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Welfare and Employment
The subjective well-being of children

Researchers: Jonathan Bradshaw, Antonia Keung; Gwyther Rees, Gill Main, Haridhan Goswami (Children’s Society)

Funder: The Children’s Society

Duration: January 2007 - ongoing

The growth of interest in subjective well-being is partly due to a recognition that existing social and economic indicators do not fully capture what matters for the quality of people’s lives. Beyond a certain level, ongoing economic progress in Western nations has not been matched by corresponding increases in the well-being of the population. Child well-being was at the heart of domestic social policy in the UK and especially the Every Child Matters framework. However the science is more advanced for some domains of well-being than others. Subjective well-being is one of the least developed and contains a good deal of conceptual and empirical confusion.

From 2007 SPRU and the Children’s Society collaborated in a study of the subjective well-being of children in England. This began with secondary analysis of a survey undertaken by the Children’s Society in 2005. Drawing on that experience a new school-based survey and a questionnaire were designed. In 2008, 7,000 children aged 10, 12 and 14 took part in this survey. The survey was designed to measure the well-being of children in England and form the base line survey for future surveys. The Children’s Society will undertake surveys every two years after that in an effort to monitor child well-being. The questionnaire is entirely devoted to exploring subjective well-being and is designed to contribute to establishing valid and reliable scales that could be used in future surveys.

During 2009 the results were analysed and a seminar was held to discuss them in June. The public launch was at a conference in January 2010 when the report was also made available.

This study is part of an ongoing research programme which aims to make a significant contribution to understanding what affects young people’s well-being, and to monitor changes in well-being over time. The initial report provided a short introduction to some of the main topics covered by the survey. It is being followed by a series of more detailed reports over the following years.

Professional press

Community Care, 10 March 2011. Munro Debate section: A simple solution to measuring outcomes

Publications and presentations


2014

Being a victim of bullying reduces child subjective well-being substantively - an international comparison, (forthcoming)
Klocke, A., Clair, A. and Bradshaw, J., Informationsdienst Soziale Indikatoren, (Available online from July 2014).
International variation in child subjective well-being, 2014
Klocke, A., Clair, A. and Bradshaw, J., Child Indicators Research, 7, 1, 1-20.
Child poverty and children's subjective well-being, 2014
Main, G., Child Indicators Research, 7, 3, 451-472.
Child well-being in advanced economies in the late 2000s, 2014
Martorano, B., Natali, L., de Neubourg, C. and Bradshaw, J., Social Indicators Research, 118, 1, 247-283.
The Good Childhood Report 2014, 2014
Pople, L., Raws, P., Mueller, D., Mahony, S., Rees, G., Bradshaw, J., Main, G. and Keung, A., The Children's Society.
The Good Childhood Report 2014, 2014
Pople, L., Raws, P., Mueller, D., Mahony, S., Rees, G., Bradshaw, J., Main, G. and Keung, A., Executive Summary, The Children's Society.
2013

UK child well-being has improved but will it last?, 2013
Bradshaw, J., UNICEF UK Blog.
Children's subjective well-being in rich countries, 2013
Bradshaw, J., Martorano, B., Natali, L. and de Neubourg, C., Child Indicators Research, 6, 4, 619-635.
Children's Subjective Well-being in Rich Countries, 2013
Bradshaw, J., Martorano, B., Natali, L. and de Neubourg, C. , Office of Research Working Paper, 2013-03.
Child Well-being in Advanced Economies in the Late 2000s, 2013
Martorano, B., Natali, L., de Neubourg, C. and Bradshaw, J., Office of Research Working Paper, 2013-01.
Child Well-being in Economically Rich Countries: Changes in the first decade of the 21st century, 2013
Martorano, B., Natali, L., de Neubourg, C. and Bradshaw, J., Office of Research Working Paper, 2013-02.
The Good Childhood Report 2013, 2013
Rees, G., Goswami, H., Pople, L., Bradshaw, J., Keung, A. and Main, G., The Children's Society.
2012

A child material deprivation index, 2012
Main, G. and Bradshaw, J., Child Indicators Research, 5, 3, 503-521.
The Good Childhood Report 2012: A review of our children's well-being, 2012
Rees, G., Goswami, H., Pople, L., Bradshaw, J., Keung, A. and Main, G., The Children's Society.
The Good Childhood Report 2012: A summary of our findings, 2012
Rees, G., Goswami, H., Pople, L., Bradshaw, J., Keung, A. and Main, G., Summary Report, The Children's Society.
2011

Children's subjective well-being: international comparative perspectives, 2011
Bradshaw, J., Keung, A., Rees, G. and Goswami, H., Children and Youth Services Review, 33, 4, 548-556.
2010

Trends in child subjective well-being in the UK
Bradshaw, J., Developing an Index of Children's Subjective Well-being in England Report Launch Seminar, The Children's Society, London, 12 October 2010.
Trends in the subjective well-being of children in England
Bradshaw, J., Social Policy in Times of Change, Social Policy Association Annual Conference, University of Lincoln, 6 July 2010.
Understanding Children's Well-being: A national survey of young people's well-being, 2010
Rees, G., Bradshaw, J., Goswami, H. and Keung, A., The Children's Society.
Developing an Index of Children's Subjective Well-being in England, 2010
Rees, G., Goswami, H. and Bradshaw, J., The Children's Society.
Developing an index of children's subjective well-being in England, 2010
Rees, G., Goswami, H. and Bradshaw, J., Summary Report, The Children's Society.

If you require further information about the project, please contact Jonathan Bradshaw email Jonathan Bradshaw

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