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The Well–Being of Young Canadian Children in International Perspective: A Functionings Approach

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The goal of this paper is to compare the well–being of young children in Canada, Norway and the United States using Sen’s (1992) “functionings” perspective. We compare children cross–nationally in terms of ten “functionings” (low birth–weight; asthma; accidents; activity limitation; trouble concentrating; disobedience at school; bullying; anxiety; lying; hyperactivity). If we compare young children in Canada and the U.S. in terms of their functionings, there is not a clear ranking overall. Canadian children are better off for four of nine comparable outcomes; U.S. children are better off for two outcomes; Canadian and U.S. children are statistically indistinguishable for three outcomes. If we compare child functionings in Canada or the U.S. with those experienced in Norway, it is clear that Norwegian children fare better. There is not a single case in which children in either Canada or the U.S. have better outcomes than Norwegian children.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Publication date: December 1, 2002

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