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The main objective of this study was to compare and contrast adolescent and adult values for the Child Health Utility-9D (CHU9D), a new generic preference-based measure of health-related quality of life designed for application in the economic evaluation of treatment and preventive programmes for children and adolescents. Previous studies have indicated that there may be systematic differences in adolescent and adult values for identical health states. An online survey including a series of best–worst scaling discrete choice experiment questions for health states defined by the CHU9D was administered to two general population samples comprising adults and adolescents, respectively. The results highlight potentially important age-related differences in the values attached to CHU9D dimensions. Adults, in general, placed less weight upon impairments in mental health (worried, sad, annoyed) and more weight upon moderate to severe levels of pain relative to adolescents. The source of values (adults or adolescents) has important implications for economic evaluation and may impact significantly upon healthcare policy. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.