Well-being among children of working parents greater

Working parents are more likely to say their children are in excellent health than parents who are not working. Statistics Netherlands reports this, based on a study among parents of over 10 thousand children in cooperation with the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam. The study was conducted in the period 2001-2009 among parents of children aged four to eleven in the Netherlands.

Determinants of physical quality of life

Children with health problems have a lower physical quality of life. This concerns the well-being of children with chronic illnesses and those who have recently consulted a medical specialist.

Parents indicated that their children who had chronic illnesses or who had recently consulted a medical specialist were limited by their health problems during activities which require a great deal of physical effort, for example, such as running or football but also cycling or in-line skating.

Quality of life among children, by chronic conditions, 2001-2009

Children with a non-western background, too, have a lower physical quality of life. The study does not give any reasons for this.

Determinants of psycho-social quality of life

Aside from physical quality of life, the study also looked at the psycho-social quality. In the psycho-social area, mainly behaviourial and learning disorders have an impact on children’s quality of life.

Over one third of parents of children with one or more behaviourial or learning difficulties indicated that their child had been in arguments quite often or very often over the four weeks prior to the survey. These parents also indicated more often than average that they felt their child had been unhappy about their achievements at school compared to parents of children without any behaviourial or learning difficulties.

Children who grow up in a single-parent family or who suffer from obesity have lower levels of psycho-social well-being, the survey concludes from the parents’ responses. Whether these children grow up in the country or in the city does not make a difference.

Meanwhile, a new study has been launched which focuses on the effects of the quality of life among children with certain diseases and disorders.


  • Houben-van Herten M, Bai G, Hafkamp E, Landgraf JM, Raat H (2015) Determinants of Health-Related Quality of Life in School-Aged Children: A General Population Study in the Netherlands. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0125083. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125083. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0125083.