The Current Evidence Base and Future Needs in Improving Children’s Well-Being Across Europe

Is There a Case for a Comparative Longitudinal Survey?


Haridhan Goswami, Chris Fox, Gary Pollock


There has been a growing interest among academics, policy makers and practitioners in the subjective well-being of children and young people (CYP). The recognition of CYP’s rights to having a good childhood and good future life chances, coupled with the injunction from the New Sociology of Childhood to consult with CYP as active agents have also resulted in an increasing interest in the use of well-being as a key concept in policy programmes in many countries. In recent years, child well-being has become a priority for the European political agenda. However, the main challenge for the European Union (EU) is to develop the best policies and approaches to effectively improve the well-being of children and young people using the most robust and suitable sources of data. This article identifies research gaps on children and young people’s subjective well-being and discusses the policy relevance of longitudinal survey in the context of the EU strategy for CYP. It is argued that a longitudinal survey would fulfil research gaps and provide invaluable data for the European Union and its member states for monitoring and evaluation of existing policies on children and young people’s well-being and developing future polices supported by robust data.

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