Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 93–109 | Cite as

Adolescents’ Perspective on Their Participation in the Family Context and its Relationship with Their Subjective Well-Being

  • Mònica González
  • Ma Eugènia Gras
  • Sara Malo
  • Dolors Navarro
  • Ferran Casas
  • Mireia Aligué


Although several authors (Casas 1994) and international organizations (Council of Europe 1998) have emphasized the importance of promoting the participation of children in families, scientific studies on this topic are scarce. Even fewer studies address the link between participation and subjective well-being (SWB). The aim of the present study is to explore different elements of family dynamics that may contribute to adolescents’ participation in the family and its relationship with SWB. Participation in the family context refers to the possibilities given to children and adolescents to openly communicate their opinions and interests in their families, to involve themselves in decisions that affect both them and their family, and to assume some responsibilities in the home that are consistent with their stage of development (Casas et al. 2008; UNICEF 2003). Data have been collected from a representative Spanish sample of 5934 adolescents in the 1st year of compulsory secondary education (M = 12.09, SD = 0.69). The results show that girls report more participation in the family than boys. Participation in the family context is related to: (a) the frequency of having a good time as a family; (b) the frequency of learning things with the family; (c) children’s perception of having their own space at home; (d) their evaluation of having a good time as a family; (e) satisfaction with the space they have at their disposal at home; and (f) satisfaction with the people they live with. Unlike girls, for boys the frequency of having a good time as a family predicts their perception of participation in the family context. Adolescents who perceive that they participate more in decisions taken in the family home display higher scores on well-being. Girls who perceive that they participate at home score higher than boys on two of the three scales used to measure well-being. Results will be discussed in the light of their implications for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the development of childhood policies.


Family participation Adolescence Subjective well-being Binary logistic regression 



Data collection has been supported and developed by UNICEF-Spain. The authors would like to thank Barney Griffiths for the editing of the English text.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mònica González
    • 1
  • Ma Eugènia Gras
    • 1
  • Sara Malo
    • 1
  • Dolors Navarro
    • 1
  • Ferran Casas
    • 1
  • Mireia Aligué
    • 1
  1. 1.Quality of Life Research InstituteUniversity of GironaGironaSpain

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