Material Resources and Children’s Subjective Well-Being in Eight Countries

Jorge Castellá Sarriera, Ferran Casas, Lívia Bedin, Daniel Abs, Miriam Raquel Strelhow, Daphna Gross-Manos, Jarod Giger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The objective of this research is to examine the relationship between children’s perception of their available material resources and their subjective well-being. Participants (n = 13,953) resided in eight countries and were largely female (57 %), between the ages of 10–14 (M = 12.05; SD = 0.59). Each child completed a culturally appropriate country-survey that included demographic information and validated measures from the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being project (ISCIWeB), which included the Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS) and material resources items. We tested a relational model for predicting subjective well-being and applied structural equation modelling (SEM) to the data. Results indicated that children in Uganda had limited access to material resources and the lowest average of well-being. Together with Algeria and South Africa, Uganda also had the strongest associations between the access to material resources and the SLSS. Even with access to all material resources evaluated, well-being scores are also lower in the case of South Korea, probably due to the so-called “Asian bias”. Children from Israel, Brazil, Spain, and England were similar in their levels of satisfaction and well-being. Our model fit the data well and revealed significant relationships between material resources and child subjective well-being in each country. Preliminary results underscore the importance of assessing material well-being in children and highlight the role material resources have in influencing children’s subjective well-being, especially in cases of children experiencing severe resource deprivation. Our model warrants further testing to replicate and extend our findings. Recommendations for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-209
Number of pages11
JournalChild Indicators Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


  • Children
  • Cross-cultural study
  • Material resources
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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