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Children’s Subjective Well-Being in Rich Countries

Abstract

This paper is based on background research we undertook for UNICEF Innocenti Report Card 11 on child well-being in rich countries. It develops a new domain index of subjective well-being based on seven indicators drawn from the Health Behaviour of School Aged Children (HBSC) survey 2009/10, which includes life satisfaction, relationships with family and friends, well-being at school, and subjective health. It explores the associations between the indicators, components and the overall domain. Changes in subjective well-being between HBSC 2001/2 and 2009/10 are analysed. It then explores the relationships between subjective well-being and objective domains: material, health, education, behaviour and housing and environment. At a macro level subjective well-being is associated with all those domains. It concludes that subjective well-being should be included in comparative studies of well-being but not necessarily as just another domain. It is a related but different order measure.

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Notes

  1. http://www.oecd.org/statistics/howslifemeasuringwell-being.htm

  2. Keung (2007) used the British Household Panel to relate employment and educational outcomes at 20–24 to variation in subjective well-being when the cohort members were 11–15. Her results proved largely negative.

  3. http://www.hbsc.org/

  4. Young people were asked how often they had experienced the following symptoms in the last 6 months: headache; stomach ache; feeling low, irritable or bad tempered; feeling nervous; difficulties in getting to sleep; and feeling dizzy. Response options for each symptom ranged from “about every day” to “rarely or never”. The findings presented show the proportions who reported multiple (two or more) health complaints more than once a week in the past 6 months.

  5. http://childrensworlds.org/

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Correspondence to Jonathan Bradshaw.

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Bradshaw, J., Martorano, B., Natali, L. et al. Children’s Subjective Well-Being in Rich Countries. Child Ind Res 6, 619–635 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-013-9196-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-013-9196-4

Keywords

  • Well-being
  • Subjective well-being
  • Comparison of rich countries