Well-being measures the quality of lives. However, as simple as the concept sounds, there is no universally accepted methodof measuring well-being. The two broad approaches to defining and measuring well-being are:

  1. To consider well-being as a multi-dimensional concept objective comprising of of subjective and objective facets and to measure these different aspects.
  2. To ask people directly how they view their well-being (subjective).

WHO uses the word ‘well being’ in its definition of health from 1948. ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.

It is important to recognize that well-being for children differs from that of adults. Measuring adult well-being could include components such as job satisfaction, earnings or work-life balance. For children, relationships are the most critical area in relation to the quality of their lives. Therefore, when working to improve children’s well-being, relationships within different settings such as family, peers, school and the community is essential to consider.

Search the SHE glossary