Contextualizing subjective well-being of children in different domains: Does higher safety provide higher subjective well-being for child citizens?


Uyan-Semerci, Pınar 
Erdoğan, Emre
Akkan, Başak
Müderrisoğlu, Serra
Karatay, Abdullah

Year of Publication: 
Children and Youth Services Review, 80, 52-62

According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children are born with civil, political, social and economic rights. However, children's ability to exercise their citizenship rights and practices depend on which country context they live in. Within the limits of this article we want to explore how children's subjective wellbeing is affected by the level of safety provided within the larger country context by using data collected by the consortium of the International Survey of Children's Well-Being. The question we elaborate is whether there is a relationship between the welfare context and subjective well-being of children with respect to different domains, and whether age and gender play a role. We first cluster welfare contexts with selected indicators from international reports among the selected countries of the Children's World Survey from high to low safety provided for children. Then, by referring to the existing literature, we propose six domains for analyzing children's subjective well-being: Health; Material conditions; Education; Risk and Safety; Relationships, and Self-perception. By analyzing each domain we ask whether there is a linear relation between the levels of safety welfare contexts and the subjective well-being of children in different domains and whether this hypothetical relationship exists after controlling for the age and gender of participants. According to our findings, high and medium welfare contexts provide higher subjective well-being in the domains of ‘material’ and ‘risk and safety’. Girls have lower subjective well-being in the low safety welfare context compared to boys. We also find that in the domains of education and relationship, girls' subjective well-being is higher than boys in every safety welfare contexts. Last but not least we also find that the high safety welfare context has a lower average in the self-perception domain and also there is gender difference, girls compared to boys are less satisfied with themselves.

Type of Publication: 
Journal article