Charity child foundation “Victoria”,
With regard to cultural-historical and activity approaches, collaborative activity with an adult, including communication as a type of meta-activity, is considered to be the necessary mechanism of child development. A child is considered to be an active partner, possessing his/her own motives, and is guided by mental representations of the parent and interactions with him/her. Russian psychologists have developed a range of parenting style classifications; however, these styles primarily emphasize a parent’s position, contrary to methodological perspectives, with inadequate consideration of a child’s own agency. The aims of the current research were to investigate actual goal-oriented interactions between preschoolers and their parents and to outline certain patterns (types) of interactions, considering both partners and analyzing interac- tions according to the activity model. A total of 75 parent-child dyads (children aged from 4.6 years to 6.11 years) participated in “collaborative activity trials” in which the observational method was based on the activity approach. Cluster analysis (k-means clusterization) revealed five different groups of parent-child dyads: conflictual, harmonious, distant and two-fold dominant (with dominant parent or dominant child). Between-group comparisons (Mann-Whitney U test) showed significant differences in a range of parameters of activity and emotional components of interactions. The harmonious type of interactions is not prevalent, although subgroups with different types of domination are the most common, which may be attributed to cultural peculiarities. Domination-subordination misbalance does not seem to seriously distort the normal developmental trajectory; however, in cases of conflictual and distant dyads, interactional issues might hinder the course of goal-oriented activity, which might serve as a predictor for potential difficulties in further learning.
Keywords: parent-childhood interactions, parenting styles, collaborative activity, parental scaffolding, preschooler
Background. In Russia, there is a demand for evaluation of children’s well-being, including subjective well-being, at the national and regional levels. To implement such an evaluation system, it is necessary to develop a Russian Child Well-Being Index (CWBI), which includes indicators of both objective and subjective well-being in several domains. One can rely on various national data sources that can be partially integrated into the CWBI, as well as the application of the UNICEF/Innocenti methodology for children’s well-being evaluation and new developments by Russian research teams.
Objective. To analyze the Russian experience in developing approaches to large-scale and multidimensional evaluation of children’s well-being (with an emphasis on subjective well-being) and to provide recommendations for development of the national Children’s Well-Being Index (CWBI).
Design. Scoping review of the methodology and results of the studies that can inform the Russian task force on CWBI development.
Results. Like most international models of subjective well-being, a Russian CWBI will be based on various aspects of the socio-ecological approach. The structure of domains vary but is generally compatible with the UNICEF/Innocenti model. The tools used by Russian researchers have included standardized psychometric techniques (as an independent tool and as a control of various types of validity); questionnaires specially designed to operationalize certain domains of well-being; and qualitative methods applied to small samples of children, such as focus groups, and creative and play-based methods. Work on the development of the CWBI (including the subjective well-being indicators) has been most actively performed in relation to children in state care; therefore, many of the tools have been designed to address the particular characteristics of this target group.
Conclusion. Recommendations for development of the national Children’s Well-Being Index (CWBI) are given, including both the index design and organizational/ethical considerations.
Keywords: Children’s subjective well-being/ childhood in Russia/ national Index of Child Well-Being (CWBI)