Measuring Children and Young People's Subjective Wellbeing
While we have very good national data on the wellbeing of adults, the national statistics on children and young people’s wellbeing in the UK, is not collected regularly, or nationally.
A key role for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing is to create robust, consistent wellbeing measures that can be used with confidence for different purposes and groups in the UK. With this project, we have developed a framework to measure the subjective wellbeing of children and young people, an area with growing national interest, particularly as a result of Covid-19.
The Measures Bank is a searchable database of measures, a resource for policy makers and practitioners to identify appropriate measures for children’s wellbeing for use in their specific context. This bank of measures is being developed through a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) methodology to identify, collate and appraise the quality of existing measures.
Measures Bank User Guide
This User Guide is designed to help you understand and use the Measures Bank. It is for academic and technical audiences who are familiar with how to conduct wellbeing measurement projects. It aims to provide guidance on what is important when measuring children and young people’s wellbeing specifically, and how to use the children and young people’s wellbeing measures bank.
In this paper we provide an overview of what children and young people’s wellbeing is. We outline the differences between objective and subjective measures of wellbeing, as well as providing definitions for the various constructs and terminology that is used to describe different concepts associated with subjective wellbeing from the literature, and how this can be applied to children and young people.
We also outline why we believe that measuring children and young people’s subjective wellbeing is important, not only for its ability to inform policy and practical decisions that impact on the lives of children in the UK, but because there is validity in asking young people themselves how they are doing.
Help us keep this measures bank up-to-date
You will notice that several measures have incomplete information for some of the fields. The Rapid Evidence Assessment allowed us to quickly identify multiple instruments to measure children and young people’s subjective wellbeing and few of their basic characteristics, such as the author and date of creation. However, this methodology does not lend itself to rapidly and systematically fill in all the more detailed fields of information about each metric, fields that ultimately will be crucial to critically assess how good the measures are.
We will continue to compile the information as long as our resources allow us, for instance, to cross-check targeted literature reviews. In parallel, should you have some of this lacking information at hand or if you wish to suggest amendments or updates to the current information, you are welcome to do so by filling in the corresponding fields of this form (which closely follows the structure of the bank). Please use a different form for each metric you would like to edit. Practitioners and the research community will be enormously benefited with your contribution.
Children and Young People's Measures: ONS4 evaluations and beyond
Since 2019, we have begun to search for impact evaluations more systematically, starting with our Rapid Evidence Assessment of wellbeing impact evaluations that use the ONS4 personal wellbeing measures. We’ve now sifted through some of the studies originally excluded from our review. Many of them are evaluations of interventions delivered outside of the UK, aimed at children and young people, use a wide range of wellbeing measures to report impact.