THE CORRELATES OF SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Kayonda Ngamaba

Abstract

The motivation for subjective well-being research rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is becoming important to the roles of many governments across the globe and so identifying the strongest correlates of subjective well-being is vital as a starting point to informing policies that support subjective well-being. This thesis investigated the correlates of subjective well-being. Chapter 1 introduced the topic and has been divided into two parts: section 1 explores the motivation for subjective well-being research and section 2 presents the conceptual model of subjective well-being. Chapter 2 gave the rationale for the methodological approaches taken to investigate factors that are associated with subjective well-being. Also, the methods chapter presented limitations of the data used. Chapter 3 explored the determinants of subjective well-being in representative samples of nations; and the results obtained in chapter 3 led to three systematic reviews and meta-analyses (Chapter 4, 5 and 6). Chapter 4 conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between income inequality and subjective well-being to test the general assumption that people's subjective well-being can be increased by tackling income inequality and investigated inconsistencies of previous studies reporting a negative, positive or no association between income inequality and subjective well-being. Chapter 5 carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between health status and subjective well-being because the results of the empirical study conducted in chapter 3 suggest that health status is positively associated with subjective well-being. Chapter 6 conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the association between financial satisfaction and subjective well-being as the results of the empirical study conducted in chapter 3 suggest that financial satisfaction is positively associated with subjective well-being. Chapter 7 discussed the results, highlighted the need for further studies and policy directions and concluded. Taken altogether these studies suggest that: (1) subjective well-being is important to informing policies that support subjective well-being, (2) they might be circumstances where income inequality may not be associated with people's subjective well-being, (3) health status and financial satisfaction are positively associated with subjective well-being and the magnitude of the association is affected by key operational and methodological factors, (4) life satisfaction might be preferred to happiness as a measure of subjective well-being because it may better captures the influence of health status and financial satisfaction, (5) government policies that support subjective well-being measures should consider using self-reported health status and financial satisfaction amongst factors that are correlated with people's subjective well-being, (6) the association between health status and subjective well-being and the link between financial satisfaction and subjective well-being are medium and further research is required to identify other strongest correlates of subjective well-being.

Details

Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2017