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What accounts for the variations in children's subjective well-being across nations?

What accounts for the variations in children's subjective well-being across

nations?: A decomposition method study


Bong Joo Lee ] Seoul National University, Department of Social Welfare College

Min Sang Yoo ] Seoul National University, Department of Social Welfare College


Abstract


Studies have shown that there are important differences in children's subjective well-being across nations. However, it has been difficult to explain why this level is lower or higher in certain countries. Using data from the Children's Worlds project, this study examines how much of the country-level children's subjective well-being can be explained by various social and cultural contextual factors. More specifically, we decompose the levels of

children's overall subjective well-being to seven factors that are known to be important for children's well-being including leisure, environment, learning, money, relationship, freedom to choose, and self. After the decomposition, the unexplained part (intercept and residual) for each country is considered to represent cultural reporting bias. We found that cultural reporting bias cannot explain all of the variances in children's subjective well-being across nations. Rather, we found that the freedom to choose and self are the two most important factors that explain vast share of the variances in the overall levels of children's subjective well-being across nations. The paper also provides social policy implications of the study results.


Keywords: Children's subjective well-being, Quality of life, Life satisfaction, Decomposition method, Comparative study, Cultural reporting bias


Children and Youth Services Review 80 (2017) 15–21