Positive indicators of child well-being

This paper identifies a number of frameworks for positive indicator development which focus on the positive well-being of children.

It proposes a new comprehensive framework which highlights constructs for positive well-being as well as potential indicators and extant measures that fit within those structures. The study also considers existing data sources that offer demonstrations of positive measures found in the proposed framework as well as research that has been successful in measuring these indicators. It then identifies the data and measurement gaps present in measuring the positive in children and youth. In closing, it puts forwards a number of conceptual and methodological issues that need examination as work to define and measure positive indicators of well-being and well-becoming is advanced.


  • Introduction: the importance of positive indicator
  • History of positive indicator development
  • The need for positive measures and the limitations of existing measures
  • Developing a positive indicator framework
  • Composite positive framework
  • Measurement and data gaps
  • Methodological issues in developing positive indicators
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices
  • Appendix A: Summary Evaluations of Current Frameworks of Positive Indicators
  • Appendix B: Data Sources
  • Appendix C: Annotated Bibliography
  • Appendix D: Expanded List of References


Lippman, L. H., Anderson Moore, K., & McIntosh, H. (2009). Positive indicators of child well-being: a conceptual framework, measures and methodological issues. Florence, Italy: UNICEF. http://www.unicef-irc.org/publications/pdf/iwp_2009_21.pdf