Understanding subjective well-being: a study of British adults aged 25 years and over -PhD Thesis-
The research reported here is intended to provide new knowledge towards that understanding within the context of an emerging positive research paradigm.
Through conducting secondary analysis of the British Household Panel Survey (1991 - 1999), this research will explore the relationship of those with high or improved subjective well-being in respect of individual’s demographic, social, spatial, health, domain satisfaction and socio-economic circumstances. It will show that life satisfaction, good health, good social support and social integration are positively associated with high subjective well-being, whilst poor or deteriorating health, absence from the labour market, middle age, and lack of improvement in societal positional have a negative association.
The findings suggest that subjective well-being is best measured through a composite index which aims to detect satisfaction, happiness, the presence of positive emotion and the absence of negative emotion. Although the research shows that some aspects of socio-economic conditions are important to subjective well-being, the findings generally support previous criticisms of the dominance of economic measures in understanding subjective well-being. It suggests that social aspects are important predictors of subjective well-being and supports the importance of relative wealth rather than objective income. The inequalities that have been found may have detrimental consequences over and above their monetary differences. The accumulation of assets over the life course may not only have important implications for inequalities among future generations of retirees but may also require a gendered policy response. Although the redistribution of money may be important to improving subjective well-being, there also needs to be a more equal distribution of services culminating in greater social justice.
not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only