Examining the concept of well-being and early childhood: adopting multi-disciplinary perspectives

Lewis, A (2019) 'Examining the concept of well-being and early childhood: adopting multi-disciplinary perspectives.' Journal of Early Childhood Research, 17 (4). pp. 294-308. ISSN 1476-718X

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X19860553


Well-being is generally acknowledged as a complex concept and leading discourses are rooted in disciplines such as philosophy, psychology and economics. Despite a wealth of theoretical explanations child well-being is largely under-theorised. Some argue it is unlikely that philosophical discourses of well-being will straightforwardly be extended to children because they were not originally written with them in mind. Therefore, this article firstly examines dimensions, domains and discourses of well-being and summarises the discussion with a conceptual framework in order to provide clarity about a complex concept. Secondly, the article discusses current research about the meaning of child well-being and finds that whilst there are different terms in use many discourses are similar in nature. Thirdly, the article shows how knowledge and understanding of early childhood relates to various well-being discourses and suggests that a theory of child well-being may not be needed. The article highlights the new development emerging between psychology, economics and sociology and concludes by discussing the value of adopting multi-disciplinary perspectives of well-being. The article is useful for policy-makers, practitioners and researchers in understanding the complex nature of well-being, particularly in the context of early childhood education.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: dominant discourses, early childhood, early years education, multi-disciplinary perspectives, well-being
Divisions: School of Education
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Research in Early Childhood (REACH)
UoA: Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1476718X19860553
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2019 17:14
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:52
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/12118
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