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Subjective Well-Being and Social Policy
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Professor Jonathan Bradshaw. Subjective well-being and social policy. Plenary. Child Indicators in a Globalized World: Implications for Research, Practice and Policy, 4th International Society for......

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw. Subjective well-being and social policy. Plenary. Child Indicators in a Globalized World: Implications for Research, Practice and Policy, 4th International Society for Child Indicators Conference, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea, 29 May 2013.

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  • 1. Jonathan Bradshaw International Society for Child Indicators Seoul Korea 29 May 2013
  • 2.          State of the World’s Children (UNICEF) Innocenti Report Cards (UNICEF) Doing Better for Children (OECD) Child poverty and derivation (EU) Child well-being (EU Tarki) African Report on Child Well-being (ACPF) Multi-dimensional child poverty (Bristol) Children’s Chances Heymann and Mc Neill McGill University http://childrenschances.org Many, many national reports
  • 3.  Comparative focus  Accept we can for objective well-being domains  Concentrate on subjective well-being  Can nations make their children happier?
  • 4.  Validity  Unreliable  Lost in translation  Cultural patterns  False expectations/adaptive preferences  Homeostatic adaptability  Difficult to explain
  • 5. Variable Year group (6 as reference) Ethnicity (white as reference) Number of siblings (none as reference) 8 10 Mixed Indian Pakistani/ Bangladeshi Black Other 1 2 3+ Sex (boy as reference) Learning difficulties (no as reference) Physical disability (no as reference) Deprivation score Family type (both Lone parent parents as reference) Step family Other r² Demographic variables only -1.16** -2.82** -0.83 NS -1.06 NS -0.59 NS + deprivation scale + family type -1.39** -2.86** -0.82 NS -0.36 NS -0.52 NS -1.33** -2.80** -0.91 NS -0.65 NS -0.59 NS -0.18 NS 0.59 NS 0.30 NS 0.09 NS 0.01 NS -0.66 * -0.60 NS -1.39 NS 0.23 NS 0.56 NS 0.20 NS -0.03 NS 0.09 NS -0.73* -0.31 NS -1.07 NS -0.68** 0.09 0.17 0.33 NS 0.42 NS 0.07 NS -0.21 NS 0.02 NS -0.73* -0.32 NS -1.18 NS -0.64** -1.26** -0.90* -4.68* 0.19
  • 6.  Validity  Unreliable  Lost in translation  Cultural patterns  False expectations/adaptive preferences  Homeostatic adaptability  Difficult to explain  Not independent of personality  Domains of subjective well-being ? Not policy amenable
  • 7. Overall subjective well-being Material well-being domain .677** Health and safety domain .542** Education domain .474** Behaviour domain .534** Housing and environment domain .610** Overall (exc subjective) .666**
  • 8.       Children in care Life events matter Quality of relationships more important than structure Involvement in decision making makes a difference Children’s feelings of material deprivation matter Bullying matters
  • 9. 45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 More than 3 times 2/3 times once never
  • 10. Without bullying With bullying Year 8 -1.26** -1.41** Year 10 -2.70** -2.88** Sex (ref: boy ) -0.60* -0.58* Deprivation scale -0.78** -0.60** Year group (ref: year 6) Bullied (ref: never) -1.16** 2 or 3 times -2.35** More than 3 times r² Once -3.58** 0.19 0.26
  • 11.  Amenable directly to policy  Decent houses  Safe neighbourhoods  No bullying  Enjoy and achieve in school  Not materially deprived  Amenable indirectly to policy  Family and other relationships    Reducing burdens of poverty and inequality on parents Treating and preventing parental depression Providing family friendly services
  • 12.  Intervention studies  (Finnish experiment with bullying)  Cognitive counselling  Social and emotional education  Layard “create the most happiness possible and the least misery” http://www.actionforhappiness.org  Surveys of subjective well-being in more countries  Comparative studies of subjective well-being  Children’s Worlds
  • 13.  Countries at a loss for what to do  Children the main victims of recession  OECD and EU preoccupied with social investment state –    Advocates of services versus benefits Making the case for maintaining welfare state in the face of the recession Focus on childcare     Developmental/cognitive arguments Compensatory intervention Well becoming Probably inequitable