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Trends in child subjective well-being in the UK

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Publication details

JournalJournal of Children's Services
DatePublished - Mar 2011
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)4-17
Original languageEnglish


This article exploits British Household Panel Survey data to explore trends in subjective well-being of young people aged 11-15 over the period 1994-2008. Two dimensions of subjective well-being are measured using multi-dimensional scales representing 'happiness' and 'self-esteem'. This 14-year period has seen many changes in the environment of young people that may have had an impact on their well-being, including economic growth, increases in parental employment and major efforts to improve social policy for children. Has all this activity had an impact on what young people say about their lives? The evidence from this analysis suggests that there has been an improvement in the average level of happiness of 11-15 year-olds over time, especially for girls. It is impossible to draw clear conclusions about the causes of this improvement in happiness but there is some evidence that it focused on relationships with friends and happiness with school.

    Research areas

  • child well-being

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