Well-being is a complex and sensitive topic requiring careful consideration by professionals of different backgrounds. It is essential to understand that the well-being of children cannot be the sole responsibility of one sector, institution or organization. To safeguard the well-being of children a unified approach of different professionals and services is necessary.
One of the main factors contributing to well-being is the disparity of access to certain rights and opportunities, in other words, social inequality. Social inequality has a substantive negative impact on general well-being. Those effects are especially harsh on society’s most vulnerable group - children. Professor Richard Wilkinson in his keynote will address the relationship between well-being and inequality.
Professor Wilkinson is an Emeritus Professor of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham Medical School, an Honorary Professor at University College London, an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York and one of the founders of the charity organization The Equality Trust. He has dedicated his career to researching the effects of social and economic inequalities on well-being in various areas, such as: physical and mental health, life expectancy, social functioning, crime and violence, and stress management.
Research conducted by Professor Wilkinson and his associate Professor Kate Pickett identified a significant negative relationship between child well-being and income inequality, even in economically advantaged areas. Income inequality is related to a variety of well-being indicators, ranging from aspects of physical well-being like overall health, to measures of social and psychological well-being like risk-taking behavior and experiencing feelings of loneliness. When it comes to educational well-being, children affected by inequality have lower educational outcomes in reading and math and are less likely to continue further education and are more likely to aspire to less skilled work.
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