Advertisement

Children, Adolescents and Quality of Life: The Social Sciences Perspective Over Two Decades

  • Ferran CasasEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 60)

Abstract

In the first ISQOLS international conference (1996) in Prince George (Canada) the topic of children’s and adolescents’ quality of life was absolutely minoritarian – and even more minoritarian was the presence of research using children’s or adolescents’ subjective indicators. Although children’s and adolescents’ QOL has frequently been a concept used in health-related sciences, very few publications appeared before 2000 using subjective data from big samples of children and/or adolescents, and therefore adopting a macro-social perspective.

During the years of the new millennium this panorama started to change, and some authors speak of the new “child indicators movement”, somehow suggesting that the social indicators movement has waited about 40 years to include children in the challenges assumed.

In the international arena the debates on the need of new indicators about children’s conditions of living have had much to do with the children’s rights debates grounded on the need to follow up the application of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, measuring children’s rights has been pointed out to be related with the achievement of minimum standards, while measuring children’s well-being and QOL has to do with achieving the maximum potential of human development, including human aspirations, and therefore, including human rights.

The progressive availability of an important amount of subjective indicators based on data provided by children and adolescents in more and more countries is frequently offering unexpected results, suggesting we do not know enough by far about the subjective well-being of the youngest generations. We need more conceptual debates, more research and more dissemination of research results to understand the perceived conditions of living of children and adolescents in different countries in the world, and in different socio-cultural contexts.

Keywords

Children Adolescents Quality of life Well-being Subjective well-being Subjective indicators Life satisfaction 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thanks are due to Barney Griffins for editing of the English text.

References

  1. Andelman, R.B., Attkisson, C.C., Zima, B.T., & Rosenblatt, A.B. (1999). Quality of life of children: Toward conceptual clarity. In M.E. Maruisch, The use of psychological testing for treatment planning and outcomes assessment. London: LEA.Google Scholar
  2. Ben-Arieh, A. (2000). Beyond welfare: Measuring and monitoring the state of children – New trends and domains. Social Indicators Research, 52(3), 235–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ben-Arieh, A. (2006). Is the study of the “State of Our Children” changing? Revisiting after five years. Children and Youth Services Review, 28(7), 799–811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ben-Arieh, A. (2008). The child indicators movement: Past, present and future. Child Indicators Research, 1, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ben-Arieh, A. (2012). How do we measure and monitor the “State of Our Children”? Revisiting the topic in honor of Sheila B. Kamerman. Children and Youth Services Review, 34, 569–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ben-Arieh, A., Casas, F., Frønes, I., & Korbin, J.E. (2014). Handbook of Child Well-Being. Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ben-Arieh, A., & Wintersberger, H. (Eds.) (1997). Monitoring and measuring the state of the children: Beyond survival. Eurosocial Report, 62. Vienna: European Centre for Social Welfare Policy and Research.Google Scholar
  8. Ben-Arieh, A., Kaufman, N.H., Andrews, B.A., Goerge, R., Lee, B.J., & Aber, J.L. (2001). Measuring and monitoring children’s well-being. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bender, T.A. (1997). Assessment of subjective well-being during childhood and adolescence. In G. Phye, Handbook of classroom assessment: learning, achievement and adjustment (pp. 199–225). S. Diego (Ca): Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bradshaw, J., Hoelscher, P., & Richardson, D. (2007). An index of child well-being in the European Union. Social Indicators Research, 80, 133177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. (1998). The ecology of developmental processes. In W. Damon & R. Lerner: Handbook of child psychology: Theoretical models of human development, 1. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., & Rogers, W.L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
  13. Cantril, H. (1965). The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick (N.J.): Rutgers Univ. Press.Google Scholar
  14. Casas, F. (1997). Children’s rights and children’s quality of life: conceptual and practical issues. Social Indicators Research, 42, 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Casas, F. (2011). Subjective social indicators and child and adolescent well-being. Child Indicators Research, 4(4), 555–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Casas, F., Alfaro, J., Sarriera, J.C., Bedin, L., Grigoras, B., Bălţătescu, S., Malo, S., & Sirlopú, D. (2015). El bienestar subjetivo en la infancia: Estudio de la comparabilidad de 3 escalas psicométricas en 4 países de habla latina. Psicoperspectivas Individuo y Sociedad, 14(1), 6–18.Google Scholar
  17. Casas, F., Bello, A., González, M., Aligué, M., Bertrán, I., Montserrat, C., Navarro, D., González-Bueno, G., & von Bredow, M. (2012a). Calidad de vida y bienestar infantil subjetivo en España. ¿Qué afecta al bienestar de niños y niñas españoles de 1 de ESO? Madrid: UNICEF España. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.es/actualidad-documentacion/publicaciones/calidad-de-vida-y-bienestar-infantil-subjetivo-en-espana.
  18. Casas, F., Bello, A., González, M., & Aligué, M. (2012b). Personal Well-Being among Spanish Adolescents. Journal of Social Research & Policy, 3(2), 1945. Retrieved from http://www.jsrp.ro/content/JSRP-Vol3_Iss2_CASAS
  19. Casas, F., Figuer, C., González, M., & Malo, S. (2007a). The values adolescents aspire to, their well-being and the values parents aspire to for their children. Social Indicators Research, 84, 271290.Google Scholar
  20. Casas, F., Figuer, C., González, M., Malo, S., Alsinet, C., & Subarroca, S. (2007b). The well-being of 12- to 16-year-old adolescents and their parents: Results from 1999 to 2003 Spanish samples. Social Indicators Research, 83(1), 87–115. doi:  10.1007/s11205-006-9059-1.Google Scholar
  21. Casas, F., González, M., & Navarro, D. (2013a). Social psychology and child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J.E. Korbin, Handbook of Child Well-Being (pp. 513–554). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  22. Casas, F., González, M., Navarro, D., & Aligué, M. (2013b). Children as Advisers of Their Researchers: Assuming a Different Status for Children. Child Indicators Research, 6, 193212. doi  10.1007/s12187-012-9168-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Casas, F., & Planes, M. (2014). The IRQV (Research Institute on Quality of Life, University of Girona, Spain). In A.C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research (pp. 3389–3392). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Casas, F., Sarriera, J.C., Abs, D., Coenders, G., Alfaro, J., Saforcada, E., & Tonon, G. (2012c). Subjective indicators of personal well-being among adolescents. Performance and results for different scales in Latin-language speaking countries: A contribution to the international debate. Child Indicators Research, 5, 1–28.Google Scholar
  25. Casas, F., Sarriera, J.C., Alfaro, J., González, M., Malo, S., Bertran, I., Figuer, C., Abs da Cruz, D., Bedin, L., Paradiso, A., Weinreich, K., & Valdenegro, B. (2011). Testing the Personal Wellbeing Index on 12–16 year-old adolescents in 3 different countries with 2 new items. Social Indicators Research, 105, 461–482. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Casas, F., Sarriera, J.C., Alfaro, J., González, M., Bedin, L., Abs, D., Figuer, C., & Valdenegro, B. (2014). Reconsidering life domains that contribute to subjective well-being among adolescents with data from three countries. Journal of Happiness Studies. doi  10.1007/s10902-014-950-20.
  27. Casas, F., & Saurina, C. (Eds.) (2001). Proceedings of the Third Conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Studies (ISQOLS). Universitat de Girona: Diversitas, 14.Google Scholar
  28. Casas, F., Tiliouine, H., & Figuer, C. (2013c). The Subjective Well-being of Adolescents from Two Different Cultures: Applying Three Versions of the PWI in Algeria and Spain. Social Indicators Research, 115, 637–651. doi  10.1007/s11205-012-0229-z.
  29. Cummins, R.A. (1997). Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale – Student (Grades 7–12): ComQol-S5 (Fifth Edition). Melbourne: School of Psychology, Deakin University.Google Scholar
  30. Cummins, R.A. (1998). The second approximation to an international standard of life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 43, 307–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Cummins, R.A. (2014). Understanding the well-being of children and adolescents through homeostàtic theory. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J.E. Korbin, Handbook of Child Well-Being (635–662). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Cummins, R.A., Eckersley, R. Pallant, J., Van Vugt, J., & Misajon, R. (2003). Developing a national index of subjective wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index. Social Indicators Research, 64, 159–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Cummins, R.A., & Gullone, E. (2000). Why we should not use 5-point Likert scales: The case for subjective quality of life measurement. Proceedings Second International Conference on Quality of Life in Cities, 74–93. Singapore: National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
  34. Cummins, R.A., & Lau, A.L. (2005). Personal Wellbeing Index – School Children. Manual (Third Edition). Melbourne: School of Psychology, Deakin University.Google Scholar
  35. Currie, C., Zanotti, C., Morgan, A., Currie, D., de Looze, M., Roberts, C., & Rasmussen, V.B. (2012). Social determinants of Health and well-being among young people. In W.A.R. of Europe (Ed.): Health Policy for Children and Adolescents, 6. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe.Google Scholar
  36. Dannerbeck, A., Casas, F., Sadurní, M., & Coenders, G. (Eds.) (2004). Quality-of-life research on children and adolescents. Social Indicators Research Series, 23, 1–195. Dordrecht: Kluwer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Diener, E., Emmons, R., Larsen, R., & Smith, H.L. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Diener, E., Suh, E.M., Lucas, R.E., & Smith, H.L. (1999). Subjective well-being: Three decades of progress. Psychological Bulletin, 125(2), 276–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Fordyce, M.W. (1988). A review of research on the happiness measures: a sixty second index of happiness and mental health. Social Indicators Research, 20(4), 355–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gilman, R., & Huebner, E.S. (2000). Review of life satisfaction measures for adolescents. Behavior Change, 17, 178–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Goldbeck, L., Schmitz, T.G., Besier, T., Herschbach, P., & Henrich, G. (2007). Life satisfaction decreases with age. Quality of life research, 16, 969979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Guyatt, G.H., & Jaeschker, R. (1990). Measurement in clinical trials: Choosing the appropriate approach. In B. Spilker (Ed.), Quality of life assessment in clinical trials (pp. 37–46). New York: Raven.Google Scholar
  43. Gullone, E., & Cummins R.A. (1999). The Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale: A psychometric evaluation with an adolescent sample. Behaviour Change, 16, 127–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Holte, A., Barry, M.M., Bekkhus, M., Borge, A.I.H., Bowes, L., Casas, F., … Zachrisson, H.D. (2014). Psychology of child well-being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J.E. Korbin, Handbook of Child Well-Being (pp. 555–631). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Huebner, E.S (1991). Initial development of the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. School Psychology International, 12, 231–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Huebner, E.S. (1994). Preliminary development and validation of a multidimensional life satisfaction scale of children. Psychological Assessment, 6(2), 149–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Huebner, E.S. (2004). Research on assessment of life satisfaction of children and adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 66(1–2), 3–33.Google Scholar
  48. International Wellbeing Group (2006). Personal Wellbeing Index Manual (4th ed.). Retrieved from http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/acqol/instruments/wellbeing-index/pwi-a-english.pdf
  49. Land, K. (2000). Social indicators. In E.F. Borgatta, & R.V. Montgomery (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 2682–2690). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  50. Mason, J., & Watson, E. (2014). Researching children: Research on, with, and by children. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J.E. Korbin, Handbook of Child Well-Being (pp. 2757–2796). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Montserrat, C., & Casas, F. (2007). Kinship foster care from the perspective of quality of life: Research on the satisfaction of the stakeholders. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 1(3–4), 227–237.Google Scholar
  52. Park, N., Huebner, E.S., Laughlin, J.E., Valois, R.F., & Gilman, R. (2004). A cross-cultural comparison of child and adolescent life satisfaction reports. Social Indicators Research, 66, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Park, N., & Huebner, E.S. (2005). A cross-cultural study of the levels and correlates of life satisfaction among adolescents. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 36, 444–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Pollard, E., & Lee, P.D. (2003). Child well-being: A systematic review of the literature. Social Indicators Research, 61(1), 59–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Raphael, D., Rukholm, E., Brown, I., Hill-Bailey, P., & Donato, E. (1996). The Quality of Life Profile-Adolescent Version: Background, description, and initial validation. Journal of Adolescent Health, 19, 366–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Rees, G., & Main, G. (2015). Children’s views on their lives and well-being in 15 countries: An initial report on the Children’s Worlds survey, 2013–14. Children’s Worlds. Retrieved from http://www.isciweb.org/?CategoryID=176&ArticleID=108
  57. Ryff, C.D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it – Explorations on the meaning of psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(6), 1069–1081.Google Scholar
  58. Russell, J.A. (2003). Core Affect and the Psychological Construction of Emotion. Psychological Review, 110(1), 145–172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sandin, B. (2014). History of Children’s Well-Being. In A. Ben-Arieh, F. Casas, I. Frønes, & J.E. Korbin, Handbook of Child Well-Being (pp. 31–86). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  60. Seligson, J.L., Huebner, E.S., & Valois, R.F. (2003). Preliminary validation of the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (BMSLSS). Social Indicators Research, 61(2), 121–145. doi:  10.1023/A:1021326822957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Stones, M.J., & Kozma, A. (1985). Structural relationships among happiness scales: A second order factorial study. Social Indicators Research, 17, 1928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Tomyn, A.J., & Cummins, R.A. (2011). The Subjective Wellbeing of High-School students: Validating the Personal Wellbeing Index—School Children. Social Indicators Research, 101, 405–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Vaqué, C., González, M., & Casas, F. (2015). Does Satisfaction with Food Matter? Testing the Personal Well-Being Index-School Children (PWI-SC) with an Additional Item on Satisfaction with Food on a Sample of 10 to 12-Year-Olds. Child Indicators Research, online first. doi  10.1007/s12187-015-9301-y.
  64. Veenhoven, R. (2000). The four qualities of life, Journal of Happiness Studies, 1, 1–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute on Quality of LifeUniversity of GironaGironaSpain

Personalised recommendations