The Centre for Resilience and Socio-Emotional Health has just published a research report on the third wave of the International Survey of Children's Subjective Wellbeing with Maltese children.
Over 2,000 Maltese children aged 8, 10 and 12 year old participated in the study. The findings indicate that the major systems in Maltese children’s lives, such as the family, the school, friends, and the community, appear to be functioning well for the majority of Maltese children.
These systems are key indicators of children’s subjective wellbeing, as indicated by the high levels of cognitive, affective and psychological wellbeing reported by most of the participants in the study. Maltese children consistently ranked in the upper half of the 35 countries across overall subjective well-being measures.
The positive findings for the majority of Maltese children, however, must not override the reality that a number of Maltese children are not satisfied with their lives and the conditions they are living in at home, in their locality, at school and other systems in their lives.
This study has also identified various areas and issues in children’s lives, such as the relative lack of freedom and lack of participation in family decisions, lack of enough public spaces to play and lack of safety in the neighbourhood, not having enough friends, learning, classmates and bullying at school, low level of physical exercise, and concerns about the future, which need to be further explored and addressed through policy and practice at systems levels such as families, communities, and schools as well as broader macrosystems level.
“We hope that these findings and recommendations will be given their due attention by policymakers, educators, community leaders and other state and non-state stakeholders within an interdisciplinary, integrated approach. We also hope that the children themselves will be invited to participate actively in this process as key stakeholders”, the CRES commented.