Tel-Hai Magazine - Fall 2020

International Research Examines Happiness Level of Children Around theWorld: Studies indicate that eight year olds are most satisfied with their lives in all parameters other than the feeling of safety in the home

by Dr. Daphna Gross-Manos

The international study "Children’s Worlds" (ISCWeB, funded by the Jacobs fund) has recently completed its third wave in the massive international survey including over 128,000 children in 35 countries around the world. This massive, unique, project aspires to understand and promote the perspectives and experiences of children regarding their own lives and well-being; and to encourage policymakers and all those who deal with child well-being to act to improve experiences during childhood. In Israel, the study was conducted by the researchers Prof. Asher Ben Arieh and Dr. Hanita Kosher from the Hebrew University, Dr. Daphna Gross-Manos from Tel-Hai College and Sagit Brok from the Haruv Institute, and included 4,687 - 8,10 and 12 year old children in Israel (second, fourth and sixth grade). The questions in the study ranged between general satisfaction in life and personal well-being to specific areas of life, such as internet access and feelings of security in their respective environments. The survey provides a unique up-to-date perspective on the life of children in many countries that are diverse in their economic wealth, geography and culture. A short selection of the findings is presented here:

Percentage of children who completely agreed they have enough places to play and hang out

Are younger children happier children?

The study's findings indicate that children become less satisfied with their lives as they grow older. In most countries the average grades declined as the age of the children increased, so that eight year old children ranked their general well-being as quite high in comparison to the ten year olds, whereas these ranked their general well-being as higher compared to the 12 years old. Their assessment regarding specific aspects of their life, such as satisfaction with family life, neighbourhood life and the school, also tended to be less positive as their age rose.

Magazine, Fall 2020

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