Children's understandings of well-being in global and local contexts

theoretical and methodological considerations for a multinational qualitative study

Tobia Fattore*, Susann Fegter, Christine Hunner-Kreisel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Research on child well-being is an expanding international, inter- and trans-disciplinary field of research that has developed significantly within the last decades. While the achievements in the field are immense, the developments raise new challenges for the child well-being research field. In this paper three major challenges will be highlighted and discussed: Firstly, challenges regarding how to define well-being theoretically, secondly; challenges associated with integrating children’s perspectives in research; and thirdly, challenges of engaging with processes of globalisation and trans-national contexts which impact on children’s well-being and how we engage with these processes as researchers. We then outline a comparative qualitative study “Children’s understandings of well-being - global and local contexts” that attempts to respond to these challenges: by starting with children’s constructions of well-being as a basis for analysing the normativity of constructions of well-being; by explicitly accounting for the context in which these constructions are developed -embedding children’s perspectives within the social orders they are part of and contribute to; and by empirically analysing the relevance of multi-scalar contexts as social constructions for children’s understandings and experiences of well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-407
Number of pages23
JournalChild Indicators Research
Issue number2
Early online date10 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Children’s constructions of well-being
  • Comparative analysis of well-being
  • Cultural childhoods
  • International qualitative research

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