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Showing papers in "Social Indicators Research in 2006"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Examination of the criterion and construct validity of the FAS as a measure of national absolute wealth in 35 countries suggests that FAS can be used with confidence in aggregate analyses of HBSC data that focus on relationships between SES and adolescent health.
Abstract: One explanation for a lack of consistency in SES-health associations in youth is that parent-based income and occupation measures are inadequate. The Family Affluence Scale (FAS), a four-item measure of family wealth, has been developed in the WHO Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study as an alternative measure. The aim of this paper is to examine the criterion and construct validity of the FAS as a measure of national absolute wealth in 35 countries. A general measure of national wealth, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the year 2001, corrected for Purchasing Power Parity, was used as a gold standard. For the composite FAS index, there was a similar strength in country rank order correlation (0.87) as with GDP, and a Kappa agreement coefficient of 0.57, indicating good criterion validity. FAS index associations with national health indicators were systematically higher than the values obtained with GDP. These features suggest that FAS can be used with confidence in aggregate analyses of HBSC data that focus on relationships between SES and adolescent health.

766 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors provided a critical review of the ways social cohesion has been conceptualized in the literature in many cases, with a common confusion between the content and the causes or effects of social cohesion.
Abstract: Despite its growing currency in academic and policy circles, social cohesion is a term in need of a clearer and more rigorous definition. This article provides a critical review of the ways social cohesion has been conceptualized in the literature in many cases, definitions are too loosely made, with a common confusion between the content and the causes or effects of social cohesion. This motivates us to propose a refined definition that we hope is clearer and more rigorous. We will show how our definition could be operationalized into a measurement scheme that facilitates empirical work on social cohesion.

540 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigated subjective well-being, as measured by survey questions on happiness and life satisfaction, from a sociological-comparative point of view, and found that happiness and satisfaction must be understood as the outcome of an interaction process between individual characteristics and aspirations on the one side, and social relations and macrosocial structures on the other side.
Abstract: In this paper, subjective well being, as measured by survey questions on happiness and life satisfaction, is investigated from a sociological-comparative point of view. The central thesis is that happiness and satisfaction must be understood as the outcome of an interaction process between individual characteristics and aspirations on the one side, and social relations and macrosocial structures on the other side. A distinction is made between life satisfaction and happiness; the former is more seen as the outcome of an evaluation process including material and social aspirations and achievements, the latter as an outcome of positive experiences, particularly close personal relationships. The focus of this paper is on micro- and macrosocial conditions favouring or inhibiting the emergence of happiness and satisfaction. It is hypothesized that dense and good basic social relations, occupational involvement and success, sociocultural (religious and altruistic) orientations and participation are conducive to happiness and life satisfaction; the same should be true at the macrolevel for economic prosperity, relatively equal social structures, a well-established welfare state and political democracy. The latter conditions, however, should be more important for life satisfaction than for happiness. A comparative, multilevel regression analysis of happiness in 41 nations around the world is carried out (using the World Value Survey 1995–1997). Both our general assumption and most of the specific hypotheses could be confirmed. It turned very clearly that “happiness” and “life satisfaction” are two different concepts. It could be shown that microsocial embedding and sociocultural integration of a person are highly relevant for happiness. However, contrary to earlier studies, we find that macrosocial factors like the economic wealth of nation, the distribution of income, the extent of the welfare state and political freedom are also relevant, particularly for satisfaction. What counts most is the ability to cope with life, including subjective health and financial satisfaction, close social relations, and the economic perspectives for improvement in the future, both at the level of the individual and at that of the society. These abilities are certainly improved by favourable macrosocial conditions and institutions, such as a more equal income distribution, political democracy and a welfare state.

531 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigated similarities and differences between the constructs of enduring happiness and self-esteem, and found that selfesteem was best predicted by dispositions related to agency and motivation (i.e., optimism and lack of hopelessness).
Abstract: The present study investigated theoretically and empirically derived similarities and differences between the constructs of enduring happiness and self- esteem. Participants (N = 621), retired employees ages 51-95, completed stan- dardized measures of affect, personality, psychosocial characteristics, physical health, and demographics. The relations between each of the two target variables (happiness and self-esteem) and the full set of remaining variables were assessed through a series of successive statistical analyses: (1) simple Pearson's correlations, (2) partial correlations, and (3) hierarchical regression analyses. The results revealed that happiness and self-esteem, while highly correlated (r = 0.58), presented unique patterns of relations with the other measured variables. The best predictors of happiness were the following: mood and temperamental traits (i.e., extraversion and neuroticism), social relationships (lack of loneliness and satisfaction with friend- ships), purpose in life, and global life satisfaction. By contrast, self-esteem was best predicted by dispositions related to agency and motivation (i.e., optimism and lack of hopelessness). Implications for the understanding of happiness and self-esteem are discussed.

398 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined whether extremely high life satisfaction was associated with adaptive functioning or maladaptive functioning, and found that very high satisfaction is associated with positive psychosocial functioning.
Abstract: This study examined whether extremely high life satisfaction was associated with adaptive functioning or maladaptive functioning. Six hundred ninety-eight secondary level students completed the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale [Huebner, 1991a, School Psychology International, 12, pp. 231–240], Youth Self-Report of the Child Behavior Checklist [Achenbach and Edelbrock, 1991, Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report, Burlington, VT], Abbreviated Junior Eysenck Personality Questionnaire [Francis, 1996, Personality and Individual Differences, 21, pp. 835–844], Self-Efficacy Questionnaire for Children (Muris, 2001, Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assesment, 23(3), pp. 145–149], and the Child and Adolescent Social Support Scale (Malecki and Demaray, 2002, Psychology in Schools, 39, pp. 1–18]. Three groups of students were created based on their life satisfaction reports: very high (top 10%), average (middle 25%), and very low (lowest 10%). Compared to students with average life satisfaction, students with very high life satisfaction had higher levels on all indicators of adaptive psychosocial functioning, except extraversion. Moreover, students with very high satisfaction had the lowest scores on all measures of emotional and behavioral problems. However, rates of clinical levels of behavior problems did not differ significantly between the very high and average groups. Finally, several necessary, but not sufficient factors for very high life satisfaction were identified. Taken together, the findings support the notion that very high life satisfaction is associated with positive psychosocial functioning. Furthermore, adolescents’ reports of their life satisfaction revealed differences in adjustment that were not captured by measures of psychopathology.

378 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Friendship Scale as discussed by the authors measures six of the seven important dimensions that contribute to social isolation and its opposite, social connection, and has excellent internal structures as assessed by structural equation modelling.
Abstract: Although there are many excellent published scales measuring social isolation, there is need for a short, user-friendly, stand alone scale measuring felt social isolation with good psychometric properties. This study reports the development and preliminary validation of a short, user-friendly scale, the Friendship Scale. The six items measure six of the seven important dimensions that contribute to social isolation and its opposite, social connection. The psychometric properties suggest that it has excellent internal structures as assessed by structural equation modelling (CFI = 0.99, RMSEA = 0.02), that it possesses reliability (Cronbach α = 0.83) and discrimination when assessed against two other short social relationship scales. Tests of concurrent discriminant validity suggest it is sensitive to the known correlates of social isolation. Although further work is needed to validate it in other populations, the results of this study suggest researchers may find the Friendship Scale particularly useful in epidemiology, population surveys or in health-related quality of life evaluation studies where a parsimonious measure of felt social support or social isolation is needed.

351 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A third generation of research has emerged that is focused on health and human development as the presence of well-being (i.e., health) and not merely the absence of illness, disease, and developmental deficiencies as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In this introduction to a special issue, the author suggests that a third generation of research on subjective well-being has emerged that is focused on health and human development as the presence of well-being (i.e., health) and not merely the absence of illness, disease, and developmental deficiencies. In turn, this article describes the construct of subjective well-being, its historical ties to the aftermath of World War II and the creation of the National Institute of Mental Health, its conceptual foundations, and empirical evidence supporting the view that it consists of two theoretical traditions – hedonia and eudaimonia. The nearly 50 years of research on subjective well-being has yielded as many as 13 distinct dimensions of subjective well-being in the United States. Consequently, new directions in subjective well-being are emerging such as the study of mental health as a complete state, which suggest the need for greater scientific attention to the integration of hedonic and eudaimonic measures and theory.

351 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Snyder et al. as discussed by the authors reported findings from an initial empirical test of a hope-based, group therapy protocol, which emphasized building goal-pursuit skills and showed significant improvements in the agency component of hope, life meaning, and self-esteem.
Abstract: We report findings from an initial empirical test of a hope-based, group therapy protocol. In this context, hope is defined as a cognitive process through which individuals pursue their goals [Snyder, C. R.: 1994, Free Press, New York]. As such, the eight-session group treatment emphasized building goal-pursuit skills. Findings from a randomized, wait-list control trial using a community sample (n=32 completers) are reported. Participants underwent structured diagnostic interviews (SCID-I) and completed assessment packets. Post-participation assessment results indicate the intervention was associated with statistically significant (p<0.05) improvements in the agency component of hope, life meaning, and self-esteem as well as reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety. These results suggest that a brief hope intervention can increase some psychological strengths and reduce some symptoms of psychopathology.

349 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors trace the history of the social indicators or quality-of-life (QOL) research movement up to today, forecast future developments, and pave the way for future growth.
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to trace the history of the social indicators or quality-of-life (QOL) research movement up to today, forecast future developments, and pave the way for future growth. Broadly speaking, we tried to review historical antecedents from the point of view of different disciplines, with specialists in each discipline preparing the basic text and co-authors helping to polish the material into a finished product. Briefly, we begin with an overview of the conceptual and philosophical foundations of our field of research. That is followed by a historical overview of the sociological roots of our field. In the third section, the main contributions from the discipline of economics are reviewed. Following that, the fourth section covers a historical overview of the literature on health-related quality of life is provided. Next, the history of QOL research from a marketing perspective is reviewed followed by a history from the perspectives of industrial/organizational psychology and management. Finally, we offer some forecasts for future QOL studies that are intended not only to predict what might happen, but to encourage, stimulate and motivate researchers to undertake new initiatives.

347 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Preliminary population norms and effect sizes may be used as reference points for interpreting WHOQOL-Brèf scores and provide additional information to the numerous national studies already reporting on the validity of the WHOQol- Brèf.
Abstract: Since publication use of the WHOQOL-Bref has rapidly risen. However, as yet no population norms have been published as a reference point against which researchers can interpret their findings. This study provides preliminary population norms for this purpose. Randomly sampled community residents from two studies were pooled and used to examine the properties of the WHOQOL-Bref by age group, gender and health status. The results showed that general norms for the WHOQOL-Bref domains were 73.5 (SD=18.1) for the Physical health domain, 70.6 (14.0) for Psychological wellbeing, 71.5 (18.2) for Social relationships and 75.1 (13.0) for the Environment domain. In general scores declined slightly by age group. For females scores were stable across the lifespan with an accelerated decline after the age of 60 years. Males exhibited a more consistent and even decline across the lifespan. There were significant differences in WHOQOL-Bref scores when reported by health status, with those in poor health obtaining scores that were up to 50% lower than those in excellent health. Effect sizes between different health status levels are reported. These preliminary norms and effect sizes may be used as reference points for interpreting WHOQOL-Bref scores. They provide additional information to the numerous national studies already reporting on the validity of the WHOQOL-Bref.

327 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the last few decades, average happiness has increased slightly in rich nations and considerably in the few poor nations for which data are available as mentioned in this paper, since longevity has also increased, the average number of happy life years has increased at an unprecedented rate since the 1950s.
Abstract: The ‘Easterlin paradox’ holds that economic growth does not add to the quality-of-life and that this appears in the fact that average happiness in nations has not risen in the last few decades. The latest trend data show otherwise. Average happiness has increased slightly in rich nations and considerably in the few poor nations for which data are available. Since longevity has also increased, the average number of happy life years has increased at an unprecedented rate since the 1950s.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a new definition of QWL is suggested, inspired by the research on a related concept, general Quality of Life (QOL), which has faced the same conceptualization and definition problems.
Abstract: Purpose: Ever since the concept of Quality of Work Life (QWL) was first used over 30 years ago, a range of definitions and theoretical constructs have succeeded each other with the aim of mitigating the many problems facing the concept. A historical overview of the concept of QWL is presented here. Given the lack of consensus concerning the solutions that have been developed to date, a new definition of QWL is suggested, inspired by the research on a related concept, general Quality of Life (QOL) which, as the literature shows, has faced the same conceptualization and definition problems as QWL. Based on the suggested definition of QOL, a definition of QWL is provided and the measuring instrument that results therefrom (the Quality of Working Life Systemic Inventory – QWLSI) is presented. Finally, the solutions that this model and measuring instrument provide for the above-mentioned problems are discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the influence of the applied measure when the impact of overeducation is analyzed was analyzed for a database of Flemish school leavers, and four alternative measures of oodeducation are related to job satisfaction, mobility, training participation and wages.
Abstract: The central focus of this article is the influence of the applied measure when the impact of overeducation is analyzed. For a database of Flemish school leavers, four alternative measures of overeducation are related to job satisfaction, mobility, training participation and wages. The magnitude and significance of the effects diverge between these measures. When attained education is controlled for, overeducated workers are less satisfied, more mobile, participate less in training and earn less than adequately educated workers. When required education is controlled for, no robust results are found for job satisfaction and training participation. Overeducated workers earn more than adequately educated colleagues, but have a higher turnover rate. We have little clear results with respect to undereducation. Caution is thus recommended for the interpretation of empirical results with respect to the impact of over- and undereducation.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper examined the mediating role of self-perceived health between perceived spirituality, religiosity, and life satisfaction among a stratified, random sample of college students, while controlling for gender.
Abstract: This study examined the mediating role of self-perceived health between perceived spirituality, religiosity, and life satisfaction among a stratified, random sample of college students, while controlling for gender. Although both models displayed excellent fit criteria, the perceived spirituality and life satisfaction model was fully mediated by self-perceived health χ2 (n=459, 4) = 1.64, p=0.80, CFI =0.99, TLI=0.99), and the perceived religiosity and life satisfaction model was partially mediated by self-perceived health χ2 (n=459, 10) = 22.29, p=0.01 CFI = 0.99, TLI = 0.99). Both models were equal for men and women. Students who describe themselves as spiritual (or religious) are likely to report greater self-perceived health and greater self-perceived health likely influences life satisfaction for both men and women. Results preliminarily support the contention that life satisfaction is related to differing reported health status, whether physical or mental, and that life satisfaction may be influenced by religiosity and spirituality engagement. Implications for colleges and universities are discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors assessed the subjective well-being of a broad spectrum of homeless people and found that satisfaction with self-related domains was positive, whereas satisfaction with material related domains was generally negative.
Abstract: The current study assessed the subjective well-being of a broad spectrum of homeless people. One-hundred-and-eighty-six homeless people from the streets of Calcutta (India), California, and a tent camp in Portland (Oregon) were interviewed, and responded to measures of subjective well-being. They answered questions about life satisfaction, satisfaction with various life domains, and their experience of positive and negative emotions. The mean rating of life satisfaction was slightly negative for both American samples but positive for the pavement dwellers in Calcutta. Satisfaction with self-related domains was positive, whereas satisfaction with material related domains was generally negative. Satisfaction with social domains appears to be the area of largest variation among the groups. We discuss the importance of social factors and basic material needs as they relate to overall subjective well-being of the homeless.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The International Wellbeing Index (IWI) as discussed by the authors was developed as a complementary measure to already well-known economic measures, and as a tool for cross-cultural comparisons, and it comprises two subscales: the Personal Wellbeing index (PWI) and the National Well Being Index (NWI), and the results added to the evidence of the usefulness of the scale to predict satisfaction of people with their own lives and life in their country.
Abstract: The International Wellbeing Index (IWI) has been developed as a complementary measure to already well-known economic measures, and as a tool for cross-cultural comparisons. It comprises two subscales: the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI) and the National Wellbeing Index (NWI). The aims of this paper are two-fold. Firstly, to test the psychometric characteristics of the IWI. Secondly, to study how people of Algeria, a third world country that is yet suffering from a harsch economical and social situation, respond to questions dealing with their own lives and life in their country in general, compared to samples from more developed countries where wellbeing was previously measured. The IWI items were presented to individuals either in a questionnaire form to be self-rated or in interview sessions. The total of 1417 answers were analysed. As was expected, a very low satisfaction on both scales was found, compared to the results that were reported in countries, such as Australia or Hong Kong. Comparisons on the demographic characteristics basis show that women are significantly more satisfied than men with their personal lives, though no differences were found with regard to NWI. Eldest and youngest age groups rated the PWI significantly higher than other age groups. Education groups comparisons showed higher ratings on both subscales in favour of groups with no education and those with university levels. Marginal statistically significant differences were found with regard to the PWI in favour of the higher earning group, but no differences in the NWI. No statistically significant results were found as far as marital status, number of children, and income are concerned. The results add to the evidence of the usefulness of the scale to predict satisfaction of people with their own lives and life in their country. Its psychometric performance was proved to be very high in terms of validity, reliability and sensitivity. The results were interpreted on the light of the Homeostasis Theory and the particular situation of the Algerian society.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, ordered probit models are used to analyze the extent to which individual financial satisfaction can be solely explained by income in absolute terms, or alternatively, by taking into account the importance of relative income in its two dimensions: personal aspirations as individual's adaptation to previous and future income levels (intra-individual comparisons), and social comparisons as individual’s concern for her peer's income (inter-personal dependency).
Abstract: This paper aims to contribute further research on the conceptualization of individual financial satisfaction as a particular domain of satisfaction with life as a whole. Based on the 2003 Survey on Living Conditions and Poverty for Andalucia (Spain) and using a self-reported measure of welfare, ordered probit models are used to analyze the extent to which individual financial satisfaction can be solely explained by income in absolute terms, or alternatively, by taking into account the importance of relative income in its two dimensions: (1) personal aspirations as individual’s adaptation to previous and future income levels (intra-individual comparisons), and (2) social comparisons as individual’s concern for her peer’s income (inter-personal dependency).

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors argue that it is not the objective conditions that make young adults feel overwhelmingly happy, but indicators of social embeddedness as being influential on their assessment of life.
Abstract: Latest developments in modern societies have altered living circumstances. Upcoming insecurities concerning employment and family relationships make life more and more incalculable. Especially young adults throughout the modern world are forced to rethink their life concepts and to desist from the lives of former generations. As difficulties to achieve a successful life increase, one could assume that the young are confronted with the impossibility of feeling happy and satisfied with their lives anymore. Yet, latest social surveys prove wrong. Although increasing unemployment, lower net income and single parenthood make life more difficult for the young, they still enjoy very high subjective quality of life in comparison to the older population. Throughout the paper I argue that it is not the objective conditions that make young adults (15–29 years old) feel overwhelmingly happy. Looking for other sources of explanation of high quality of life among people aged 29 or below, I argue for indicators of social embeddedness as being influential on their assessment of life. But again, the proportion of explained variance is smaller compared to older people. With the help of empirical data taken from the European Social Survey I highlight the differences in life circumstances between the young and the total population. Concerning occupation, habitation (kind of inhabited household) and financial situation, most of the young live under different situations compared to the adult world. But surprisingly, the rates of perceived high quality of life among the young do not vary to such a large extent as among the adults. I show that young adults, often damned to fail social demands because of their withdrawal from social life, are still the most happy in modern (more and more individualizing?) societies. But it gets more difficult to account for the reasons of their happiness.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors describe the rationale, development, and psychometric properties of a brief multidimensional life satisfaction scale appropriate for use with children of ages 8-18.
Abstract: There are few psychometrically sound measures of life satisfaction suitable for children and adolescents. The purpose of this paper is to describe the rationale, development, and psychometric properties of a brief multidimensional life satisfaction scale appropriate for use with children of ages 8-18. The paper summarizes extant studies of its reliability and validity and discusses essential future research. Additionally, the potential uses of the BMSLSS in research and practice are elaborated.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the development of life satisfaction in middle and late adulthood was analysed longitudinally by using data from the German Socio-economic Panel. But, as this evidence was mainly derived from cross-sectional age group comparisons, it does neither clearly indicate the absence of age-related mean level change, nor intra-individual stability of LS.
Abstract: Empirical evidence of no age-related decline in life satisfaction (LS) in old age contrasts with frequently observed declines in the objective quality of elder people's lives and has therefore been labelled a "paradox'' and interpreted in terms of stability of LS in the respective gerontological discussion. However, as this evidence was mainly derived from cross-sectional age group comparisons, it does neither clearly indicate the absence of age-related mean level change, nor intra-individual stability of LS. Thus, the development of LS in middle and late adulthood was analysed longitudinally by using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel. Based on single item measures of LS across 16 repeated panel waves with one per annum (1984–1999), autoregressive (quasi-Markov) structural equation models were used to estimate true score variances and intra-individual true score stability in one-year intervals. Research questions concerned (a) "monotonic'' stability and variance in a subsample of old respondents (born before 1925) as compared to the total sample and (b) change in stability and variances in old age. Results indicate high "monotonic'' true score stability of LS over the whole adult life span, whereas mean levels declined slightly in old age. No striking evidence for age-related changes in variance or stability was found.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the comparability of Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) scores across U.S. and Russian student and community groups was examined, and the costs of failing to meet criteria for weak, strong, and strict measurement invariance were discussed.
Abstract: This study examined the comparability of Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) [Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985, Social Indicators Research, 34: 7–32] scores across U.S. and Russian student and community groups. Criteria for weak measurement invariance were met when comparing U.S. and Russian groups (combining student and community samples). Criteria for weak and strong measurement invariance were met when comparing the U.S. and Russian student samples. However, when comparing the U.S. and Russian community samples, the results showed a significant statistic for a baseline model, indicating a lack of comparability across samples. The costs of failing to meet criteria for weak, strong, and strict measurement invariance are discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present the estimation of a synthetic economic wellbeing index using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) which is a multidimensional technique that has its origins in efficiency analysis, but its usage within the social indicators context is particularly appropriate.
Abstract: This article presents the estimation of a synthetic economic wellbeing index using Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA). The DEA is a multidimensional technique that has its origins in efficiency analysis, but its usage within the social indicators context is particularly appropriate. It allows the researcher to take advantage of the inherent flexibility of DEA when assigning weights to the factors. The model itself carries out the aggregation and weighting of 8 partial indicators, which attempt to describe the four components of economic wellbeing suggested by Osberg (Royal Commision on the Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada (University of Toronto Press, 1985)), in order to assess the economic wellbeing of the 50 Spanish provinces. By using the index obtained in the analysis a “ranking” of the provinces is obtained. This ranking proves to be relatively similar to the one that corresponds to per capita income, although there are significant differences.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors found that the two strongest predictors of quality of life were community pride and community elements, while other indicators such as recreation participation and length of residency in a community were found to have a negative relationship with quality-of-life.
Abstract: The study of quality of life remains a key area of interest for not only researchers but to society. Through research being completed in multiple disclines and from a multitude of perspectives, the need to understand the full breadth of quality of life is required in order for the further development of this research area. Through building on previous research completed on quality of life from multiple disclines, this study utilizes numerous objective and subjective indicators to model quality of life in a community in the southwest United States. Through the analysis of 352 completed surveys, it was found that the two strongest predictors of quality of life were community pride and community elements. Of interest is that a number of other indicators including recreation participation and length of residency in a community were found to have a negative relationship with quality of life.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors reviewed the literature on social inclusion and social capital to develop a framework to guide the selection of items and measures for the forth coming SA Department of Human Services Survey of Social Inclusion to be held in the region of Northern Adelaide in South Australia.
Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on social inclusion and social capital to develop a framework to guide the selection of items and measures for the forth coming SA Department of Human Services Survey of Social Inclusion to be held in the region of Northern Adelaide in South Australia. Northern Adelaide is a region with areas of high socio-economic disadvantage, characterized by high unemploy ment and poverty. Survey respondents' perceptions of social inclusion and social capital in Northern Adelaide will be examined by developing indices, which address the theoretical schema discussed in this paper. Epistemological differences between seminal theorists on social inclusion and social capital suggest the development of a broad suite of indices is required to enable the collection of data of interest to researchers from differing theoretical perspectives. Data collected in the survey will be mapped using Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies against loca tions within Northern Adelaide and in relation to existing Australian Bureau of Statistics, Commonwealth and State Government databases on age, gender, relative socio-economic disadvantage and other variables.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The first phase of the Wellbeing in Developing Countries Group at the University of Bath aims to do drawing on fieldwork carried out in four developing countries, which addresses the themes of resources, needs, agency and structure, and subjective quality of life as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: The assumption that development brings not only material prosperity but also a better overall quality of life lies at the heart of the development project. Against this, critics assert that development can undermine social cohesion and threaten cultural integrity. Rarely, however, is the impact of development on well-being rigourously analysed using empirical data. This is what the Wellbeing in Developing Countries Group at the University of Bath aims to do drawing on fieldwork carried out in four developing countries, which addresses the themes of resources, needs, agency and structure, and subjective Quality of life (QoL). The first phase of the QoL research in Thailand aimed to explore the categories and components of quality of life for people from different backgrounds and locations with the aim of developing methods for QoL assessment in the third phase of the WeD QoL research. The study presents data obtained from rural and peri-urban sites in Southern and Northeastern Thailand (two villages in Songkhla and three in Khon Kaen, Mukdaharn, and Roi-et). Participants were divided into six groups by gender and age, and were divided again by religion (Buddhist and Muslim) and wealth status in the South. Data collection was conducted between October and December 2004 using focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, and the Person Generated Index. Content analysis was used for data analysis. The use of a qualitative approach enabled the gathering of empirical data that reflects the sources of difficulty and happiness in the lives of participants. Respondents identified 26 aspects to their quality of life, including family relations, health and longevity, income and having money, jobs, housing, education, debt, and so on. The results reveal clear similarities and differences in the role of traditions, religious beliefs, and values in the lives of people living in remote rural or peri-urban areas in Northeastern and Southern Thailand. These results, together with the findings from Peru, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh, will inform the rest of the WeD research and be used to develop measures to assess the quality of life of people living in developing countries.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the dynamic equilibrium (DE) theory of subjective well-being (SWB) is revised to make it more dynamic and enable it to better account for medium term change in SWB.
Abstract: This paper partly revises the dynamic equilibrium (DE) theory of subjective well-being (SWB), sometimes termed set point theory Results from four national panel surveys show that correlations among measures of SWB diminish over time, and that the SWB set points of a minority of individuals substantially change These results mean that DE theory requires revision to make it more dynamic and enable it to better account for medium term change in SWB The paper identifies personality traits and life events associated with subsequent changes in SWB Data come from German, British and Australian panel surveys in which SWB has been measured for between 9 and 20 years Panel regression random and fixed effects models were used to analyse the data

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article developed and examined a sociodemographic risk index for children's development using data from the National Survey of America's families, which is an improvement over the standard poverty measure as a measure of risk for children.
Abstract: In this paper, we conceptualize and develop an index of sociodemographic risk that we hypothesize will be an improvement over the standard poverty measure as a measure of risk for children’s development. The poverty line is widely used in government statistics and in research but is also widely acknowledged to have multiple shortcomings. Using recent data from the National Survey of America’s Families, we develop and examine a Sociodemographic Risk Index for two potential purposes: (a) to serve as a summary indicator of children’s environments that affect their well-being, and (b) to serve as a variable that can be used to identify at-risk subgroups of children whose well-being should be examined separately in indicator reports. Based on substantial research on children’s development, we chose five variables for the index: family income, family structure, parent education, family size, and home ownership. An additive sociodemographic risk index using these variables is strongly associated with multiple measures of child well-being in both bivariate and multivariate analyses. Hence, it serves as a good marker of risk for children and therefore as an indicator that could be monitored over time, across groups, and across places, as well as a variable that could be used to identify subgroups of at-risk children whose well-being should be monitored. However, analyses do not indicate that it performs better at identifying at-risk children than the current poverty measure. Therefore, we recommend the Sociodemographic Risk Index primarily as an additional summary indicator to be monitored, rather than as a replacement for the poverty measure.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors used qualitative and quantitative data and considered both outsiders' and insiders' views through the use of participatory approaches in selected rural areas of Iran to construct and validate a poverty index.
Abstract: Poverty reduction is one of the major challenges confronting mankind and a principal obstacle to well-being for a large proportion of the world’s population. New paradigms of development as advocated by Chambers and others focus strongly on poverty reduction. Poverty is increasingly recognised as a multifaceted concept that can be elucidated through both qualitative and quantitative analysis. In researching poverty it is desirable to recognise both the value position of researchers and the values of local people. This paper uses qualitative and quantitative data and considers both outsiders’ and insiders’ views through the use of participatory approaches in selected rural areas of Iran. A poverty index is constructed and validated in a six-stage process. On the basis of the findings, a number of recommendations are made about appropriate approaches to the investigation of poverty.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors evaluated subjective importance weighting using data collected with the Injection Drug User Quality of Life Scale (IDUQOLS) and found that subjective importance did not perform better than unweighted scores in measuring quality of life.
Abstract: The present study evaluated subjective importance weighting using data collected with the Injection Drug User Quality of Life Scale (IDUQOL). Weighted and unweighted IDUQOL scores from 241 adults were correlated with convergent, discriminant, and criterion measures. Regression analysis was used to examine the contribution of importance ratings to scores on a global measure of life satisfaction and the corrected weighted IDUQOL total scores. Overall, the results showed that weighted scores did not perform better than unweighted scores in measuring quality of life. However, the mean satisfaction ratings for important domains correlated significantly higher with convergent measures than did the mean satisfaction ratings for unimportant domains. This finding suggests further attention needs to be paid to the meaning and measurement of subjective importance and how it may be incorporated more effectively into measures of quality of life.

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TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a review of the science of strength and its application in individual adult lives, focusing on subjective well-being, questing for meaning, thriving/flourishing, and interpersonal flourishing.
Abstract: “Fortigenesis” (L. fortis=strong) refers to a process of developing strengths at a variety of endpoints. Assumptions are: (i) there exist 2 continua, of mental illness and mental health, along which waxing and waning in the process of fortigenesis moves individuals in the directions of more or less strength; (ii) challenge, struggling and suffering, due to inordinate demands, are inherent to the human condition; (iii) there are strengths to negotiate and resile these demands, and even to harness them towards subsequent flourishing; and (iv) there are also purely positive experiences. The background to a “science of strength” is presented briefly. Subjective well-being, questing for meaning, thriving/flourishing, and interpersonal flourishing, are reviewed as illustrative themes. The review is limited to English language and Occidental literature, and to matters mainly apparent in individual adult lives.