Happiness and the term more commonly used in psychology, subjective wellbeing, are frequently studied in the field of psychology (including in positive psychology) and related applied areas, such as social care.

The Children’s Happiness Scale has been developed for use in the United Kingdom as a scale for children in care, receiving social care support, and living away from home in boarding or other residential schools or colleges.

The scoring system in this scale is quite interesting. It is not simply the case that the more boxes are ticked the higher the score is. This because the average score of the ticked boxes is taken.
For adults, the Subjective Happiness Scale can be used.

Run the demo

The publication about this scale states: "I and the team are happy for anyone to use this Children’s Happiness Scale if they think it will help them in work they do for children and young people. We hope you will find it of use. Roger Morgan, Children’s Rights Director".


This scale shows how to use a list of checked items and add them up to a score. Of special interest in this scale are the following points:

  • You can have scores with decimal points

  • You can calculate a value using the set calc function

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
l: happinessitems
t: check
q: Here are 20 things children or young people might say about themselves.<br>
Just read each of them and tick all the ones that are right about you.<br>
Leave the others blank.<br>
- {score=3.64} Life is good for me at the moment
- {score=3.13} I am treated fairly
- {score=3.15} I know what is happening next in my life
- {score=2.55} I have big problems but am dealing with them
- {score=3.65} I am quite proud of myself
- {score=2.57} I am trying to change some things about myself
- {score=3.22} I don't have any big problems at the moment
- {score=4.01} I have lots of friends
- {score=2.43} I get confused about what is going on
- {score=1.74} I never feel safe
- {score=2.32} I often get anxious
- {score=1.68} I get lonely
- {score=1.77} People are prejudiced against me
- {score=3.18} I learn from my mistakes
- {score=2.63} I am a shy person
- {score=1.68} I get bullied
- {score=3.70} I am good at learning new things
- {score=3.38} I am getting all the help I need
- {score=4.25} I have lots of fun
- {score=1.75} I am easily depressed

l: happiness1
t: set
- sum $happinessitems

l: happiness2
t: set
- count $happinessitems

t: jump
- if $happiness2 == 0 then goto feedback

l: happiness3
t: set
- calc $happiness1 / $happiness2

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your happiness score is: {$happiness3}<br>
The lowest possible score is 1.68 (unless no boxes are ticked)<br>
The middle score is 2.88 (median)<br>
The highest possible score is 4.25<br>
The average score in the study this survey comes from was 3.22<br>
For boys it was 3.26 and for girls it was 3.18.