Systematic Review of the Measurement Properties of Questionnaires for the Measurement of the Well-Being of Children and Adolescents

Rita Žukauskienė, Goda Kaniušonytė, Inga Truskauskaitė-Kunevičienė, Oksana Malinauskienė


The objective of this study was to systematically review the psychometric properties of the measures used in assessing the psychosocial well-being status of children and adolescents. This review updates and expands on the previous review of the literature on child well-being in order to assess all available studies from 2000 to 2013 on the measurement properties of all available well-being assessment instruments that aim to measure the construct of well-being in childhood and adolescence. Overall, 182 measures designed for measuring child and adolescent well-being were found. These measures vary in length and structure from one item scales to multidimensional questionnaires with 70 items and more. Most of the instruments measure positive indicators of well-being (e.g., life satisfaction, quality of life, self-esteem, etc.), others measure deficit indicators (e.g., anxiety, depression, stress, etc.), and a few instruments measure both positive and deficit indicators. In addition, there are some instruments with undefined modality of well-being. Thus, our study has revealed an ongoing theoretical shift from a deficit approach to well-being to a strengths-based approach. The results also indicate that the reliability information is reported for the majority of the instruments. The most frequently used reliability measure for all these instruments is the Cronbach’s alpha internal consistency coefficient. The reports of validity are available for approximately one-third of the instruments. Measures of well-being in adolescence are dominant, however, some instruments are suitable for the measurement of well-being and its indicators in childhood, and some reach the period of emerging adulthood (19-21 years). Most of the studies were conducted in North America and Europe with only a few of them being cross-cultural.


Well-Being, Psychometric properties, Children, Adolescents

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