Well-being is a very broad construct. Any good measure of well-being is likely to be multi-dimensional and consist of many factors or scales. A recent review of well-being measures grouped the well-being measures into four broad groups of Hedonic, Eudiamonic, Quality of Life and Wellness measures.

However, a better conceptualization of well-being is to consider it made of emotional/hedonic well-being, psychological well-being, social well being and vocational/economic well-being.

Emotional well-being is typically measured by presence of positive emotions, absence of negative emotions and life satisfaction. While the first two aspects may be measured by PANAS , a popular measure of life satisfaction is Satisfaction with life scale.  I have proposed elsewhere that Life outlook also be measured as art of this emotional well-being.

A good measure of Psychological well-being is the one developed by Ryff. It measures psychological well-being on six axes or scales. As defined here, the scales measure the following:

Holds positive attitudes toward oneself and past life and concedes and accepts varied aspects of self (self-acceptance)
Shows insight into own potential, sense of development, and open to new and challenging experiences (personal growth)
Holds goals and beliefs that affirm sense of direction in life and feels that life has a purpose and meaning (purpose in life)
Exhibits capability to manage complex environment, and can choose or manage and mold environments to suit needs (environmental mastery)
Exhibits self-direction that is often guided by his or her own socially accepted and conventional internal standards and resists unsavory social pressures (autonomy)
Has warm, satisfying, trusting personal relationships and is capable of empathy and intimacy (positive relations with others)
As can be seen above, psychological well-being is very much tied to the basic human needs fulfillment. Whether they be needs for autonomy, mastery and relatedness as delineated in Self-determination theory;  or the need for purpose as popularized by Daniel Pink along with autonomy and mastery; or the Alderfer’s ERG theory emphasizing needs of Growth and Relatedness, all of these need satisfactions lead to psychological well-being. Nico at Mappalicious has a good write-up on the same with traits of low and high scorers on each dimension mentioned.
English: A diagram depicting the three element...

English: A diagram depicting the three elements of self-determination theory. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A good measure of social well being is one proposed by Keyes. This measures social well-being along five dimensions.
Has positive attitude toward others while acknowledging and accepting people’s differences and complexity ( social acceptance)
Believes that people, social groups, and society have potential and can evolve or grow positively ( social actualization)
Feels that one’s life is useful to society and the output of his or her own activities are valued by or valuable to others ( social contribution)
Interested in society or social life; feels society and culture are intelligible, somewhat logical, predictable, and meaningful (social coherence)
Has a sense of belonging to a community and derives comfort and support from community (social integration)
I still have to find a good measure of vocational/economic well-being.
While there are a plethora of well-being measures and equally diverse theoretical stances, it would serve all of us well if more comprehensive measures of well-being were used and also if all researchers used such a comprehensive measure to  report their findings. Well-being has important correlates and causation with respect to many valued life outcomes and many interventions to increase well-being are also gaining ground. Unless we measure well-being correctly, we may be getting onlya partial picture.
GD Star Rating
loading...

Effecient Related Posts: