TitleChild Well-Being and the Life Course
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsSettersten, RA, McClelland, MM, Miao, A
EditorBen-Arieh, A, Casas, F, Frønes, I, Korbin, JE
Book TitleHandbook of Child Well-Being
Pagination1679 - 1711
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
ISBN Number978-90-481-9063-8

Well-being in childhood can have lasting effects on individual children, and on entire cohorts of children, as they grow older. Two paradigmatic approaches to the life course provide unique and complementary lenses for understanding child well-being. The personological paradigm raises sensitivity to dynamics of child well-being over time. This includes attention to earlier experiences that shape well-being during childhood and, more importantly, to how well-being in childhood shapes future outcomes. The institutional paradigm raises sensitivity to the role of distal social factors (especially beyond immediate interpersonal relationships) that comprise child well-being, produce it, or moderate or mediate its effects. These often-invisible forces (such as demographic conditions, historical events, or welfare states) have direct and indirect effects on children’s well-being, especially as the life course is being reconfigured for parents, grandparents, and other adults on whom children rely. The chapter ends with some reflections on specific skills that may be particularly useful to children today as they make the transition to adulthood.