Original Research

A conceptual framework for mapping and enhancing children’s emotional well-being

Jean A. Annan
Journal of Applied Neurosciences | Vol 3, No 1 | a11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jan.v3i1.11 | © 2024 Jean A. Annan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 November 2023 | Published: 05 March 2024

About the author(s)

Jean A. Annan, Positively Psychology, Auckland, New Zealand


Orientation: The 7 Dimensions conceptual framework represents a synthesis of a wide range of documented theory and research concerned with children’s emotional well-being.

Research purpose: The research was designed to examine the diverse, interactive aspects of children’s overall emotional experience to ensure constructive, focused and relevant systems of support.

Motivation for the study: Although information about children’s emotional experience abounds in academic and high-quality internet publications, challenges remain for those working with children to design relevant support in specific circumstances.

Research approach: The 7 Dimensions of children’s emotional well-being emerged from a thematic analysis of publications concerned with emotional experience. These dimensions were mapped according to their emergent or generative effects on children’s emotional well-being to form the 7 Dimensions framework.

Main findings: The thematic analysis indicated that emotional well-being was a multi-dimensional, interactive and dynamic state, constantly shifting in accordance with the interplay between children and their worlds. The responsiveness of neuroplasticity to environmental demands underscored the need to facilitate children’s environments that are dominated by repeated, subjectively positive and meaningful interactions.

Implications for practice: The 7 Dimensions framework has been proposed as a backdrop to the practice of those working to understand and optimise children’s emotional experience in social environments. It may be used proactively with groups of young people or responsively with individuals.

Contribution: The 7 Dimensions framework has been developed to assist those working with young people to understand the complexity of children’s emotional experiences and construct relevant supports.


emotional well-being; children’s emotions; psychology; positive psychology; neuroscience of child development

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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