“We Are Young, We Run Free”: Predicting Factors of Life Satisfaction among Young Backpackers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Although research from a positive psychology perspective is conducted among different populations, few studies have examined the predictors of life satisfaction among young backpackers. The current study focused on young adults (ages 21–30), an age group for whom backpacking treks are a growing phenomenon, during their treks in the Far East and South America. Direct and indirect models were used to identify personal factors and environmental resources contributing to life satisfaction. After at least one month abroad, 318 young adults (M = 23.76) answered a self-report quantitative questionnaire. The findings show that personal resources, social support, and community participation were positively associated with life satisfaction, and risk-taking behaviors were negatively associated with life satisfaction. Social support and community participation partially mediated the association between risk-taking behaviors and life satisfaction and between personal resources and life satisfaction. The implications of the findings for the subjective well-being of young backpackers during their transition to adulthood include, among others, the need to help young backpackers maintain their personal and social resources as valuable assets for coping with challenges during their trips. It is also important to increase awareness of the possible wide-ranging negative effects of risk-taking behaviors during backpacking trips.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1429
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Backpackers
  • Community participation
  • Life satisfaction
  • Mediation
  • Personal resources
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Social support


Dive into the research topics of '“We Are Young, We Run Free”: Predicting Factors of Life Satisfaction among Young Backpackers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this