English title: Support of the society, trust, health and income as factors of life satisfaction for children and parents in 13 countries in Europe

Author(s): Mare Ainsaar -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2008


The paper analyses life satisfaction of children and parents in 13 European countries. Adults up to the age of 60 are used as the reference group for comparisons. It is assumed that the total life satisfaction is influenced by individual resources and the living environment of individuals. From individual level characteristics we are concentrating analyses on the health, income and trust of others. The living environment of children and families with children is characterised by share of family benefits and importance of family in the society. Data of the European Social Survey 2004 are used. The analyses showed that the most satisfied 15–18-ear-old adolescents live in Switzerland, Finland and Sweden (Denmark was not included). Macro-level analyses indicated that the more important the family was in a country, the lower was the life satisfaction of children; however, the life satisfaction of children compared with adults was higher in more familyfriendly countries. Parents were most content with their lives in Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Austria. The lowest scores for life satisfaction were displayed by East-European countries – Ukraine, Slovakia, Poland and Estonia. On the basis of the life satisfaction of children and parents and the deviance from the rest of the population, countries were grouped into three clusters. In general, the model for life satisfaction with independent variables of health, income and trust suited adults better than children. Income was a surprisingly weak factor in the model for the life satisfaction of children. Infl uence of trust and health on the life satisfaction of children varied by country. For parents, income was the most important predictor of life satisfaction in most countries. However, the infl uence of income was less important in countries where family policy was more generous. Also, heath and trust of others were good predictors of life satisfaction in the case of parents; however, in most countries, health seemed to be a more powerful factor than trust. Parents were more satisfi ed with their lives in those societies where family was considered more important and also family policy support was more essential.

From page no: 49

To page no: 66

Anthology: Estonia in European Comparison

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