Children's Subjective Well-Being During the Global Health Crisis of Covid-19: A Croos-Narional Comparison

Yuli Ketain Meiri, Hanita Kosher*, Daphna Gross-Manos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic was the worst global health disaster of this century. Although children were not at a particularly significant risk of morbidity, let alone mortality, the pandemic posed an acute threat to their well-being. Despite the extensive literature on the impact of COVID-19 on children, studies rarely focused on their subjective perspectives, quality of life and subjective well-being (SWB), but rather on their mental health problems. Moreover, most studies included only a single country. The current quantitative study addressed these gaps by empirically exploring children's lived experiences to assess their SWB, the quality of their relationships with significant others and its effects on SWB, as well as their fears and worries during the pandemic. It was based on a sample of 23,803 children aged 7–15 from twenty countries. The findings indicated a decrease in children's SWB during the pandemic. It was also found that children's SWB was predicted by their relationships with significant others. Fears and worries were found to be correlated with children's SWB very weakly. Finally, some cross-national differences were found in children's SWB and in the effects of their relationships on their SWB. Nevertheless, only a small share of the variance in children's SWB could be attributed to differences across countries. These results are discussed in terms of implications for research and policy: although COVID-19 is in many respects already behind us, we can learn much from what happened during that time to better cope with future global or national crises.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number107615
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Volume160
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Children's relationships
  • Children's subjective well-being (SWB)
  • Health crisis
  • Worries and fears

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