Table of Contents
ISRN Public Health
Volume 2013, Article ID 419530, 9 pages
Research Article

Children’s Quality of Life in Europe: National Wealth and Familial Socioeconomic Position Explain Variations in Mental Health and Wellbeing—A Multilevel Analysis in 27 EU Countries

1Research Unit Child Public Health, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, Center for Psychosocial Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, 20246 Hamburg, Germany
2European Commission, Health and Consumer DG, C4-Health Determinants, 2920 Luxembourg, Luxembourg
3Gallup Organization, Regional Headquarter for CEE Hungary, 1033 Budapest, Hungary
4Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries (AQuAS), 08005 Barcelona, Spain
5Health Services Research Group, IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), 08003 Barcelona, Spain
6The Biomedical Research Centre in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), 28029 Madrid, Spain

Received 30 August 2013; Accepted 17 October 2013

Academic Editors: C. C. Branas, N. Kontodimopoulos, B. Polivka, and A. Zaborskis

Copyright © 2013 Ulrike Ravens-Sieberer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sizeable variations in quality of life (QoL) and wellbeing according to socioeconomic status and national wealth have been observed. The assessment of children’s wellbeing may vary, depending on whether a parental or a child perspective is taken. Still, both perspectives provide important and valid information on children’s wellbeing. The Flash Eurobarometer no. 246 which was conducted for the European Commission assesses parents’ reports on their children’s health and wellbeing in 27 EU member states. Overall, 12,783 parents of 6–17-year-old children in the 27 EU states participated in telephone interviews. Parents reported children’s QoL and wellbeing using the KIDSCREEN-10 measure, as well as their occupational status and education level. Within a multilevel analysis, the KIDSCREEN-10 was regressed on parental occupation and education level. Random intercepts and slopes were regressed on gross domestic product per capita and income inequality. Low QoL was reported in 11.6% of cases, whereby cross-national variation accounted for 13% of the total variance in QoL. Children from countries with higher national wealth and lower income inequality were at lower risk for low QoL and wellbeing. Higher age of the child, a medium or low parental occupational status, and low parental educational status were associated with a higher risk for low QoL and wellbeing.