Methods: A review of international multidimensional child well-being indices we reviewed as well as efforts to date by the Chinese government, researchers, and non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations to develop comprehensive multidimensional measures of child well-being in China. The are indicators that have data available in China and are culturally appropriate. We summarize the availability of potential data for indicators in China for each dimension and the sources.
Results: Data sources and availability for the various domains of a multidimensional index is presented and the potential interactions of the domains are considered. Thirty-four indicators were identified for six dimensions: economic well-being, physical health, emotional health and social relationships, education, safety and risk behaviors, and living environment including the source and frequency of data collection for each indicator. Data sources include administrative data (e.g., NPA Monitoring Statistics, China Statistical Yearbook, and Educational Statistics Yearbook of China) and nationwide sampled survey (e.g., CFPS and CNHSS). Both positive and negative indicators are considered in order to promote a holistic and comprehensive assessment of child well-being. Findings show that there is sufficient data to develop a multidimensional child well-being index.
Conclusion and Implications: In conclusion, the development of a multidimensional index to measure child well-being is shown to benefit children in China. The paper stops short of offering a specific index because measures of well-being should be contextualized by culture and informed by those who are being measured. Multi-dimensional measures deepen and broaden our understanding of child well-being and inform us of areas of neglect.