A cross-cultural exploration of children's perceptions of wellbeing: Understanding protective and risk factors

Klara Sabolova, Nicola Birdsey, Ian Stuart-Hamilton, Alecia L. Cousins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There is a growing body of literature on children's wellbeing. However, historically, focus has been on adults’ perspectives, leading to adult-centric views of wellbeing. Although recent years have witnessed an increase in researchers eliciting children's perspectives, it is not clear whether children's perceptions of wellbeing are universal, or whether they are culturally distinct. This study sought to explore children's perceptions of wellbeing across Wales and the Czech Republic. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 53 children aged 9–12 years and analysed via thematic analysis. The results revealed similarities in the perceptions of children in Wales and Czech Republic, with children in both cultures drawing on risk and protective factors that children believe impacts on their wellbeing. Risk factors include disrupted family relationships, peer difficulties, and anxiety, while protective factors include positive parent-child relationships, meaningful friendships, and effective coping strategies. This paper suggests that warm parent-child and child-peer interactions contribute to children's positive socioemotional functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104771
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Early online date17 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Children
  • Children's perceptions
  • Protective factors
  • Risk factors
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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