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


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.


Subjective well-being Material resources Cross-cultural study Children 


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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

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