Child Indicators Research

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 9–27 | Cite as

Why Do Children Become Unhappier as They Get Older? Comparing Key Dimensions of Children’s Subjective Well-Being Between 8- and 12-Year-Old Groups in South Korea

  • Sunsuk Kim
  • Jaejin AhnEmail author
  • Bong Joo Lee


The main purpose of this paper is to explore differences in the roles played by family, school, and community in the subjective well-being (SWB) of children in different age groups in South Korea. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework, the contexts that affect children’s subjective well-being are conceptualized as family, school, and community. We use multiple regression analysis with the Chow test. The Chow test examines whether the parameters of one group (such as 8-year-old children) are equal to those of other groups (such as 10- or 12-year-old children). The results show that “satisfaction with freedom” in child factors and “relations with friends” in school factors significantly influence SWB, having a stronger effect on 8- rather than 12-year-old children. In contrast, “satisfaction with school marks” in school factors significantly influences SWB, having a stronger effect on 12- rather than 8-year-old children. In a nutshell, this analysis shows that the effects of these factors on the SWB of 8-year-olds are different from those on the SWB of 12-year-olds.


Children’ subjective well-being Ecological framework Chow test ISCWeB 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Major of Social Welfare, School of Business, Trade & Social WelfareKorea National University of TransportationJeungpyeong-gunSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of Social WelfareGachon UniversitySeongnam-siSouth Korea
  3. 3.Department of Social WelfareSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

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