What children think about their rights and their well-being: A cross-national comparison

Hanita Kosher*, Asher Ben-Arieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Recent years have brought a growing social and public commitment to the promotion of children's rights and children's well-being around the world, and these have become important goals of all those striving to improve children's lives. In spite of the intimate ideological connection between the concepts of children's rights and children's well-being, they have evolved separately both theoretically and empirically. In the current article, we present a study exploring the empirical association between these 2 concepts based on data from the International Survey on Children's Well-Being. This unique survey explores children's own perspectives on their well-being (subjective well-being), their perceptions and knowledge of their rights, and their reports on their right to participation. It includes data from more than 54,000 children aged 8-12 from 16 countries around the world. Our results showed clear cross-national differences between children's knowledge and perceptions of their rights and their reports on participation. Also, children's participation in different contexts in their lives showed an association with their subjective well-being; a weaker association was found between children's knowledge and perceptions of their rights. These results indicate that children's right to participation and, to some degree, their knowledge and thinking about their rights is an indicator of their well-bein.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)256-273
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Orthopsychiatric Association.


  • Children's right to participation
  • Children's rights
  • Children's self-determination rights
  • Children's well-being
  • Subjective well-being


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