Child Indicators Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 5–31 | Cite as

Comparing Children’s Experiences and Evaluations of Their Lives in 11 Different Countries

  • Gwyther Rees
  • Tamar Dinisman


This study explores similarities and differences in the lives of 12 year-old children from 11 diverse countries around the world – Algeria, Brazil, Chile, England, Israel, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Uganda, and USA – by focusing on their own evaluations of their lives in four main categories: the context of children’s lives, time use, satisfaction with life and particular aspects of life. Furthermore, potential cross-cultural methodological and analytical issues are raised, and their implications for cross-national research comparisons are discussed. The results are obtained from the international Children’s Worlds (ISCWeB) world-wide research survey on children’s subjective well-being. Our findings reveal considerable variations between countries in the context of children’s lives, in the ways that they spend their time and in their satisfaction and evaluations of aspects in their lives. Our analysis also suggests potential cultural differences in response patterns in some of the countries. Ways to overcome these issues are detailed and demonstrated along with the great potential of comparative research of children’s subjective well-being.


Children’s subjective well-being Cross-cultural issues Cross-national comparison Time use Life satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Policy Research UnitUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB)LondonUK

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