Children’s Subjective Well-Being Measured Using a Composite Index: What Impacts Spanish First-Year Secondary Education Students’ Subjective Well-Being?
- 710 Downloads
This paper presents data from a representative Spanish sample of children (N = 5934) in the first year of compulsory secondary education. Data were collected using four different psychometric instruments for measuring adolescents’ self-reported well-being, and a series of questions on children’s objective life situations, and another set of questions that explored respondents’ opinions, perceptions and evaluations. All the items were translated into the four different co-official languages in the different autonomous regions and cities that compose Spain. Three of the psychometric instruments used as indicators of subjective well-being are widely-known and have been used on adolescent populations in different countries; they have also been validated in the Spanish context in previous research. One (the SLSS) was specifically designed for children and adolescents aged 8 to 18. Another (the PWI) was initially designed for adults, but has been used with adolescents in different countries, and previous results suggest it is well understood and performs well with populations aged 12–18. The third well-known instrument used is a single-item scale on overall life satisfaction. The fourth instrument comprises an additional list of items on satisfaction with different aspects or domains in children’s lives. A composite synthetic Index, the GICSWB (General Index of Children’s Subjective Well-Being), was calculated using the values resulting from these psychometric instruments. The results of this Index are presented, showing different situations and perceptions in children’s lives that are related to significantly lower subjective well-being among the children involved when compared to those not involved in the same situations or perceptions.
KeywordsWell-being Children Subjective well-being Adolescents SLSS PWI Life satisfaction Indicators Composite index
Data collection has been supported and developed by UNICEF-Spain. Thanks are due to Gabriel González-Bueno Uribe and to Maria von Bredow, from UNICEF-Spain, and to Irma Bertran, Carme Montserrat and Dolors Navarro for his cooperation in this task; and also to Barney Griffiths for the editing of the English text.
- Adamson, P. (Ed.) (2007). Child poverty in perspective: An overview of child well-being in rich countries. Report Card 7. Innocenti Research Centre. UNICEF.Google Scholar
- Bauer, R. A. (Ed.). (1966). Social indicators. Cambridge (Mass.): The M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
- Bradshaw, J., Hoscher, P., & Richardson, D. (2007). An index of child well-being in the European Union. Social Indicators Research, 80(1), 133–177.Google Scholar
- Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rogers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. Russell Sage: Nueva York.Google Scholar
- Cantril, H. (1965). The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick (N.J.): Rutgers Univ. Press.Google Scholar
- Casas, F., Baltatescu, S., Bertrán, I., González, M., & Hatos, A. (2012). School satisfaction among adolescents: testing different indicators for its measurement and its relationship with overall life satisfaction and subjective well-being in Romania and Spain. Social Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0025-9.
- Casas, F., González, M., Navarro, D., & Aligué, M. (2012). Children as advisers of their researchers: assuming a different status for children. Child Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s12187-012-9168-0.
- Cummins, R. A., & Cahill, J. (2000). Avances en la comprensión de la calidad de vida subjetiva. Intervención Psicosocial, 9(2), 185–198.Google Scholar
- Cummins, R.A., & Gullone, E. (2000). Why we should not use 5-point Likert scales: The case for subjective quality of life measurement. Proceedings, Second International Conference on Quality of Life in Cities (pp. 74–93). Singapore: National University of Singapore. http://acqol.deakin.edu.au/instruments/PWI/2000-QOL_in_Cities-Likert_Scales-ss.doc.
- Cummins, R.A., & Lau, A.L.D. (2005). Personal Wellbeing Index – School Children (PWI-SC) (English) 3rd edition. Manual. Reviewed May 2006. http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/PWI/PWI-school.pdf.
- Cummins, R.A., Eckersley, R., Lo, S.K., Okerstrom, E., Hunter, B., Davern, M. (2004). Australian unity wellbeing index: Cumulative Psychometric record. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, School of Psychology, Deakin University. http://acqol.deakin.edu.au/index_wellbeing/index.htm.
- Huebner, E.S., Suldo, S.M., Valois, R.F. (2003). Psychometric properties of two brief measures of children’s life satisfaction: The Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS) and the Brief Multidimensional Students Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS). Indicators of Positive Development Conference. March, 12–13.Google Scholar
- International Wellbeing Group (2006). Personal Wellbeing Index – adult - manual, 4th version. Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University. http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing_index.htm.
- ISCWeB (2010). International survey of children’s well-being. Retrieved on 1st December 2012 from http://www.childrensworlds.org. Initiators: ISCI, UNICEF and World Vision.
- Kellett, M. (2010). Rethinking children and research. Attitudes in contemporary society. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.Google Scholar
- Thomas, W. I., & Thomas, D. S. (1928). The child in America: Behavior problems and programs. New York: Knopf.Google Scholar