Unravelling subjective quality of life: An investigation of individual and community determinants.
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Subjective quality of life is a popular measureof outcomes across fields as disparate asmedical research, community and healthpsychology and sociology. Its widespread usehas led to recent calls for a betterunderstanding of the psychological determinantsof the construct, emphasising the need to builda substantial body of knowledge around whatdetermines and impacts on perceptions of lifequality if it is to live up to currentexpectations as an outcome variable. This studyused two likely determinants of quality oflife, an individual level variable, loneliness,and a community level variable, aspects ofsense of community, and investigated theirassociation with subjective quality of life.Confidence in the results of the study wasstrengthened by repeating it in two separatetowns, matched on fundamental demographicvariables. The results revealed that subjectivequality of life was consistently associatedwith the individual level variable, loneliness,in both towns. Lonely people consistentlyreported significantly lower quality of life,particularly in the domains of intimacy,community involvement and emotional well-being.Once loneliness had been accounted for, thecommunity level variables showed much weaker,and generally no association with reportedquality of life. The importance of continuingto empirically identify variables that impactupon subjective quality of life is discussed.
Social Indicators Research: an international and interdisciplinary journal for quality-of-life measurement