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Understanding the typologies of child subjective well-being: A cross-country comparison

Joan P. Yoo | Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University

Jaejin Ahn | Department of Social Welfare, Gachon University


Comparative international studies on children's happiness and life satisfaction using child-centric measures are gathering much interest. The aim of this exploratory study is to expand the literature in this area by examining the typologies of children's well-being across various domains of their lives. The present study utilizes data from ten countries that participated in the first wave of the International Survey of Child Well-Being (ISCWeB). Latent Profile Analysis was utilized to identify the latent classes extracted from the Personal Well-being Index—School Children (PWI-SC). We then examined how children's overall life satisfaction and happiness differ across classes using ANOVA. We found the 6-class model to be the best fitting model. Children were identified to be in classes entitled, “high satisfaction overall,” “high overall satisfaction but low satisfaction for outside activity” “medium satisfaction overall,” “low satisfaction with health and safety,” “high satisfaction with health and low satisfaction with safety and ability,” and “low overall satisfaction.” Findings from ANOVA analysis suggest that classes significantly differ in terms of their overall life satisfaction and happiness. The implications of the study findings are discussed.


Keywords: Typologies of children's well-being, International Survey of Child Well-Being(ISCWeB), Children's subjective well-being, Latent Profile Analysis, International comparative study


Children and Youth Services Review 80 (2017) 22–30