Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 151–175 | Cite as

Family, School, and Community Correlates of Children’s Subjective Well-being: An International Comparative Study

Article

Abstract

The primary purposes of this study are twofold: to examine how family, school, and community factors are related to children’s subjective well-being; and to examine the patterns of the relationships between family, school, and community variables and children’s subjective well-being across nations. We use the data from the pilot study of the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being for our analysis. We use multiple regression and multilevel methods in the study. We find that family, school, and community lives all significantly affect the levels of children’s subjective well-being. We also find that family, school, and community lives of children are important predictors of subjective well-being even after controlling for the country-specific cultural and contextual factors. We find that the economic variables of GDP and inequality are not significant factors predicting children’s subjective well-being. Rather it is the nature of children’s relationships with immediate surrounding environments, such as frequency of family activities, frequency of peer activities, and neighborhood safety, are most consistently related to the levels of children’s subjective well-being across the nations.

Keywords

Subjective well-being Family School Community 

References

  1. Adelman, H. S., Taylor, L., & Nelson, P. (1989). Minors’ dissatisfaction with their life circumstances. Child Psychiatry and Human Development, 20(2), 135–147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ash, C., & Huebner, E. S. (2001). Environmental events and life satisfaction reports of adolescents a test of cognitive mediation. School Psychology International, 22(3), 320–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ben-Arieh, A., & Shimoni, E. (2014). Subjective Well-being and perceptions of safety among Jewish and Arab children in Israel. Children and Youth Services Review, 44, 100–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, J., Martorano, B., Natali, L., & de Neubourg, C. (2013). Children’s subjective well-being in rich countries. Child Indicators Research, 6(4), 619–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Casas, F. (2011). Subjective social indicators and child and adolescent well-being. Child Indicators Research, 4(4), 555–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Casas, F., Figuer, C., González, M., Malo, S., Alsinet, C., & Subarroca, S. (2007). The well-being of 12-to 16-year-old adolescents and their parents: Results from 1999 to 2003 Spanish samples. Social Indicators Research, 83(1), 87–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casas, F., Bălţătescu, S., Bertran, I., González, M., & Hatos, A. (2013a). 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, 111(3), 665–681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Casas, F., Bello, A., González, M., & Aligué, M. (2013b). Children’s subjective well-being measured using a composite index: What impacts spanish first-year secondary education students’ subjective well-being. Child Indicators Research, 6(3), 433–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Coulton, C. J., & Korbin, J. E. (2007). Indicators of child well-being through a neighborhood lens. Social Indicators Research, 84(3), 349–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. CRN (1996). International Comparative Survey: A child's view of what a family should be.Google Scholar
  11. Cummins, R. (2000). Personal income and subjective well-being: A review. Journal of Happiness Studies, 1(2), 133–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Cummins, R., & Lau, A. (2005). Personal wellbeing index–school children. Victoria: Deakin University.Google Scholar
  13. Dew, T., & Huebner, E. S. (1994). Adolescents’ perceived quality of life: An exploratory investigation. Journal of School Psychology, 32(2), 185–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Diener, E., Suh, E. M., Lucas, R. E., & Smith, H. L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Garson, G. D. (2013). Fundamentals of hierarchical linear and multilevel modeling. Hierarchical Linear Modeling: Guide and Applications Sage Publications Inc, 3–25.Google Scholar
  16. Gilman, R., & Huebner, S. (2003). A review of life satisfaction research with children and adolescents. School Psychology Quarterly, 18(2), 192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grigoras, B. A. (2013). The subjective well-being of children. Doctorial dissertation: Babes Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca, Romania.Google Scholar
  18. Helliwell, J. F. (2003). How's life? Combining individual and national variables to explain subjective well-being. Economic Modelling, 20(2), 331–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Helliwell, J. F., & Putnam, R. D. (2004). The social context of well-being. Philosophical Transactions-royal Society of London Series B Biological Sciences, 1435–1446.Google Scholar
  20. Henry, C. S. (1994). Family system characteristics, parental behaviors, and adolescent family life satisfaction. Family Relations, 447–455.Google Scholar
  21. Huebner, E. S. (1991). Initial development of the student's life satisfaction scale. School Psychology International, 12(3), 231–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Huebner, E. S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life satisfaction scale for children. Psychological Assessment, 6(2), 149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huebner, E. S., Suldo, S. M., Smith, L. C., & McKnight, C. G. (2004). Life satisfaction in children and youth: Empirical foundations and implications for school psychologists. Psychology in the Schools, 41(1), 81–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Joronen, K., & Astedt-Kurki, P. (2005). Familial contribution to adolescent subjective well-being. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 11(3), 125–133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2006). Would you be happier if you were richer? A focusing illusion. Science, 312(5782), 1908–1910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Klocke A., Clair A., & Bradshaw J. (2013). International variation in child subjective well-being. Child Indicators Research, 1-20.Google Scholar
  27. Lee B. J., Kim S. S., Ahn J. J., Yoo J., Yoo M. S., Choi C. Y., et al. (2013). What does composite well-being index of children tell us about Korean children’s quality of life? : Save the Children KoreaGoogle Scholar
  28. Maas, C. J., & Hox, J. J. (2005). Sufficient sample sizes for multilevel modeling. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1(3), 86.Google Scholar
  29. Martorano B., de Neubourg C., Natali L., Bradshaw J., & UNICEF (2013). Child Well-being in Economically Rich Countries: Changes in the first decade of the 21st century: UNICEF Office of Research.Google Scholar
  30. McDonell, J. R. (2007). Neighborhood characteristics, parenting, and children’s safety. Social Indicators Research, 83(1), 177–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Nickerson A. B., & Nagle R. J. (2004). The influence of parent and peer attachments on life satisfaction in middle childhood and early adolescence. In Quality-of-Life Research on Children and Adolescents (pp. 35-60): Springer.Google Scholar
  32. Normand, S. L. T., & Zou, K. H. (2002). Sample size considerations in observational health care quality studies. Statistics in Medicine, 21(3), 331–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Oishi, S., Diener, E. F., Lucas, R. E., & Suh, E. M. (1999). Cross-cultural variations in predictors of life satisfaction: Perspectives from needs and values. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(8), 980–990.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Olsen, K. M., & Dahl, S.-Å. (2007). Health differences between European countries. Social Science & Medicine, 64(8), 1665–1678.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Park, N. (2004). The role of subjective well-being in positive youth development. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 591(1), 25–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Park, N., & Huebner, E. S. (2005). A cross-cultural study of the levels and correlates of life satisfaction among adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36(4), 444–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pollard, E. L., & Lee, P. D. (2003). Child well-being: a systematic review of the literature. Social Indicators Research, 61(1), 59–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Raudenbush S. W., & Bryk A. S. (2002). Hierarchical linear models: Applications and data analysis methods (Vol. 1): Sage.Google Scholar
  39. Schütz, F. F. (2014). Bem-estar em crianças de diferentes configurações familiares e em acolhimento institucional. Brazil: Master’s these, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul.Google Scholar
  40. Seligson, J. L., Huebner, E. S., & Valois, R. F. (2003). Preliminary validation of the brief multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale (BMSLSS). Social Indicators Research, 61(2), 121–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Steenbergen, M. R., & Jones, B. S. (2002). Modeling multilevel data structures. American Journal of Political Science, 218–237.Google Scholar
  42. Stegmueller, D. (2013). How many countries for multilevel modeling? A comparison of frequentist and Bayesian approaches. American Journal of Political Science, 57(3), 748–761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tomyn, A. J., & Cummins, R. A. (2011). The subjective wellbeing of high-school students: Validating the personal wellbeing index—school children. Social Indicators Research, 101(3), 405–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vandewater, E. A., & Lansford, J. E. (1998). Influences of family structure and parental conflict on children’s well-being. Family Relations, 323–330.Google Scholar
  45. Vittersø, J., Biswas-Diener, R., & Diener, E. (2005). The divergent meanings of life satisfaction: Item response modeling of the satisfaction with life scale in Greenland and Norway. Social Indicators Research, 74(2), 327–348.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WelfareSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea
  2. 2.Social Welfare Research CenterSeoul National UniversitySeoulSouth Korea

Personalised recommendations