Perceived Quality of Life Research on Children and Youth: Implications for a System of National Indicators

  • E. Scott Huebner
  • Susan P. Antaramian
  • Ashley Lewis Heffner
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 6)


Both the popular and social science literatures have tended to focus attention on the negative aspects of the status of children and youth, particularly youth in the USA. Literature abounds on such topics as the stresses of adolescence, risk behaviors, behavior problems, dysfunctional parent–child relationships, and so forth. Recently, several research initiatives have emerged that have shifted the focus to positive aspects of children and youth, such as the Positive Psychology, Positive Youth Development and Quality of Life (QOL) perspectives. From these perspectives, the status of children and youth should not be evaluated from simple dichotomous perspectives (e.g., health is the absence of disease) but rather from broader and more differentiated views. According to the Commission on Positive Youth Development (2005, p. 498), there is “a huge difference between a teenager who is not depressed or anxious and one who bounds out of bed in the morning with twinkling eyes; and between an adolescent who says no to drugs and one who says yes to meaningful involvement in family, school, and community activities.” From such a perspective, evaluations of child and adolescent well-being, including national indexes, require a focus on strengths, interests, and future potential as well as the traditional focus on symptoms, disorders, risk behaviors, and problems in general. Within such a context, calls have been issued for more comprehensive assessments of the health, well-being, and overall “status” of children and youth (Huebner et al. 2004).


High School Student Middle School Student Positive Youth Development Father Involvement Daily Spiritual Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Scott Huebner
    • 1
  • Susan P. Antaramian
    • 1
  • Ashley Lewis Heffner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

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