Indicators of child and youth well-being are indispensable tools for improving the lives of children. In this book, the nation’s leading development researchers review the recent progress made in the measurement, collection, dissemination, and use of indicators of child and youth well-being. In addition, they identify opportunities for future research to expand and improve on the indicator data available, so as to develop greater measures of positive development.
The first eleven chapters cover key indicators in the areas of health, education, social, and emotional development and then social context indicators of the family, peers, school, and the community. The book then goes on to demonstrate the use of indicators for influencing policy at the state and local levels. One chapter discusses how social indicators were used to guide welfare reform and another recounts the use of the indicators to guide local planning. The volume concludes with a discussion of summary indices of well-being and the methodological challenges of constructing such indices.
Written in an accessible manner for policy makers, practitioners, and researchers concerned with children’s well-being, including experts in developmental, social, community, and educational psychology, the book also serves as a supplementary text in public policy and the social sciences. The policy chapters will be of particular interest to those who use child and youth indicators to guide policy development.