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    Factors associated with children’s subjective wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh

    Goswami, Haridhan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7045-7407, Goswami, Gour Gobinda, Banik, Bijoy Krishna and Khalil, M Ibrahim (2023) Factors associated with children’s subjective wellbeing during COVID-19 pandemic in Bangladesh. Child Indicators Research, 16 (5). pp. 1889-1911. ISSN 1874-897X

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    Abstract

    The study of subjective wellbeing has received increasing interest among social science researchers and policy makers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there appears to be a gap in the knowledge in terms of how the children experienced the pandemic, which may be different from the experience encountered by the adults. This article fills this gap by (a) examining children’s self-reported experience of the pandemic in Bangladesh and (b) identifying the socio-demographic, economic and psycho-social factors which were associated with their subjective wellbeing during the pandemic in the country. For this purpose, a child friendly questionnaire was developed, and a survey was conducted among 1370 children aged 10–12 years. The disruption caused by the pandemic was evident in children’s reporting of the movement of families from their usual place of living, job losses by their parents, food poverty, digital divide, and fear of the pandemic. In terms of factors affecting children’s wellbeing, eight factors (rural-urban differential, food poverty, digital inequality, support from friends and family, ability to manage learning from home, self-perceived safety, and worry about changes in student life) were found to have had statistically significant association with their wellbeing during the pandemic. These findings are discussed in the context of child wellbeing theories and previous empirical studies. Some policies are identified and put forward as recommendations for improving children’s wellbeing in Bangladesh.

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