabic and/ colloquial than one questionnaire in the NWI. items, mainly modification item: How was

that with the government?, satisfied a presidential where is basically As Algeria system belongs the head of the government himself of is designated by the president as follows: How the republic, the item was rephrased satisfied are you to NWI. with the way the affairs of this rephrasing may though tations. are handled? Al the country of Algeria it avoids misinterpre be more general,

major the

introduced are you

in the final

draft.

This

Participants Data were collected through the distribution of questionnaires for In both interview session.

or filled in an self ratings by respondents, con the presence of the researcher is indispensable. This cases, cerned different institutions, halls, libraries, university professional and where administrations, any place schools, colleges, people accepted observed were to was host that the researchers. Participants The sole with condition less than that 18 years of age.

was old

excluded. I summarises marital the gender, age, status) characteristics. of The and Out socioeconomic(educa of the total number

Table tion,

income, About age

(N=
males. the

1417), 709 subjects are females (50.03%) and 708 (49.97) are
half of the total number of 18-25 years. category the respondents fall within 46+ is 6.1% age group

(N

=

87).

= edu 44.7% regard to education, (N 633) have university cation 37.5% (N = 532) have secondary school education level, level, = 11.7% have college and (N= 166) and 3.4% (JV 48) respectively level. A minority of respondents N = 38) declared primary (2.7%, With

10

HABIB TILIOUINE TABLE
Demographic Characteristics

ET AL.

I
of Participants

N Gender Male Female

%

Age

18-25 26-35 36-45

46 +
Education Not been to

708 709 690 425 215 87 38 48 166 532 633 1417 915 473 24 5 1417 122 412 113 84 731

49.97

50.03
48.7 30.0 15.2 6.1 2.7

School
Primary 3.4 11.7 37.5 44.7 100.0 64.6 33.4 1.7 0.4

College
Secondary University Total Marital Status

Single
Married

Widowed
Divorced

Total
Income

< 8000 D* 8000-16 000 D 16 000-24 000D > 24 000 D
Total

16.7 56.4 15.5 11.5

Algerian

Dinar.

that reflect

they have never the educational

been

to school. of

These

figures Algerian

do not

necessarily

profile

the whole

With
were

regard to themarital

= status, 64.4% (TV 915) of the sample
of 1.7%, and 0.4% responded that

population.

single, meanwhile

a minority

and divorced. widowed respectively, they were, on wages is scarce, as mentioned income Since information earlier, on the basis of the legally binding minimum was categorised wage per

month
our

(SNMG), which

is equivalent to 8000 Algerian Dinars when
the second the sample fall within = of the respondents 48.4%{N 686) were not taken into and housewives of do not benefit on a regular basis

56% survey was conducted. with twice the SNMG. category

representing consideration

students mainly as these latter usually

MEASURING from

WELLBEING

IN ALGERIA

11

student financial aids (an undergraduate university significant a scholarship of 2700 dinars every three months). gets of Even rely on these figures as representatives though, we cannot as the economic the people's is domi situation income distribution nated by an informal economic system, as was explained earlier.

35.6% of the total sample (TV =504)
married, children. ticipants of married (TV =439) number of children ranges than 5 children. having more 87.10% The

reported that they were
subjects reported 1 to 10, with from having 65 par

Procedure Eight Oran interviewers, with a long Two all members experience of labo-PECS from the university of field data supervised them. In the first asked to the and were

in social were

collection. meeting, comment

the questionnaires, they the clarity of the language. Practical matters were of the research organisation longly discussed.

prior meetings themselves filled

research, held with

regarding In the second

were distributed. written instructions These latter summar meeting ised the main the construction of the IWI, the different logic behind followed the Australian the methodology used for the team, steps by with the Hong Kong and the rationale behind comparisons sample, the added items. They were urged to unify the instructions that are to be given to their respondents, their comments and to note down and observations The final as qualitative data. draft of the questionnaire is ordered as follows:

Instructions mous

to respondents the scientific and anony explaining case the respondent characters of the research fills the (in satisfaction with life in general, the seven

-

questionnaire). The item concerning PWI items. The by Two The

plus

-

item concerning satisfaction the six NWI items.

with

life in the country,

followed

-

items concerning cultural bias. response item dealing with a special recent event that may course of the respondent's the normal life. The final part concerns information: Gender, personal status, number of children, and level of instruction

have

troubled

Age,

marital

(five categories:

12 not been

HABIB TILIOUINE

ET AL.

to school, primary, middle school, secondary, university), and monthly income here are calculated profession, (the categories on the basis of the national minimum salary). The 11-point, end from defined numerical used, with to 10 (extremely satis dissatisfied) (extremely labeled "neither satisfied nor dissatisfied". of data collection four weeks, beginning area concerns the geographic took Likert scale was

ratings ranging fied), and a midpoint The whole operation from

the 22nd of September, 2003. The of Algeria. Our aim of Oran and the nearby cities. All in the West city was to get at least 1500 subjects to answer the index items. were detected as the translated No difficulties the researchers by copy was pilot-tested translation. for the clarity and the comprehensibility

of the

Data

Analysis variables As and item ratings were summarised et al. into through (2003a), units of the 50. of

Demographic

statistics. descriptive Likert scale on PWI %SM decimal Exploratory on a 0-100 point one factor

by Cummins suggested were and NWI standardised The the conversion that

distribution. step analysis to was

involves 5.0

right, conducted

is, to assess

shifting becomes

the structure

both PWI and NWI. In order to determine the internal reliability of the PWI and the NWI, Cronbach a item total and item domain
multiple to study the inter-relationships conducted regression analyses and their contribution of each index respectively between domains as a whole to satisfaction PWI and the contribu life for the with were tion of the domains of national index to life in the country correlations were calculated. Bivariate correlations and

(Algeria).

RESULTS
Satisfaction Table Ratings of the Wellbeing and Index standard deviations (SD) for the to 61.84, SD The mean

II summarises

the means

satisfaction 21.10

of both PWI ratings to 30.41) and NWI (range

(range from 46.06 to 39.32). from 29.94

MEASURING domain other were

WELLBEING lower

IN ALGERIA than those identified

13 in

ratings

that were in the various such surveys countries, of conducted in that country and very far from the gold standard as far as was et al. (2003a), 75.00, which suggested by Cummins are concerned. In the seventh Australian Western societies wellbeing

substantially as Australia

survey PW (ranged from 71.17 to 81.32, SD

16,81 to 19,69). A

et al., 2003b). surveys (Cummins slightly higher figure than previous This is still higher than the corresponding figures found by Lau et al.

(2003) in Hong Kong with an Asian Chinese
72.0, SD 14.4 to This differences variable that 18.9). concern all the domains mean,

sample (range 57.5 to
of PWI. Health is the

recorded

the highest

followed personal in life, found to

connectedness, community tionships, with standard of living, achievements are The three first variables security.
mean score.

rela by personal satisfaction safety, and future finally lie above the PWI

In comparison, that for both Australian Lau et al. (2003) found and Chinese and standard of living, personal relationships samples mean scores are above score. Then, the index mean personal safety in the second is consistently ranked personal relationships place across both studies. domain, less it could than 40% be of seen from Table The II that all the In the NW

expressed ratings was in the domain of

satisfaction. followed

of national

security,

the environment, social conditions, the way the country's affairs are handled finally scores lie above three first items' mean the mean These

highest rating the state by business, the economic and situation, The (governance). score in the NWI.

to the economic reflect the discontent of the sample figures situation of their country and how its affairs are handled. scores The in the Wellbeing items mean Australian of survey to 55.78, SD 17.04 to 25.48. Gen 2003 ranged from 66.14 August this is consistent with the results found in the seventh erally speaking, came first, followed Australian situation survey in that economic by national and security, to SD then social government. Governance the conditions, was rated the environment, business, last by both samples. life in their of Australians with is considerably behind in Algeria, with much

Compared country (37.38,
larger

satisfaction

(83.04, SD 26.19)
variance.

17.04), the Algerian sample in its satisfaction with life

14

HABIB TILIOUINE TABLE II

ET AL.

Ratings

of the IWI in Algeria Mean

(N SD

=

1417)

PWI 52.30 21.10 Standard of living Achievements
Personal

In life

49.44 28.37 Health 61.84 30.37 27.29 47.73
30.41 55.62

relationships

How

safe you feel Feeling part of your community
security with life as a whole

29.38 50.84 54.5930.11
27.54 46.06 48.73 29.77

Future Satisfaction

NWI 34.37
Economic State of situation the environment 22.79 31.43 25.76 36.03

17.43

Social conditions
Government Business

22.58 32.41
23.79 29.94 37.09 24.91

National

security life in Algeria

25.54 39.32 26.19 37.38

Satisfaction with

Demographic of Personal

Characteristics and National

and Satisfaction Wellbeing

Ratings

It can be seen from Table III that females' and gender. Wellbeing mean scores in PW are 54.06 (SD 21.18), while reach those of males

50.55 (SD 20.89). The difference is significantly higher in favour of
females findings et al., 2003b). Females scored mains and of PWI: future = = This -3.42, p 0.002). (/(1415) in Australia of the surveys conducted higher means significantly of living, community standard is consistent since 2001 with the (Cummins in four do

than males connectedness,

health,

security for

In Australia, be higher

(Table III). are inclined to except for safety, all the PWI domains with the most marked difference females, being and community connectedness, relationships involve (Cummins interacting with other people

for personal apparent the two domains that et al., 2003b: 23).

MEASURING

WELLBEING TABLE III

IN ALGERIA

15

Wellbeing

and Gender

Males

Females

= (N 708) Mean (SD) PWI Standard of living Health
Achievements in

= (N 709) Mean (SD)
-3.42 -5.59* -3.24* 0.30

50.55 (20.89) 45.27 (28.00) 59.24 (30.55) 47.95 (27.33) 56.40 (29.25)
feel

54.06(21.18) 53.61 (28.15) 64.44 (29.99) 47.50 (27.27) 54.84(31.53) 51.93 (29.63) 58.05 (29.78) 48.02 (27.49) 51.00(29.53) 35.05 (17.57) 31.44(22.96) 36.16(26.16) 32.82 (23.22) 31.03(23:79) 38.81 (25.43) 40.04 (25.72) 39.10(26.67)

life
Personal relationships How safe you 0.97

Feeling part of your
Community Future security

49.74(29.11) 51.13(30.06) 44.10(27.46)

-1.40 -4.36*

-2.69* -2.89*

Satisfaction with
whole

life as a 46.45 (29.84) 33.69 (17.28)

NWI
Economic situation

-1.47 -0.01 -0.19

State of the
environment Social conditions

31.43(22.63) 35.90 (25.37) 32.00(21.93) 28.84 (23.75) 35.37 (24.26) 38.60 (25.36) 35.67 (25.59)

-0.68 -1.73 -2.61* -1.06 -2.47*

Government Business National security

Satisfaction with in Algeria
p < 0.05; p <

life

0.005.

Satisfaction surveys Another

with

in Australia, consistent

for males, safety is higher but not in Algeria. result across the finding in Algeria not

as found

in previous and is in

in Australia,

is different, though significantly satisfaction with personal safety than females. men are more be because in Algeria, to security dangers May exposed than women because of the present security crisis. The but = p did 0.82). differences not At reach the in the NWI are smaller, significant level, one also a statistically single domains level: of females, = ?1.47, (/(1415) a difference reached in favour

the opposite direction that males have more

16 significant business. favour level In all

HABIB TILIOUINE in favour the other of females domains,

ET AL. with but in

the satisfaction concerning were the differences small

of women. it was surveys, of the national found at the national level both

In the Australian

and three domains personal state of the environment, and national security, = satisfaction for females significant higher (p females willing are either more

situation, (Economic all show a marginally 0.23). than males or more

The explanations put forward by Cummins et al (2003b: 24) is that
to express and age. followed emotionally strong emotion. The results responsive

Wellbeing

in Table

IV indicate

that

the highest 53.57 a sig

means
17.49),

in PW were scored by the eldest age group (46 + ): 54.99 (SD
by

the youngest of 18-25 years olds: group the four age groups between (SD 21.3). Comparisons yielded difference with to PWI at the 0.02 level. nificant regard There although were smaller age and group not the eldest differences significant scored the highest means too

in NWI, (38.41,

SD

15.94), followed (Table IV).
Individual items of

by

the youngest

(34.27, SD

17.65) again

are: Stan the PWI that reached significance = = dard of living (F= health 14.16, p 0.000), (F= 6.04, p 0.000), = connectedness (F= 4.55, p community 0.004) and life satisfaction = = 4.37, p (F 0.005).

TABLE Wellbeing Age TV % PWB* Mean 18-25 26-35 36-45 46+ Total 690 425 215 87 1417
age by differences: age Welch F(3,

IV and Age NWB** SD 21.30 21.79 20.09 17.49 Mean 34.27 33.96 33.88 38.41 SD 17.64 17.36 17.38 15.94

48.7 30.0 15.2 6.1

53.57 50.08 51.55 54.99

PWB by 'Significant NWB **No significant

(3,

1413) 1413)

= = 3.06,/? 1.70,/?

= =

0.02. 0.164.

differences:

MEASURING Those ^ p = = A 0.006), IWI

WELLBEING are:

IN ALGERIA

17

concerning business

(F=2.70,

National = /> 0.01),

security economy

(77=4.11, OF =3.37,

0.02). consistent after domains related this

improves personal icant age also social

is that wellbeing in the Australian surveys finding for all holds This the age of 55 years. pattern except health and safety which et al., 2003b: domains show 30). no The signif NWI

shows

conditions,

change (Cummins trend, due to the three and Government.

of Environment,

Wellbeing education never (55.56, The level: versity 0.005 The cant means, at

and education. were

It could

be noticed who

from Table answered

V

that five

groups to school been SD 20.76).

identified. Those = (TV 38) scored University were those

The

the highest scores group mean of the middle

they have mean in PWI were as well

fairly high compared
least mean 47.44, group level. scores

to the remaining groups: 53.85 (SD 20.11).
school

(college) uni the differences between For instance, (SD 20.59). at the school group are significant and those of middle in NW of by 0.001. mean scores were school no also

differences the level

followed

Primary those who have

statistically signifi the highest had group The trend here is education.

TABLE V
Wellbeing and Education

TV

%

PWB
Mean SD

NWB Mean 38.29 41.15 37.26 34.59 32.68 SD 16.12 19.42 19.18 17.54 16.53

Not been to school Primary school Middle school Secondary school University Total
* Significant F(4, 1412) differences = 3.55, p =

38 48 166 532 633 1417
in PW 0.007 differences =

2.7 3.4 11.7 37.5 44.7

55.56 49.38 47.44 52.02 53.85

20.76 22.54 20.59 22.08 20.11

(Post

according Hoes: in NW

to education. University according > Middle to education. school, p = 0.005).

Marginal

F(4,

1412)

=

significant

4.99,p
>

= 0.001 (Post Hoes: Middle
p 0.010).

School > University,/?

=

0.021;

Primary

school

University,

18 reversed mean compared scores were

HABIB TILIOUINE to the the lowest. scores

ET AL. where these two

in PWI,

groups

can be status. No differences and marital Wellbeing significant NWB between married noticed (52.85, (51.61, SD 20.17) and single subjects = 0.802. = seen from It could be SD -0.25, /? 21.49): ?(1385) could be observed differences Table VI that no statistically significant between married and non-married subjects, lowest scores though on both the divorced

subjects scored higher
remaining recorded Further children, NW. those with

(M 58.29, SD

19.04), compared
scales

to the
were

the groups. However, widowed subjects. by

were to the number with conducted regard analyses were in PW found either differences but no significant no children differences significant and those with no children were found were when means compared.

of or of

Moreover,

it should be is concerned, and income. As far as income Wellbeing not answer this question, of the total sample did that 48.4% noticed These include mainly as they do not receive any regular wages. housewives and students. between a statisti the four income groups yielded = in favour of high earning group difference 0.05) (p cally significant followed 56.21 , SD 21.44), up to twice the by those earning (M SD 20.93). The group of the lowest earnings mean SMIG (M 51.8, Comparisons scores recorded the lowest scores in PW of the ratings yield any (Table VII). across the NWI differences the groups (Table are VII).

Generally comparable

speaking and do not

significant

TABLE VI Wellbeing
Marital Status N %

and Marital

Status

PWB
Mean SD 21.49 20.17

NWB
Mean SD 17.51

Single
Married

Widowed
Divorced Total No PW differences

915 473 24 5 1417
between

64.6 33.4 1.7 0.4

52.85 51.61 43.81 58.29

34.24
34.49

17.30
14.97 16.44

23.31
19.04

32.08
50.67

= married/single: ?(1386)

1.04, p

=

0.299.

MEASURING

WELLBEING TABLE VII

IN ALGERIA

19

Wellbeing

and

Income

Income

N

%

PW* Mean SD 20.98 20.93 20.51 21.44

NW* Mean 36.94 35.16 31.70 36.75 SD 19.51 17.48 15.82 15.60

<8000D 8000-16,000 D 16,000-24,000 D >24.000D Total * Marginal

122 412 113 84 731

16.7 56.4 15.5 11.5

48.89 51.80 49.17 56.21

= 2.54, categories F(3,727) No differences significant = = 0.09. F(3,727) 2.15,/?

significant differences

in PWB

= 0.05. p in NWB according

according
to income

to income with
with 4 income

4 income
categories

Internal Reliability of the PWI
Cronbach on.Cronbach coefficient for the PWI is 0.85 and for NWI the Australian higher (Hong is 0.81. In comparison with the values found either with or the Hong Kong samples, Cronbach alpha is slightly = = 0.73, Australia Kong 0.80).

Item-Total

correlations.

The

item and

total

correlations

of

the PWI

ran

0.71 ged between and 0.79. In both of around 0.72

and 0.75, indexes,

that of the NWI

the majority studies

0.64 ranged between of the items have a correlation on PW, the item of Lau et al. (2003) of around

Compared total correlations the majority
0.50.

(Table VIII). to the previous here the items

that focussed

of

are higher. In the study a moderate have correlation

Domain tween

inter-correlations. 0.37 and of 0.75. The with

The highest health:

domain

inter correlations were those

ranged

be

correlations

standard

living

achievements: correlations 0.54; safety, future personal 0.50;

0.50; and were those relations safety (Table and

safety with

0.54; personal future security: standard of

concerning with relationships 0.51.The with highest health and and

concerning living with 0.50, achievements, community future and community 0.51; security,

security

IX).

HABIB TILIOUINE TABLE VIII
Item-Total Correlations of Each

ET AL.

Domain

of

the

IWI

Item total correlations of PWB

Standard of living 0.71 Health 0.75 in life 0.72 Achievements
Personal relationships 0.72

Safety

0.72
0.74

connectedness Community Future 0.72 security Item total correlations of NWB 0.72 Economy Environment

0.64

Social conditions
Governance Business National All correlations are significant at the < 0.001 0.75 security level 0.79

0.71

0.71

(2-tailed).

As The

for

the NWI

items

highest tion and government and business and

correlations

(Table IX), were noticed

they ranged from 0.31 between the economic

to 0.56. situa

situation between

business

0.55, business 0.46. The environment The

lowest

and government 0.56, economic were found correlations 0.31, and between the national two

and

sub security to is relatively close to the 0.42, compared scales i.e., PWI and NWI et al. (2003a: of the correlation 0.44 found by Cummins 171). Yet, is satisfaction of life in Algeria life as whole with with satisfaction environment. correlation between lower: 0.26.

Validity of theWellbeing Index
Factor of the two the coherence the aim to determine analysis. With a principal were to the domains subscales, Components subjected re a varimax matrix rotation. The correlation followed by analysis,

inter-correlate with at least one other variable veals that all variables the suitability of the data for factor analysis. at > 0.30. This confirms the other matrix also met of the correlation The factorability assumptions. which were the PWI These >0.80. values the Kaser-Mayer-Oklin (KMO) for both of Barlett's Test of Spherity Secondly, level. also reached statistically significant included

and NWI

TABLE
Domains Inter

IX

item Correlations

Variable
Life as a whole

1 3 4 52 6

7

8

9

10

11

PWB Standard of living Health
Achievements Pers. Relationships

0.72 0.65 0.60
0.51 0.47

0.71 0.75
0.72 0.72

0.54
0.46 0.37 0.48 0.49 0.50

Safety Community Future security Economic sit. Environment Social conditions Governance Business Nat. security Life inAlgeria

0.43 0.48 0.50 NWB 0.24 0.12 0.18 0.19 0.16 0.20 0.19 0.26

0.72 0.74 0.73 0.42 0.26 0.29 0.33 0.24 0.35 0.34 0.40

0.42 0.39 0.45 0.30 0.18 0.19 0.31 0.17 0.26 0.19 0.31

0.42 0.45 0.38 0.22 0.06 0.20 0.17 0.11 0.21 0.20 0.19

0.38 0.42 0.47 0.32 0.23 0.18 0.25 0.19 0.29 0.22 0.25

0.42 0.45 0.39 0.24 0.12 0.20 0.17 0.12 0.21 0.20 0.20

0.50 0.51 0.31 0.19 0.21 0.22 0.17 0.21 0.35 0.32

0.51 0.34 0.21 0.22 0.24 0.21 0.28 0.28 0.38

0.42 0.33 0.26 0.33 0.27 0.30 0.31 0.40

0.72 0.64 0.71 0.79 0.75 0.71 0.56

0.32 0.44 0.55 0.46 0.38 0.50

22

HABIB TILIOUINE TABLE X

ET AL.

Orthogonal

Factor

Analysis

of Personal

and National

Domains

Item Component Health
Personal

1

Component

2

0.77
relationships 0.72

Achievements
Community How Future Government Economic Business Social National State of safe

in life
connectedness

0.70
0.70

Standard of living
you feel 0.66 0.82 situation 0.72 conditions security

0.69
0.69

0.75

0.68

0.67 security the environment

0.56

% of variance explained
Eigenvalues 4.87 2.02

37.45% 15.57%

Table

X

shows

the entraction

of

two

about 52% of the variance explain seven et al. (2003a)). The found by Cummins on their factor and explained 37.45% 0.66-0.77 is very The six similar to the 38.3% found

simple factors (this is similar items

that to the

together 52.2% loaded This 170), ex

of PWI

of the variance. et al. (2003a: and

by Cummins on

and lower than the 47% found by Lau et al. (2003) for Hong Kong.
items of NWI loaded 0.56-0.82 their factor, 15.57% of the variance. plained structure of these two indices that the factor It can be concluded, here. in previous research has been confirmed that was established

Shared Items:

Contribution Bivariate

of Specific Correlations XI

Domain

Items

to General

Domain

It can be seen from Table with significantly to 0.65 from 0.43 than tralia 0.50 and, and Hong

that the seven domains item of "life

of PWI

correlate

as a whole". They ranged are higher of the correlations Most (Table XI, c2). in Aus than those found in general, they are higher et al., 2003). Kong (Lau the general

TABLE XI
Regression of Personal Domains on Satisfaction with Life

as a Whole

Variable

Life

as a whole

Standard of living
Health

0.65
0.60* 0.54 0.46 0.37 0.42 0.48* 0.50* 0.39 0.45 0.48 0.49 0.42 0.45 0.38 0.50 0.38 0.42 0.47 0.42 0.45 0.39 0.50 0.51

Achieve
Personal Safety Comm. Future = R2

in life
rel/ships 0.43* Connect security 0.57a

0.51
0.47*

0

= 0.57 Adjusted R2
p < 0.001. 0.13; Shared = variability 0.44.

aUnique variability

24

HABIB TILIOUINE

ET AL. of NWI correlate with

the six domains Correspondingly, the more general item of "satisfaction These ranged from 0.33 to 0.50.

highly

with

life in the whole

country".

Unique

Contribution

of Domains

to Life

as a Whole:

Multiple

Regression the unique contribution of the domains were a whole", the former regressed against Table XI presents the results of this analysis. as Within the PWI, standard of living makes the To determine of PWI the to "life The

latter.

largest

contribution to the prediction of life as a whole (Adjusted R2 = 57%), this is consistent with the findings inAustralia (Adjusted R2 = 56%), and higher of its equivalent inHong Kong (Adjusted R2 = 43%). All
a significant contribution of unique variance, with the exception of safety that did not have any unique contribution to life as whole. The same result with regard to these two items was other domains made found mins et al. (2003a: by Lau et al. (2003) and Cummins et al. did not favour the idea of excluding this domain 172). Cum from PWI

unique

The

as it predicts well some other variables which were not explored here. that show consistency in predicting life as a whole other domains ? 0.14 = are health achievements 0.23, future ? security ? personal ? ? 0.09 and connectedness relation 0.10, community ? personal ? = 0.08. ships ? The are same procedure was followed The as far as the domains of NWI concerned six domains XI

were regressed against the economic conditions the largest unique The make contribution R2 = 0.35%). (Adjusted as well, are: social other domains that make contribution, significant = = national conditions governance 0.16), 0.15), security (y5 (/? = = The sole domain that environment conditions 0.08). 0.13), (? (? = a reversed trend is business this item showed -0.03), (? though with all other domains of NWI correlate (Table XII). significantly life in Algeria. (Table XII). As shown in the Table

DISCUSSION
The aim of this research Arabic and was to investigate Islamic country in a population wellbeing that has for more than a

third world,

TABLE XII Regression of National Domains

on Satisfaction with Life In Alger

Variable Economic Enviro. Social Governed Business 0.34 0.40 conditions Conditions conditions 0.45

Life inAlgeria
0.50 0.33 0.42

1

0.32 0.44 0.55 0.46 0.38 0.47 0.33 0.31 0.32 0.46 0.40 0.34 0.56 0.51 0.49

National security = 0.35a R2

= 0.34 Adjusted R2
p < 0.001; p < 0.005. = 0.09; = variability

aUnique

variability

Shared

0.48.

26 decade situation experienced

HABIB TILIOUINE a harsh its pluralist

ET AL. and a very of which what difficult Another economic aim was

during to investigate the psychometric The results are compared and Hong Kong. in that Algeria to the conclusion found

instability democratic

transition.

properties with those

the IWI. have has been been and found previously national in

Australia expected,

They support recorded lower

personal standard"

wellbeing. This leads which has

that the "Gold

been

as far as Western country

countries such

of wellbeing are concerned in its present

is

inappropriate situation.

in a developing

as Algeria,

The theory of SW homeostasis, proposed by Cummins
Cummins et al. has demonstrated Western (2003a), that most asserts that a considerable are satisfied with

(2002) and
of research

life. In people the average is about value for population nations, samples a normal the theory range from 70 to 80%. However, 75%, with that when wellbeing admits falls behind this normal range, as it is the case here, this means that defeat factors that there are sufficiently the homeostatic system. in terms adverse "These environmental may have their

body their own

to the person, either external of life events, or within origins et al., 2002a: the person, of pain" such as in perception (Cummins Lau et al. (2003) cultural bias cannot be excluded. response 13). Yet, an avoid in Hong Kong that Chinese showed demonstrated people ance score people found, feated of the scale to fall. extreme scores, It is possible mean the population thereby causing that a similar bias is operating the among scores that have been low the extremely reality of life in this country, make

of Algeria. together

However, with the objective

it highly

likely that subjective wellbeing
of national

homeostasis
life are found

has been de

to be normally in within the range of 55-65%SM than for personal life, falling in Algeria. This could be explained and 30-40%SM Australia by a such as governance, the economic with discontent factors, general lower business, situation, and the multifaceted 1991 exerts their social crisis conditions and national which Instability security. the country has gone since of the reality of perception been in earlier, explained that NW is not only a of external conditions

for many citizens. with aspects Satisfaction

through on the population its pressure Some of these factors have country. It seems,

the first part of this paper. matter of personality, but

therefore, the perceived reality

MEASURING of

WELLBEING

IN ALGERIA

27

for basic needs of the population, living and the poor provision are care... These such as: housing, sufficient income, medical food, in their of the people the factors that reduce the confidence amongst at all levels. life satisfaction and mark countries, the Concerning some demographic It is usually lenging. are far behind on has men their been restrictions Australia and between wellbeing relationship personal are chal the findings such as gender, factors, in many Islamic societies that women admitted in terms of wellbeing, as The score there trend higher explanation to express found are more noticed in

personal confirmed is concerned

emancipation. here. Women and

as far as could strong that the

wellbeing personal in the universal be found
emotions.

willingness the

the plausible of women

The

comparisons

between

four

age

groups

eldest group (46+ ) followed by the youngest group (between 18 and
in in the PWI. Previous than other groups surveys 25) scored better Australia found that after the age of 55 personal wellbeing improves. This in this study is partly here. Yet, the youngest group supported are mostly in its and single persons with no life experience students broader guarantee Income as sense, cases to and parents in Algeria in most continue their daughters' and sons' expenses. a significant on both PW and NW did not make difference research. This can be

explained by the fact that the to monthly related do not specifically take single question earnings into account that may be received either in the form all other earnings important system, matter is that, are usually

in previous

or governmental of parental aids. Another an informal dominated economic by being inclined not to declare their earnings. Comparisons in PW ference followed education never between in favour

people

a significant education found dif groups of persons who have never been to school, level group. An interaction between age, by the university as those who account and PW may for this difference,

are been to school are the eldest, meanwhile those of university the youngest. to be clarified in sub this matter needs further So, research. With in that the trend is different sequent regard to NWI, middle and primary school level groups scored higher than university level group. This official discourse education levels can be explained by the effect of the media of national finds in people pride which its prime consumers. and of the lower

28 In terms

HABIB TILIOUINE of psychometric validity and reliability

ET AL.

showed good sensi data, both subscales as has also been found with samples from tivity, and Hong Kong et. al., other countries, such as Australia (Cummins the IWI suitable as a valuable tool 2002; Lau et al., 2003). This makes for the measurement of populations of the satisfaction life in the developing minimum scales countries Cronbach an too. It was found that both than PWI and NWI the items had in both a of more 0.70. All

correlation than 0.30. The seven higher on their factor and items of personal wellbeing index loaded 0.66-0.77 to the 38.3% of the variance. This is very close 37.45% explained showed

alpha item total

found by Cummins et al. (2003a: 170), but lower than the 47% found by Lau et al. (2003) for Hong Kong. The six items of NWI loaded
0.56-0.82 is also The their factor, and explained 15.57% similar to the 13.9% found by Cummins seven also on of the variance. et al. (2003a: This 170).

power

domains, collectively, predictive with life as a whole in Algeria. for explaining satisfaction This with in Australia is consistent the findings which 57%, averaged

demonstrated

= 56%), and higher of its equivalent (Adjusted R2
R2 = 43%, Lau and findings

in Hong Kong
consistent for more

(Adjusted with previous cross-cultural

et al., 2003). This is generally this measure is recommended so,

comparisons.

CONCLUSION
Taking into consideration the fact that Algeria is a third world and the wounds of its recent history to be a very the IWI has proved

that country the dramatic useful and

is yet suffering from economic situation,

level of population's tool to reflect on the decreased wellbeing of the population that are echoed by independent the complaints press and other sources. In this study, and reli the IWI showed sensitivity, validity good stated in other countries, such as Australia ability which were already and Hong Kong it suitable makes isfaction et al., et al., 2003a; Lau (Cummins as a valuable tool for the measurement 2003), which of the sat

life in the developing countries also. of populations as Algeria, in a country, such is wrongly presented Development as being an accumulation of wealth and an increase officials by many or amplification is not only economic development figures. A genuine

MEASURING national increasing enhance people's in order security themselves bank

WELLBEING in hard

IN ALGERIA

29

reserves to

wellbeing, to motivate people.

but being able to currency, life and in people's instore hope to to carry on being them useful

lead us to avoid disasters such This may as the one which since 1991. It ended the country has gone through billions of in the killing of thousands of innocent lives and wasted up to rebuild that previ the country dollars that were urgently needed and other ously well suffered from colonisation. as indicators in rich, as of development surveys Using wellbeing as in poor countries, is if development be very important may resources are to be humanely aimed and the international focussed compassionately at a wider level, with tain on the results. traits There in Algeria, and cultural distributed. more However, more research is needed in order to ascer representative samples so many differences between and regions for instance, from which we can learn more

more

are

com of wellbeing levels. More on the basis of clearly discernible of age, educa parisons categories health and tion, wealth, conditions, regions, personality are needed to explain how wellbeing in order characteristics is dis the structure the distribution tributed across the different groups.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research was conducted through Processes the financial and Social means Context of this of the

of Laboratory of Oran PECS) tution who

Educational University, carried

this, we thank Mr A A. Belguoumidi, S. Mokaddem, L. Ghrib, M. F. Mekki, Benali, M. Zaoui, M. Boukessara and the postgraduates who helped Ferahi, in the data collection. We thank all the lecturers of the department of actively For psychology translation and educational sciences in particular who Dr of the measure, willingly B. Mahi, in the helped Pr M. Meziane.

Algeria. out this research.

It is the members

(Labo insti

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www.unesco.org

Laboratory and Social

Processes of Educational Context (Labo-PECS) and Educational

Habib

Tiliouine

of Psychology Department Oran University Algeria E-mail:

Sciences

htiliouine@yahoo.fr

School Deakin Australia

of Psychology University

Robert Melanie

A.

Cummins Davern

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