Date of Submission



Children's views and opinions on matters of relevance to their lives are infrequently sought, and rarely acted upon. There is an apparent reluctance of adults to seek and include children's perspectives on matters that affect children's lives. Children provide unique insight into various aspects of their lifeworlds that cannot be obtained by objective measures alone, and as such children's informed and personal perspective must not only be collected but also be given due consideration. The dearth of evidence drawn from children's perspectives leads to an incomplete view of how children are faring and the ways adults can better cater for their needs in contemporary society. An area of increasing focus in national and international discussions centres on ways to improve the health and wellbeing of children. The literature presents wellbeing as a multifaceted and multidimensional issue with relevance across a range of disciplines. However, inconsistencies arise when considering the conceptualisation and definitions of what constitutes wellbeing and how best to address it. A further inconsistency surfaces when considering the wellbeing of children, in that a key perspective, that of the child, remains largely absent. It is perplexing as to why children are not usually consulted on matters that affect their wellbeing. This study considers the notion of wellbeing from the child's perspective in order to both ascertain and demonstrate how children can contribute to the knowledge base of childhood studies. This thesis presents children's views and opinions on the complex issue of wellbeing to counter the problematised notions of children and their apparent lack of capacity. It presents a way forward for children's views and perspectives to be sought, included and acted upon in all matters that affect them.


School of Education

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Education