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Journal Article

Children's subjective wellbeing: international comparative perspectives


Publication date



We are enjoined by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to take account of the views of children. One way this can be done is by asking children about their lives in sample surveys. This paper is a comparison of the results obtained to sample survey questions on subjective well-being of children at two contrasting levels of analysis - international macro (European Union 29) and national level micro (England). At both levels, children's well-being is accessed in terms of three subjective domains: (1) personal well-being, (2) relational well-being, and (3) well-being at school. At the micro level we also explore neighbourhood well-being.
The results show that at the macro level personal well-being is associated with the material and housing circumstances but not family relationships or family structure. Well-being at school is not associated with any variable. Subjective health is only associated with family structure. At the micro level, although many of the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of children are found to be associated with their well-being in the four domains, these factors explain only a small amount of the variation in these well-being domains.

Published in

Children and Youth Services Review

Volume and page numbers

33 , 548 -556



Child Development and Well Being



Online early; In Press, Accepted Manuscript; Albert Sloman Library Periodicals *restricted to Univ. Essex registered users*


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