International Journal of Wellbeing (IJW)
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    237 research outputs found

    Subjective well-being and chronic illnesses: A combined survey and register study

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    Populations are ageing, and higher proportions live with chronic illnesses. Understanding the association between health and well-being and being able to predict who may experience the largest detriment in well-being is essential if societies are to maintain high levels of social welfare. Our study places itself in the limited literature examining the association between chronic illness and subjective well-being (SWB). We offer a unique contribution to the literature by studying different domains of SWB and by investigating variation in SWB. A cross-sectional survey of a representative group of Danish citizens aged 50-80 is linked with national register data containing comprehensive information on health and social issues. We identify six common chronic illnesses. In addition to general life satisfaction, we also measure SWB in seven domains of life, including health, using the Personal Wellbeing Index. Health state is measured by EQ-5D-5L. We use OLS and adjust for socio-demographics, lifestyle, personal skills, preferences, and personality traits. In a range of heterogeneity analyses we explore the role of 22 personal characteristics as predictive factors of SWB when being chronically ill. We also examine two possible sources of variation in SWB. We find robust evidence of negative associations between chronic illness and older individuals’ SWB beyond the health domain. When ascertaining the influence of personal characteristics, we find that some factors predict vulnerability. Interestingly, heterogeneity in SWB across personal characteristics stem from differential health state and in some cases from differences in the association between SWB and health

    Metrics for education for flourishing: A framework

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    The present paper puts forward a framework for the development, use, and selection of metrics concerning education for flourishing, intended to assist with the assessment of educational efforts to promote student flourishing. These metrics pertain to education policies and practices aimed at both traditional cognitive and epistemic aims and aspects of flourishing that extend beyond those aims, and to both present and subsequent flourishing. Various methodological considerations are discussed and three sets of individual and systems-level metrics are put forward. Both the individual and the systems-level metrics are structured around three broad, interrelated categories: (i) present flourishing; (ii) academic achievement; and (iii) social, emotional, and character-related capacities. We focus on metrics that are constitutive of and/or causally efficacious for present and subsequent flourishing and that also fall within the purview of what an educational system can reasonably alter. Discussion is given to the uses, implications, and limitations of this framework and how it might be helpful in advancing efforts at education for flourishing

    Exploring the contribution of animal companionship to human wellbeing: A three-country study

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    While it is often assumed that animal companions unilaterally contribute to the wellbeing of their human companions, research has to date been equivocal. At best it appears to be that animal companionship may add an extra dimension to human lives, and thus human wellbeing. In this paper we report on a quantitative study conducted in 2021 that surveyed 2090 people with animal companions living in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants responded to measures asking about their wellbeing and psychological distress, their connectedness to other humans, and their interactions with and attachment to animals. Regression analysis found that relationships with humans was associated with reduced psychological distress (β = -.594, p = .001), while relationships with animals (β = .205, p = .001), particularly cats (β = .077, p = .001), was associated with increased psychological distress. Regression analysis also found that relationships with other humans (β = .522, p = .001), interactions with animals (β = .142, p = .001), and bonds with animal companions (β = .128, p = .001) were associated with increased wellbeing. We conclude by considering the groups for whom relationships with animals are most likely to offer unique benefits, and suggest the importance of continuing to examine why it is that relationships with animals are both intertwined with, yet distinct from, human-human relationships

    Embodied emotional expressions for intuitive experience sampling methods: A demographic investigation with Japanese speakers

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    Experience Sampling Method (ESM) is a research procedure for monitoring ever-changing subjective emotions in our daily lives. A typical method asks participants, several times a day, to report and rate their emotions in terms of pre-defined adjective scales (e.g., “2 for sad,” and “5 for happy”). When a scale includes many adjectives, rating time is increased for participants. However, when few adjectives are provided, respondents may struggle to find descriptors that truly match their internal state, making it difficult to express the complex nuances of multiple emotions. This paper reports the development of a novel approach to ESM in which participants choose only a single word that intuitively expresses common emotion categories and intensities with minimal demands on their time. To achieve this capability, we conducted a survey with 14,321 Japanese speakers that presented a list of intuitive and embodied emotional expressions such as mimetics (e.g., “thump-thump”) and interjections (e.g., “wow”) in Japanese, categorized according to the eight primary emotions and three levels of emotional intensity used in the Plutchik model, and asked them to choose the expressions they use in their daily lives. The results showed that the most frequently used expressions were generally consistent irrespective of gender or age, and that people differentiated their use of expressions according to the category and intensity of their emotions. Our findings indicate that it is possible to create a single common list of expressions that can be used by all genders and ages to efficiently and intuitively express nuanced emotions appropriate to their inner states without the person having to think deliberately

    A flexible map of flourishing: The dynamics and drivers of flourishing, well-being, health, and happiness

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    Concepts like flourishing, well-being, health, and happiness are of increasing interest across many fields, from psychology and medicine to politics and economics. However, these terms are used in diverse and contested ways, which makes it hard to find common ground and understanding. To attempt to help remedy the confusion, this paper offers an overarching conceptual “map” within which these concepts can be situated, thereby providing a common language and framework for their consideration. Moreover, while the overall configuration of this map is conceptually and logically stable, its specific elements are more flexible, particularly in terms of scalable granularity (allowing fine-grained differentiation of internal regions) and epistemological openness (allowing revisions in light of gains in knowledge). As such, the map can be adapted to suit different fields, and updated to accommodate advances in understanding. To that end, we clarify topics of investigation that are still in need of development, providing a roadmap for future research

    The influence of psychological climate for caring and perceived insider status on the relationship between managerial caring and positive employee well-being

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    Learning the factors that positively impact employee well-being is not a new stream of study. The care and support provided by managers can influence employees’ motivation and overall well-being. The positive emotional environment created by a caring climate can significantly impact how individuals feel and function in their professional lives. Additionally, perceived insider status, which reflects a sense of belonging and integration, can positively affect self-esteem and well-being. Social identity theory posits that positive well-being occurs when individual employees feel that they are surrounded by a climate of care signaled by the direct manager and overall employee acceptance within the organization, which ultimately influences their overall positive well-being. This study collected data from 197 employees working in the service sector in different industries within the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through survey questionnaires using a convenience sampling technique. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) version 4 was used to analyze the dataset and test the hypotheses. The results indicate that managerial caring relates positively to positive employee well-being. Furthermore, a psychological climate of care and perceived insider status serially mediate the relationship between managerial caring and positive employee well-being. Thus, this study offers new insights into the importance of managerial care in employees’ positive well-being within their organizations, as well as the caring model among managers and employees. Managers who show and develop an atmosphere of care toward employees enhance their positive well-being

    Towards a historical comparison framework

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    The recently proposed Global Comparison Framework (Lomas, 2023) lays out a rich array of dimensions of flourishing and their determinants on which the nations of the world might be compared. Despite its capaciousness and comprehensiveness, however, the GCF’s reliance on a contemporary snapshot of global diversity still presents scholars engaged in cross-cultural studies of flourishing with a relatively narrow field of inquiry. The GCF’s focus on contemporary indicators is understandable, but the roots of many of the differences among nations today – whether considered in terms of psychological profile, economic development, political and cultural norms, or, ultimately, overall flourishing – frequently lie in the distant and long buried past. This paper provides notes toward a historical supplement for the GCF – a historical comparison framework (HCF) – by sketching a set of indicators which, while no longer operative or at least salient for most of the world today, were at various points highly significant determinants of cultural, technological, or economic change, with effects which are still evident today in cross-cultural differences in flourishing or its determinants. We group these indicators under three broad headings: geography, migration and conquest, and religion

    Life in the open: Preferences for openness as a substrate of well-being

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    Image schemas, such as those contrasting open and closed objects, are thought to play a fundamental role in self-regulation. Open objects encourage interactivity, which should contribute to well-being according to theories that emphasize processes such as engagement, exploration, and personal growth. On the basis of such reasoning, participants in three studies (total N = 889) were asked to indicate their relative preferences for the spatial concepts of closed versus open, which were hypothesized to reflect key motivations related to protection versus exploration. In Study 1, higher levels of open preference were predictive of higher levels of flourishing, a relationship that was evident across four samples. In Study 2, open-preferring individuals scored higher in multiple forms of well-being. In addition, these individuals were deemed to be flourishing to a greater extent by their peers. In Study 3, an open-closed preference slider was embedded into a daily diary protocol and higher levels of open preference were predictive of higher levels of affective and psychological well-being in both between-person and within-person analyses. In additional analyses, open preferences were linked to higher levels of approach coping and to higher levels of goal achievement. In total, the results provide key insights into orientations to the environment that are either conducive (open preferences) or not conducive (closed preferences) to well-being and flourishing

    Predictors of subjective wellbeing at work for regular employees in Japan

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    Japan has been experiencing a long decline in its workforce. Companies in Japan are eager to retain their existing employees and diversify their recruitment. Employees with long-term and open-ended employment are also switching companies at a greater rate. Consequently, Japanese firms have started paying attention to employee subjective wellbeing, now recognized as a source of higher job performance. This study empirically explores the predictors of subjective wellbeing at work for Japanese regular employees beyond those already identified in Europe and U.S.-centric research. We applied a two-stage design, consisting of interviews and a questionnaire survey to identify those factors that promote subjective wellbeing in Japanese corporations where long-time employment and group cohesiveness and achievement are valued over individual achievement. We identified eight factors affecting subjective wellbeing at work for Japanese regular employees: meaningful work, relationships, culture, workspace, evaluation, time off, financial benefits, and diversity at work. Consequent regression analyses highlighted the discriminant importance of work relationships, evaluation, diversity, workspace, and meaningful work. Eudaimonic and hedonic happiness were found to be caused by different factors. As expected, meaningful work led to eudaimonic satisfaction of life at work in Japan. In contrast hedonic happiness was affected by factors external to work itself, such as work relationships, work evaluation and diversity. Interestingly, diversity at work was found to have an ambivalent effect as it was related to both positive and negative affects at work. These findings will help Japanese companies create a work environment that can maximize regular employees’ wellbeing, job performance, and retention

    A provisional global comparison framework: One hundred psychologically salient ways of conceptualizing and evaluating the world

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    Having long been critiqued as Western-centric, psychology is increasingly attuned to the need to conduct more cross-cultural research. However, there is relatively little clarity, consensus, or nuance on how best to conceptually “carve up” and assess different peoples and places. Arguably the two most common distinctions are East versus West, and differentiating countries into low, middle, and high income groups. However, both categorizations have their issues, not to mention that overreliance on these hardly does justice to the complexity of the world. To encourage more nuanced and granular thinking, this paper presents a provisional Global Comparison Framework, a curated list of one hundred variables on which countries can be differentiated. These have been selected primarily as: (a) psychologically salient (e.g., likely to influence outcomes such as mental health); (b) having publicly available data from reputable organizations (e.g., the World Bank); and (c) having relatively global coverage (e.g., including at least two thirds of nations). However, the framework is also offered as an iterative work-in-progress that will be refined in relation to feedback. Similarly, in recognition that these indicators are not the only relevant variables, and that their selection is inevitably influenced by the author’s own values and interests, it is hoped that the paper might inspire scholars to create their own version of this kind of framework, featuring variables they would prefer to see included. Finally, and more broadly, this framework will ideally encourage and facilitate greater cross-cultural consideration and more nuanced investigations across the field


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    International Journal of Wellbeing (IJW) is based in New Zealand
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