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Children's quality of life

Summary:
A brief introduction is given to historical and conceptual perspectives on quality-of-life studies. An analysis is provided of how the concept is used and how it should be used when applied to children. The quality of life perspective treats the perspective of all social agents involved in any social phenomena as important. This includes people's perceptions, evaluations and aspirations - that is to say their subjective well-being - and is related to people's satisfaction with life domains and with life as a whole. As a consequence, children's own opinions must be included in any study of children's quality of life and children's well-being is a crucial topic for child researchers. Because of the traditional adult-centric perspective in which research on children has been grounded, examples are given of research evidence showing that children's perspectives may be different from those expected and from those of adults. This does not mean that children's perspectives are wrong and adults' are right, it only means that adults and children may have different perspectives on social reality, because they feel that they belong to different social groups. The relational, social and political implications of such perspectives are briefly discussed.

Key words:
children, adolescents, quality of life, subjective well-being, life satisfaction, child perspective
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