Taipei, Just over 75 percent of children in Taiwan are satisfied with their lives, but the percentage is below the global average, according to the results of a survey released by a non-profit child welfare organization on Thursday, International Children's Day.
In the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF) survey, 75.8 percent of Taiwan's children in the age category of roughly 11-14 rated their subjective life satisfaction higher than 60 on a scale of 0-100.
The world average, however, is 87.5 percent, as was found in a survey of students in a similar age range that was conducted by the World Health Organization in 2016.
According to the CWLF poll, 13.9 percent of children in Taiwan are very lonely, 10.3 percent think they lack companionship from their parents, and 37.6 can sit down for a meal with their parents no more than four days per week.
CWLF director Pai Li-fang said the satisfaction rate among children in Taiwan was most likely lower than 75.8 percent, since children tend to mark high scores when they are filling out questionnaires.
She said the busy work schedules of many parents, coupled with the effects of the internet and social media on people's lives, tend to lead to alienation within families.
Children are generally happier if they can share their feelings and talk about their grievances, Pai said.
However, only 58.6 percent of children in Taiwan are willing to talk to their mothers about their problems, and 45.7 are open to talking to their fathers, she said, citing the results of the poll.
Furthermore, 12 percent of children have difficulty making friends at school, while 10.7 percent do not think they fit into any particular group at school, the survey found.
CWLF founder Lin Chih-chia said families and schools are the major support systems for children, and she called on parents to spend more time with their children, for example, by going on family outings on holidays.
The survey was conducted May 21 to June 30, 2018 and collected 1,571 valid samples from fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Taiwan. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.47 percentage points.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel