Overview

The Office of National Statistics Personal Wellbeing Domain for Children & Young People (ONS4) uses four survey questions to measure personal wellbeing. ONS ‘Personal wellbeing’ domain includes four subjective wellbeing measures asking about life satisfaction, happiness, worthwhileness and anxiety. The four questions around personal wellbeing have been included in the Annual Population Survey (APS) since 2011. It’s more recently been used in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS56).

Psychometric properties

The four ONS personal well-being questions are treated separately and are not combined into a single scale.  

Links to testing:

webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160105160709/http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/wellbeing/measuring-subjective-wellbeing-in-the-uk/investigation-of-subjective-well-being-data-from-the-ons-opinions-survey/initial-investigation-into-subjective-well-being-from-the-opinions-survey.html

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/user-guidance/well-being/wellbeing-knowledge-bank/understanding-wellbeing/measuring-subjective-well-being.pdf?format=hi-vis

Populations

For children aged 10 and over (and adults)

Translation

English (developers are currently investigating further translations)

Administration

Can be used on paper or on a computer. Children are not asked the question relating to anxiety.

Scoring and interpretation

4 questions answered on a 1-10 scale, 1 reverse scored.

  • Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  • Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  • Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

Terms of use

Free to use. When using please cite that they are the ONS personal wellbeing questions and inform the Office of National Statistics at qualityoflife@ons.gov.uk

Further information

Contact the Office for National Statistics, Quality of Life department.

References

Piers, E.V & Hertzberg, D.S. (2002). Piers‐Harris 2: Piers‐Harris Children’s Self‐Concept Scale (2nd Ed). Western Psychological Services, LA.

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