Given the greater attention to student well-being as a concern for school education in Canada and beyond, this article is concerned with the questions of whether, and in what way, the well-being of children should be differently conceptualized than that of adults. This theoretical article responds to these questions and argues that the conceptual distinction needs to be grounded in an understanding of childhood (i.e., the socially constructed understanding of the life of children). First, the article extracts core understandings of childhood from four scholarly disciplines that are each concerned with children. Then the article develops an integrative view of childhood by drawing on these four disciplinary understandings. Finally, the article identifies implications of this integrative view of childhood for any conceptualization of child well-being.
Keywords: child well-being, student well-being, childhood