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The Well-Being of Children by Gunter Graf, Gottfried Schweiger

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Bill Gardner

4 The Developmental Capability Model of Child Well-Being

“But, speaking generally, man is not meant to remain a child. He leaves childhood behind him at the time ordained by nature; and this critical moment, short enough in itself, has far-reaching consequences.” - Rousseau, Émile.

Capability theory is an important approach to understanding well-being, including the well-being of children (Biggeri, Ballet, and Comim 2011). Amartya Sen developed the capability approach to provide a characterisation of human well-being and freedom that was richer than what was present in philosophical utilitarianism or welfare economics.

The approach that will be used here, which is sometimes called the “capability approach,” sees human life as a set ...

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