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An exploration of young children's interpretation and understanding of well-being

Nightingale, Beverley (2016) An exploration of young children's interpretation and understanding of well-being. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

This piece of research explored young children’s (3-8 years) interpretation and understanding of well-being. The majority of research on well-being has been with adults and older children, with a distinct gap in younger children’s perspective being included. Where subjective well-being has been part of research, it has tended to be an add-on to the more weighty and identifiable data from government statistics and pre-determined objective measures. Subjective well-being is prominent in this piece of research, thus securing young children’s perspectives. The research was undertaken with forty children across four year-groups in one large urban community Infant school in the East of England. Drawings, paintings or photographs together with their narrative explanations, were collected from the children. Eight children then categorised the data, ordering it by frequency and importance. The final categorisation resulted in six key themes from the children: 1.Family, 2.Doing things with Family, 3.Being outside, 4.Pets and animals, 5, Activities, games and toys, 6. Friends. The researcher analysed the data using Barthes (1973, 1977) visual semiotic approach alongside a developmental perspective (Einarsdottir et al 2009), then thematic analysis. The researcher’s key themes were 1.Key relationships, 2.Sense of self, and 3.Outdoor world, which encapsulated the children’s themes and ideas. The importance of key relationships to young children has implications for time spent with family having greater status. It was also evident that young children are developing a sense of self, and need support, validation, and time from key people for this to be successful. The outdoor world was also significant, which needs recognition, provision and value attributed to it. The elements that make young children feel well and happy, need recognition and promotion by adults and professionals. Children’s perspectives need greater prominence in the policy domain. This piece of research demonstrated that young children are able to interpret and understand well-being, with the findings showing differences, or differences in degree of emphasis, to those put forward by older children and adults.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Beverley Nightingale
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2016 15:22
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2017 09:28
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/15769

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