Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 199–209 | Cite as

Material Resources and Children’s Subjective Well-Being in Eight Countries

  • Jorge Castellá Sarriera
  • Ferran Casas
  • Lívia Bedin
  • Daniel Abs
  • Miriam Raquel Strelhow
  • Daphna Gross-Manos
  • Jarod Giger
Article

Abstract

The objective of this research is to examine the relationship between children’s perception of their available material resources and their subjective well-being. Participants (n = 13,953) resided in eight countries and were largely female (57 %), between the ages of 10–14 (M = 12.05; SD = 0.59). Each child completed a culturally appropriate country-survey that included demographic information and validated measures from the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being project (ISCIWeB), which included the Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS) and material resources items. We tested a relational model for predicting subjective well-being and applied structural equation modelling (SEM) to the data. Results indicated that children in Uganda had limited access to material resources and the lowest average of well-being. Together with Algeria and South Africa, Uganda also had the strongest associations between the access to material resources and the SLSS. Even with access to all material resources evaluated, well-being scores are also lower in the case of South Korea, probably due to the so-called “Asian bias”. Children from Israel, Brazil, Spain, and England were similar in their levels of satisfaction and well-being. Our model fit the data well and revealed significant relationships between material resources and child subjective well-being in each country. Preliminary results underscore the importance of assessing material well-being in children and highlight the role material resources have in influencing children’s subjective well-being, especially in cases of children experiencing severe resource deprivation. Our model warrants further testing to replicate and extend our findings. Recommendations for future research are provided.

Keywords

Subjective well-being Material resources Cross-cultural study Children 

References

  1. Batista-Foguet, J. M., & Coenders, G. (2000). Modelos de ecuaciones estructurales. Madrid: La Muralla.Google Scholar
  2. Bedin, L. M., & Sarriera, J. C. (2014). A comparative study of the subjective well-being of parents and adolescents considering gender, age and social class. Social Indicators Research. doi:10.1007/s11205-014-0589-7.Google Scholar
  3. Bellani, L., & D’Ambrosio, C. (2011). Deprivation, social exclusion and subjective well-being. Social Indicators Research, 104(1), 67–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Arieh, A. (2010). Developing indicators for child well-being in a changing context. In C. McAuley & W. Rose (Eds.), Child well-being: understanding children’s lives (pp. 129–142). London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
  5. Ben-Arieh, A. (2012a). How do we measure and monitor the “state of our children”? Revisiting the topic in honor of Sheila B. Kamerman. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 569–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ben-Arieh, A. (2012b). Findings from the up-to-date pilots. In A. Ben-Arieh (Ed.), International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB)- UNICEF meeting. Symposium conducted at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Center. Italy: Florence.Google Scholar
  7. Borgers, N., Leeuw, E., & Hox, J. (2000). Children as respondents in survey research: cognitive development and response quality. Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 66, 60–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bradshaw, J. (2002). Child poverty and child outcomes. Children & Society, 16(2), 131–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradshaw, J., & Richardson, D. (2009). An Index of child well-being in Europe. Child Indicators Research, 2(3), 319–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bradshaw, J., Keung, A., Rees, G., & Goswami, H. (2011). Children’s subjective well-being: international comparative perspectives. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(4), 548–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Byrne, B. M. (2010). Structural equation modeling with AMOS. Basic concepts, applications and programming (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Casas, F., & Bello, A. [Coord.] (2012). Calidad de Vida y Bienestar Infantil Subjetivo en España. ¿Qué afecta al bienestar de niños y niñas españoles de 1° de ESO? UNICEF España. Madrid. Retrieved from http://www.unicef.es/sites/www.unicef.es/files/Bienestar_infantil_subjetivo_en_Espakua.pdf
  13. IBM Corp Released, (2012). IBM SPSS statistics for windows, version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.Google Scholar
  14. Cummins, R. A. (2003). Normative life satisfaction: measurement issues and a homeostatic model. Social Indicators Research, 64, 225–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Diener, E., & Biswas-Diener, R. (2002). Will money increase subjective well-being? A literature review and guide to needed research. Social Indicators Research, 57(2), 119–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dinisman, T., & Rees G. (2014). Children’s worlds: findings from the first wave of data collection. Retrieved from: http://www.isciweb.org/_Uploads/dbsAttachedFiles/FirstWaveReport_FINAL.pdf.
  17. Duncan, G. J., Yeung, W. J., Brooks-Gunn, J., & Smith, J. R. (1998). How much does childhood poverty affect the life chances of children? American Sociological Review, 406–423.Google Scholar
  18. Easterlin, R. A. (1974). Does economic growth improve the human lot? Some empirical evidence. In P. A. David & M. W. Reder (Eds.), Nations and households in economic growth: essays in honor of Moses Abramowitz (pp. 89–125). NY: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harju, A., & Thorød, A. B. (2011). Child poverty in a Scandinavian welfare context—from children’s point of view. Child Indicators Research, 4(2), 283–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Huebner, E. S. (1991). Initial development of the students’ life satisfaction scale. School Psychology International, 12, 231–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Huebner, E. S., & Alderman, G. L. (1993). Convergent and discriminant validation of a children’s life satisfaction scale: its relationship to self-and teacher-reported psychological problems and school functioning. Social Indicators Research, 30(1), 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Joen, G.-S., Ha, Y., & Choi, E. (2013). Effects of objective and subjective socioeconomic status on self-rated health. Depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation in adolescents. Child Indicators Research, 6, 479–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kamerman, S. B., Phipps, S., & Ben-Arieh, A. (Eds.). (2009). From child welfare to children well-being: an international perspective on knowledge in the service of making policy. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  24. Knies, G. (2012). Life satisfaction and material well-being of children in the UK. ISER working paper series.Google Scholar
  25. Langton, C. E., & Berger, L. M. (2011). Family structure and adolescent physical health, behavior, and emotional well-being. Social Service Review, 85(3), 323–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lau, A. L. D. (2013). The personal wellbeing index in Australia. In A. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of quality of life research. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  27. Lupien, S. J., King, S., Meaney, M. J., & McEwen, B. S. (2001). Can poverty get under your skin? Basal cortisol levels and cognitive function in children from low and high socioeconomic status. Development and Psychopathology, 13(3), 653–676.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Main, G. (2013). A child derived material “deprivation” index (Doctoral dissertation). UK: The University of York.Google Scholar
  29. Main, G., & Bradshaw, J. (2012). A child material deprivation index. Child Indicators Research, 5(3), 503–521.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mathews, G. (2012). Happiness, culture, and context. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(4), 299–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nersesian, W. S., Petit, M. R., Shaper, R., Lemieux, D., & Naor, E. (1985). Childhood death and poverty: a study of all childhood deaths in Maine, 1976 to 1980. Pediatrics, 75(1), 41–50.Google Scholar
  32. Raina, P., O’Donnell, M., Rosenbaum, P., Brehaut, J., Walter, S. D., Russell, D., Swinton, M., Zhu, B., & Wood, E. (2005). The health and well-being of caregivers of children with cerebral palsy. Pediatrics, 115(6), 626–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Rees, G., Pople, L., & Goswami, H. (2010). Understanding children’s well-being. Links between family economic factors and children’s subjective well-being: initial findings from wave 2. UK: The Children’s Society.Google Scholar
  34. Ridge, T. (2002). Childhood poverty and social exclusion: from a child’s perspective. The Policy Press.Google Scholar
  35. Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: a review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 141–166.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Skattebol, J. (2011). “When the money’s low”: economic participation among disadvantaged young Australians. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(4), 528–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Stuart, J., & Jose, P. E. (2012). The influence of discrepancies between adolescent and parent ratings of family dynamics on the well-being of adolescents. Journal of Family Psychology, 26(6), 858–868.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Tabachnick, B. G., & Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (5th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  39. Tov, W., & Diener, E. (2007). Culture and subjective well-being. In S. Kitayama & D. Cohen (Eds.), Handbook of cultural psychology (pp. 691–713). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  40. UNICEF. (2011). Children’s well-being in UK, Sweden and Spain: the role of inequality and materialism. Florence: UNICEF.Google Scholar
  41. Wood, D. (2003). Effect of child and family poverty on child health in the United States. Pediatrics, 112(Supplement 3), 707–711.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Castellá Sarriera
    • 1
  • Ferran Casas
    • 2
  • Lívia Bedin
    • 1
  • Daniel Abs
    • 1
  • Miriam Raquel Strelhow
    • 1
  • Daphna Gross-Manos
    • 3
  • Jarod Giger
    • 4
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)Porto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Universitat de Girona (UdG)GironaSpain
  3. 3.Child Indicator Research Journal (CIR)The Hebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael
  4. 4.University of South DakotaVermillionUSA

Personalised recommendations