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Exploring Low Subjective Well-Being Among Children Aged 11 in the UK: an Analysis Using Data Reported by Parents and by Children

Gwyther Rees () and Jonathan Bradshaw
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Gwyther Rees: University of York
Jonathan Bradshaw: University of York

Child Indicators Research, 2018, vol. 11, issue 1, 27-56

Abstract: Abstract If we cannot explain the factors that affect the subjective well-being of children we cannot know what to do to improve it. Comparative studies have found that children in some countries have higher mean levels of subjective well-being than children in other countries. But studies of variations in subjective well-being of children within countries, based on school based surveys of children, have failed to explain much of the variation in subjective well-being observed. This may be because such surveys can only collect limited data on their household and school from the child. Wave 5 of the UK Millennium Cohort Survey (11-year-olds) presents a new opportunity to understand the factors affecting children’s subjective well-being making use of information gathered from parents as well as children. This article aims to identify factors which can predict the likelihood of children having low subjective well-being. The key findings from the analysis are that (a) a wide range of parent-reported variables have some power in predicting low child subjective well-being; (b) in comparison a small selection of child-reported variables have more explanatory power. Factors such as material deprivation, family financial strain, parental well-being and children’s experience of being bullied emerge as important in the analysis. The implications for future research on child subjective well-being are discussed.

Keywords: Subjective well-being; Child well-being; Life satisfaction; Positive affect; Negative affect; Happiness; Sadness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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