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Feb 3, 2021 | by Centre

Children’s subjective wellbeing measures

We are mapping what measures and tools are being used in the UK to measure the wellbeing of children and young people from their own perspective. 

What is happening?

We are working with The Children’s Society with funding from the Health Foundation, to publish a bank of questions and measures to capture children and young people’s subjective wellbeing.

We are looking at all aspects of what matters to children and young people and the best tools currently available to measure this directly, that is, as reported by themselves. 

Existing evidence will be used to develop a searchable bank of measures and guidelines for stakeholders nationwide to inform and use in their own work, adding consistency to the task.

The material compiled is expected to allow for better benchmarking and comparison, thus enabling better understanding of “what works” to improve children’s wellbeing, ultimately leading to improved child wellbeing.


We are looking at research that meets the following criteria:

  • The population of interest are 10- to 18-year-old children living in the UK
  • Focus on changes in children’s subjective wellbeing (self-reports about how they are doing). This may include:
    • Global wellbeing variables (e.g., satisfaction or happiness with life as a whole)
    • Domain-specific wellbeing variables (e.g., physical health, mental health, learning and skills, friends and family relationships, loneliness, identity, appearance, autonomy, purpose, environment, safety, behaviours, emotions, material wellbeing, time use, etc.)
  • Tangible outcome metrics are used, in the form of a single item, inventory, scale, dashboard or index.
  • Evidence submitted must have been completed in the past 10 years (2011-present), be available in English, include author details (individuals, groups or organisations) and publication date.

We are particularly interested in measures that have been developed in consultation with children and young people and that have been validated or that have information about their psychometric properties. The absence of these characteristics, however, will not exclude the measures from the bank. 

We are also looking at qualitative studies which aim to evaluate or develop quantitative measures.

We are hoping to publish our findings in the summer of 2021.

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