Children's conceptualisation(s) of their well-being

Toby Fattore, Jan Mason*, Elizabeth Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes the process and some findings of a collaborative project between the New South Wales Commission for Children and Young People and researchers at the Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre, at the University of Western Sydney. The project was designed to inform the Commission in implementing its legislative mandate to develop a set of well-being indicators to monitor children's well-being over time. Placing children centrally as research participants was fundamental to the methodological approach of the project in which children's understandings of what contributes to their well-being were explored through qualitative methods. We discuss the epistemological and methodological approaches used in the project, in the context of other, earlier research towards the development of children's well-being indicators. Some of the early findings from the collaborative project are outlined and an example given of the way in which knowledge produced by a research approach which places children centrally, differs from and is similar to knowledge produced by more traditional child social indicator research. The paper ends with a discussion of some of the implications and challenges posed by reflecting on the research process and early findings from the research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-29
Number of pages25
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Children's perspectives
  • Indicators
  • Well-being

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