Classifying health and wellbeing

Jane McCormack, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


Since the age-old debate regarding the influence of nature versus nurture in children's health and development, there has been recognition of the potential contribution of both biology and context to child outcomes. Thus, when we think about the health and wellbeing of children, we need to examine more than just whether an illness or impairment (a 'biological' condition) exists. Rather, we need to consider the way in which such a health condition interacts with the child's everyday life needs, the activities in which they engage, their social and physical environment and other personal factors to create their health experience. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; WHO, 2001) is a framework designed by the World Health Organization to assist professionals, services and governments around the world to consider health in a holistic way. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health - Children and Youth version (ICF-CY, WHO, 2007) was derived from the ICF to specifically cover the ages from birth to 18 years in order to reflect the differences between children and adults in terms of their development and life activities (Lollar & Simeonsson, 2005). In this chapter, we provide an overview of the ICF-CY and describe its application to early years learners.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealth and wellbeing in childhood
EditorsSusanne Garvis, Donna Pendergast
Place of PublicationPort Melbourne, Vic.
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781107652262
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Grant Number

  • DP130102545


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