Children, Adolescents and Quality of Life: The Social Sciences Perspective Over Two Decades
- 486 Downloads
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.
KeywordsChildren 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., & Rogers, W.L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions, evaluations, and satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage.Google Scholar
- Cantril, H. (1965). The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick (N.J.): Rutgers Univ. Press.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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.
- Casas, F., Bello, A., González, M., & Aligué, M. (2012b). Personal Well-Being among Spanish Adolescents. Journal of Social Research & Policy, 3(2), 19–45. Retrieved from http://www.jsrp.ro/content/JSRP-Vol3_Iss2_CASAS
- 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, 271–290.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Cummins, R.A., & Lau, A.L. (2005). Personal Wellbeing Index – School Children. Manual (Third Edition). Melbourne: School of Psychology, Deakin University.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- Huebner, E.S. (2004). Research on assessment of life satisfaction of children and adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 66(1–2), 3–33.Google Scholar
- 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
- Land, K. (2000). Social indicators. In E.F. Borgatta, & R.V. Montgomery (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Sociology (pp. 2682–2690). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.