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Why Do Children Become Unhappier as They Get Older?...

Full title: Why Do Children Become Unhappier as They Get Older? Comparing Key Dimensions of Children’s Subjective Well-Being Between 8- and 12-Year-Old Groups in South Korea

Sunsuk Kim | Major of Social Welfare, School of Business, Trade & Social Welfare, Korea National University of Transportation

Jaejin Ahn | Department of Social Welfare, Gachon University

Bong Joo Lee | Department of Social Welfare, Seoul National University


The main purpose of this paper is to explore differences in the roles played by family, school, and community in the subjective well-being (SWB) of children in different age groups in South Korea. Based on Bronfenbrenner’s ecological framework, the contexts that affect children’s subjective well-being are conceptualized as family, school, and community. We use multiple regression analysis with the Chow test. The Chow test examines whether the parameters of one group (such as 8-year-old children) are equal to those of other groups (such as 10- or 12-year-old children). The results show that Bsatisfaction with freedom^ in child factors and Brelations with friends^ in school factors significantly influence SWB, having a stronger effect on 8- rather than 12-year-old children. In contrast, Bsatisfaction with school marks^ in school factors significantly influences SWB, having a stronger effect on 12- rather than 8-year-old children. In a nutshell, this analysis shows that the effects of these factors on the SWB of 8-year-olds are different from those on the SWB of 12-year-olds.


Children’ subjective well-being . Ecological framework . Chow test . ISCWeB

Child Ind Res (2019) 12:9–27


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