Children’s Perspectives and Evaluations of Safety in Diverse Settings and Their Subjective Well-Being: A Multi-National Approach

Abstract

There is a need to explore variations in children’s safety perceptions for different settings (home, school and neighbourhood) and their relationship with subjective well-being (this including satisfaction with safety and satisfaction with life as whole) by comparing a variety of cultural contexts. A further objective is to explore to what extent gender, age group (10 and 12-year-olds) and level of SWB (measured using the SLSS -Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale- and the BMSLSS -Brief Multidimensional Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale) play a role in this prediction. Results obtained through binary logistic models with samples from Spain (n = 2,724), Algeria (n = 2432), South Africa (n = 2192) and Israel (n = 1914), show that children’s perceptions of safety are predicted by their different perceptions and evaluations of school, home and the nearby area. Perceptions of safety in the nearby area and satisfaction with safety (O.R. = 1.080) contribute to predicting higher levels of satisfaction with life as a whole to a greater extent than scores on the SLSS (O.R. = 1.036) and the BMSLSS (O.R. = 1.050) scales. The country participants live in (especially when combined with satisfaction with safety) and, to a lesser extent gender, also make important contributions. The age group they belong to plays a significant role in predicting higher perceptions of safety at home, in the area nearby, at school, and in predicting higher satisfaction with safety. Results open the door to the introduction of specific interventions (e.g. improving parent-child communication, enhancing public spaces for children to play and promoting children’s participation at school), aimed at promoting higher satisfaction with safety and also indirectly at higher satisfaction with life as a whole, on the basis of achieving positive changes of those factors which make the highest contribution.

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The Children’s Worlds: International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeb) is supported by the Jacobs Foundation.

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González-Carrasco, M., Casas, F., Ben-Arieh, A. et al. Children’s Perspectives and Evaluations of Safety in Diverse Settings and Their Subjective Well-Being: A Multi-National Approach. Applied Research Quality Life 14, 309–334 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-018-9594-3

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Keywords

  • Perceptions of safety
  • Satisfaction with safety
  • Subjective well-being
  • Children
  • Binary logistic regression