Book Announcement: How children grow into happy adults?


The last years have seen an increasing interest in the topic of well-being across different disciplines. And children happiness appears to be on the forefront of venerable goals of psychology as it is proved to have a significant influence on the whole future life course and adulthood.

New inter-disciplinary book “The Well-being of Children” by Gottfried Schweiger and Gunter Graf, out now in open access by De Gruyter Open presents different disciplinary approaches to children’s well-being on the conceptual as well as on the practical and political level. It links the theoretical discussions explicitly with ethical and practical issues and combines them swiftly with representative case studies. The authors review current research on the foundations of emotional well-being to reveal how nature and nurture can establish the roots of adult bliss in children.

Nowadays no one would argue that well-being during childhood has a mighty impact on later life. The topic, however, continues to be confronted with many conceptual, normative and methodological difficulties that need to be addressed from different disciplines. As children’s well-being contains various interests which relate to different periods in their life, aiu child can have a short-term interest in happiness and a long-term interest in good education. Thus, complicating things further, there might be a trade-off among a child’s various interests. How should they be weighted?

The volume is divided into two sections: the first one dealing with conceptual issues and discussing how the well-being of children can and should be grasped in a meaningful sense. The second part of the book focuses on practical solutions and presents actual cases and social environments in which the well-being and well-becoming of children is secured or endangered.

The conceptual chapters also explore the wider philosophical base of the concept of children’s well- being in connection with other important conceptions such as happiness, recognition or childhood. The versatile case studies cover a wide range of topics – from schooling through health care to children’s rights and social work – allowing for and cultural backgrounds (Western, Japan, Columbia) by which children’s well-being is shaped.

“This volume explores child well-being from the perspective of disciplines, such as philosophy, social policy, education and psychology. The analysis – a multidimensional and ecological concept sheds a new light on the study of child well-being.” says Professor Monika Betzler from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany.