2.2. Health, well-being and action from a theoretical perspective
As the authors of the youth report, we have a very comprehensive understanding of well-being and health: to us, well-being means more than just how someone feels. Instead, this term incorporates various aspects that make up a person’s quality of life. This includes health, education, social relationships, and situation as regards school and profession. Health describes a person’s physical, mental and social harmony and whether they are able to adapt well to changes in themselves or their environment. This is much more than just the absence of disease.
What is important is what young people do and how they act to maintain, increase or restore their well-being and health. Young people develop into adults: how they act in their youth in terms of their well-being and health has a major impact on how they subsequently act as adults with regards to these aspects of life. Knowledge of this is as important for us as researchers as it is for politicians. This is the case as a value in itself, because the well-being and health of young people is important in its own right, but also as a key political and social indicator: creating a good framework for young people’s well-being and health is hugely important for all of our futures, because it is young people who will shape them. For this to be constructively successful, they must feel well.
In this section we set out the theoretical principles that we consider to be crucial in analysing health, well-being and action from a scientific perspective.