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

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


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.


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



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


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

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

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