Children’s Multidimensional Subjective Well-Being in OECD and Non-OECD Countries: Is Cross-Country Comparison Possible?
Child well-being is regarded a key concept in research initiatives designed to assess children’s status globally. In recent years, research on the relatively new aspect of child subjective well-being (SWB) has been growing, and evidence associates low SWB with various negative life conditions. Thus, international comparisons of child SWB can serve as an important tool for countries that wish to improve the lives of children. Validating tools used to evaluate child SWB and prove them reliable for cross-country comparisons in different samples of countries and contexts is essential for that purpose. This study utilized a representative sample of the ISCWeB Children’s Worlds survey, which included 21,508 12-year-olds in 18 countries, to determine whether the General Domain Satisfaction Index (GDSI) – a multidimensional measure of child SWB is valid for cross-country comparisons in two sub-samples: OECD and non-OECD member states. After preliminary results had shown a significant difference in GDSI scores between the two sub-samples, a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed that in both sub-samples, it was possible to compare regression weights and correlations, but not means. Limitations and future directions for research in the child SWB field are discussed.
KeywordsSubjective well-being International comparisons GDSI Children Life satisfaction
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