Social Indicators Research

, Volume 74, Issue 3, pp 573–596 | Cite as

Where are the Children? Children’s Role in Measuring and Monitoring Their Well-Being

  • Asher Ben-AriehEmail author


This paper starting point is the dynamic changes and shifts in the field of measuring and monitoring children’s well being. In the paper we focus on one specific change – the “new” role of children in measuring and monitoring their own well being – a role of active participants rather then of subjects for research. We then turn to present based on a sequence of arguments and findings what role children should carry in measuring and monitoring their well being. Followed by a presentation of five possible roles for children involvement in such studies and in regard to the specific roles existing knowledge from various studies and suggested directions for future research are presented. The danger of children’s involvement is such studies are then discussed followed by a presentation of what do children think on this all issue. Finally we conclude that the potential involved in children’s involvement is much greater then the hazards.

Key words

social indicators children’s well-being subjective well being 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alderson, P. 1995Listening to Children: ChildrenEthics and Social ResearchBarnardosGoogle Scholar
  2. Alsaker, F.D.Flammer, A eds. 1999The Adolescent Experience: European and American Adolescents in the 1990sLawrence Elbaum AssociatesLondonGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, R.C., Wilson, P.T., Fielding, L.G. 1988‘Growth in reading and how children spend their time outside of school’Reading Research Quarterly23285303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Andrews, A.B., Ben-Arieh, A. 1999‘Measuring and monitoring children’s well-being across the world’Social Work22105115Google Scholar
  5. Backe-Hensen, E.: (2003), ‘Cool, boring, difficult or stupid? What the children thought,’ Paper presented at the International Meeting on Methods and Techniques in Children’s Research in International Comparison at Deutsches Jugendinstitut’, München, 4 April 2003.Google Scholar
  6. Barker, J., Weller, S. 2003‘Is it fun? Developing children centred research methods’International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy233358Google Scholar
  7. Ben-Arieh, A. 1999‘The international effort to measure and monitor the state of children: A summary and agenda for the future’Andrews, A.B.Kaufman, N.K. eds. Implementing the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child: A Standard of Living Adequate for DevelopmentPraegerWestport CT3346Google Scholar
  8. Ben-Arieh, A. 2000‘Beyond welfare: measuring and monitoring the state of children – new trends and domains’Social Indicators Research52235257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ben-Arieh, A., Kaufman, H.N., Andrews, A.B., Goerge, R., Lee, B.J., Aber, J.L. 2001Measuring and Monitoring Children’s Well-beingKluwer Academic PressNetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  10. Ben-Arieh, A., Goerge, R. 2001‘Beyond the numbers: How do we monitor the state of our children’Children and Youth Service Review23603631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ben-Arieh, A. 2002‘Evaluating the outcomes of programs vs. monitoring well-being: a child centerd perspective’Vecchiato, T.Maluccio, A.N.Canali, C. eds. Evaluation in Child and Family Services: Comparative Client and Program perspectiveAldine de GruyterNew-York150160Google Scholar
  12. Bianchi, S.M., Robinson, J. 1997‘What did you do today? Children’s use of time, family composition, and the acquisition of social capital’Journal of Marriage and the Family59332344Google Scholar
  13. Bradshaw, J. and Barnes, H.: (1999), ‘How do nations monitor the well-being of their children’, Paper presented at the Child Well-being in Rich and Transition Countries, Luxemburg.Google Scholar
  14. Butler, I., Williamson, H. 1994Children SpeakChildren, Trauma and Social WorkLongman, U.K.Google Scholar
  15. Casas, F.: (2003), ‘ Getting children’s points of view from 12 to 16 years old through group administered questionnaires’, Paper presented at the International Meeting on Methods and Techniques in Children’s Research in International Comparison at Deutsches Jugendinstitut, München, 4 April 2003.Google Scholar
  16. Frones, I.: (1975), ‘Ungdomskultur og generasjonsavstand’ (Youth Culture and generational distance), Magister thesis, Department of Sociology, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  17. Funk, J., Hagan, J., Schimming, J. 1999‘Children and electronic games: A comparison of parents’ and children’s perceptions of children’s habits and preferences in a United States sample’Psychological Reports85883888PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Gottlieb, D., Bronstein, P. 1996‘Parents’ perceptions of children’s worries in a changing world’Journal of Genetic Psychology157104118PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Habib, J.:(1997), ‘The experience with indicators on child poverty in Israel’, Paper presented at the Monitoring and Measuring Children Well-being – The Second International Workshop, Campobasso, Italy, 1997.Google Scholar
  20. Harrell, J.S., Gansky, S.A., Bradley, C.B., McMurray, R.G. 1997‘Leisure time activities of elementary school children’Nursing Research46246253CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hart, S. 1991‘From property to person status: Historical perspective on children’s rights’American Psychologist465359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hauser, R.M.Brown, B.V.Prosser, W.R. eds. 1997Indicators of Children’s Well-beingRussell Sage FoundationNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Hill, M 1997‘Participatory research with children’Child and Family Social Work2171183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ibrahim, H.M. 1988‘Leisure among young saudi males’International Review of Modern Sociology185760Google Scholar
  25. James, A.: (1995), ‘Methodologies of competence for a competent methodology’, Paper delivered at conference on Children and Social Competence, University of Surrey, 5–7 July 1995.Google Scholar
  26. Johansson, S. 1979Mot en teori för social rapporteringInstitutet för Social ForskningStockholmGoogle Scholar
  27. John, M. 1996‘Introduction: voicing’John, M. eds. Children in Charge: A Child’s Right to a Fair Hearing.Jessica KingsleyUKGoogle Scholar
  28. Jonsson, J.O., Östberg, V., Låftman, S.B. 2001‘Att studera de yngres välfärd: En inledande beskrivning av levnadsnivåperspektivet och Barn-LNU’Jonsson, J.O.Östberg, V. eds. Barns och Ungdomars Välfärd.FritzesStockholm3166Google Scholar
  29. Kefalyew, F. 1996‘The reality of child participation in research’Childhood3203213Google Scholar
  30. Kirk, J, Miller, M. 1986Reliability and Validity in Qualitative ResearchSageLondonGoogle Scholar
  31. Land, K.C., Lamb, V.L., Mustillo, S.K. 2001‘Child and youth well-being in the United State, 1975–1998: Some findings from a new index’Social Indicators Research56241320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Larson, R.M., Verma, S. 1999‘How children and adolescents spend time across the world: work, play and developmental opportunities’Osychological Bulletin125701736CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. LeBlanc: L.J. (1995), The Convention on the Rights of the Child.Google Scholar
  34. Lee, B.J.: (1997), ‘The use of census and surveys: Implications for developing childhood social indicator models’, in A. Ben-Arieh and H. Wintersberger (eds.), Monitoring and Measuring the State of Children – Beyond Survival (Vienna, European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research) Vol. 62:301–308.Google Scholar
  35. Lohan, J.A., Murphy, S.A. 2001‘Parents’ perceptions of adolescent sibling grief responses after an adolescent or young adult child’s sudden, violent death’Omega-Journal of Death and Dying44195213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mahon, A. et al.: (1996), ‘Researching children: Methods and ethics’, Children and Society, 10(2).Google Scholar
  37. Marshall, N.L., Coll, C.G., Marx, F., McCartny, K., Keefe, N., Ruh, J. 1997‘After-school time and children’s behavioral adjustment’Merrill-Palmer Quarterly43497514Google Scholar
  38. Mauthner, M. 1997‘Methodological aspects of collecting data from children: lessons from three research projects’Children and Society111628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mayall, B. (ed.): (1994), Children’s Childhoods: Observed and Experienced. (Falmer).Google Scholar
  40. Medrich, E.A., Roizen, J., Rubin, V., Buckly, S. 1982The Serious Business of Growing Up: A Study of Children’s Lives Outside SchoolUniversity of California PressBerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  41. Melton, G., Limber, S. 1992‘What children’s rights mean to children: Children’s own views’Freeman, M.Veerman, P. eds. The Ideologies of Children’s Rights.Martinus NijhoffDordrecht167187Google Scholar
  42. Minkes, J., Robinson, C., Weston, C. 1994‘Consulting the children: Interviews with children using residential respite care services’Disability and Society94757Google Scholar
  43. Morrow, V., Richards, M. 1996‘The ethics of social research with children: An overview’Children and Society1090105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Ohannessian, C.M., Lerner, R.M., Lerner, J.V., Voneye, A. 1995‘Discrepancies in adolescents and parents perceptions of family functioning and adolescent emotional adjustment’Journal of Early Adolescence15490516Google Scholar
  45. Plewis, I., Creeser, A., Mooney, R. 1990‘Reliability and validity of time budget data: children’s activities outside school’Journal of Official Statistics,6411419Google Scholar
  46. Posner, J.K., Vandell, D.L. 1999‘After-school activities and the development of low-income urban children: A longitudinal study’Developmental Psychology35868879CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Pretty, I. N. et al.: (1995), Participatory Learning and Action: A Trainers Guide, (IIED).Google Scholar
  48. Prout, A. and A James: (eds.): (1990), ‘A new paradigm for the sociology of childhood? provenance, promise and problems’, in Constructing and Reconstructing Childhood: Contemporary Issues in the Sociological Study of Childhood (Falmer).Google Scholar
  49. Prout, A. 1997‘Objective vs. subjective indicators or both? Whose perspective counts?’Ben-Arieh, A.Wintersberger, H. eds. Monitoring and Measuring the State of Children – Beyond Survival.European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and ResearchVienna89100Vol. 62Google Scholar
  50. Punch, S. 2002‘Research with Children: The same or different from research with adults?’Childhood9321341CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Qvortrup, J. 1994‘Childhood matters: An introduction’Qvortrup, J.Brady, M.Sgritta, G.Wintersberger, H. eds. Childhood Matters: Social Theory, Practice and Politics.AveburyViennaGoogle Scholar
  52. Qvortrup, J. 1999‘The meaning of child’s standard of living’Andrews, A.B.Kaufman, N.H. eds. Implementing the U.N Convention on the Rights of the Child: A standard of Living Adequate for Development.Connecticut: PragerWestportGoogle Scholar
  53. Riepl, B., Wintersberger, H. 1999Political Participation of Youth Below Voting Age: Example of European PracticesEuropean Center for Social Welfare Policy and ResearchViennaGoogle Scholar
  54. Sanik, M.M., Stafford, K. 1996‘Children’s time in household work: Estimation issues’Journal of Family and Economic Issues17313325Google Scholar
  55. Shek, D.T.L 1998‘A longitudinal study of Hong Kong adolescents’ and parents’ perceptions of family functioning and well-being’Journal of Genetic Psychology159389403PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Sinclair R., Cronin K., Lanyon C., Stone V., Hulusi A. (2003) Aim High Stay Real, Outcomes for Children and Young People: The Views of Children, Parents and Practitioners. Children and Young People’s Unit, London Scholar
  57. Sweeting, H. 2001‘Our family, whose perspective? An investigation of children’s family life and health’Journal of Adolescence24229250CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Trinder, L. 1996‘Social work research: the state of the art (or science)’Child and Family Social Work1233242Google Scholar
  59. Tardieu, B., A. Lopez and G.D. Tardieu: (1998), ‘Impact of indicators on public action against poverty: A case study’, Paper presented at the Monitoring and Measuring Children Well-being – The Third International Workshop, Kiawah Resort, SC, 1998.Google Scholar
  60. Thomas, N., O’kane, C. 1998‘The ethics of participatory research with children’Children and Society12336348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wintersberger, H. 2002‘The economic and social welfare of children: Towards justice in the intergenerational distribution’Social Security63115130(Hebrew)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareHebrew University of JerusalemIsrael

Personalised recommendations