• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of transbhomepageaboutsubmitalertseditorial board
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. Sep 29, 2004; 359(1449): 1435–1446.
PMCID: PMC1693420

The social context of well-being.

Abstract

Large samples of data from the World Values Survey, the US Benchmark Survey and a comparable Canadian survey are used to estimate equations designed to explore the social context of subjective evaluations of well-being, of happiness, and of health. Social capital, as measured by the strength of family, neighbourhood, religious and community ties, is found to support both physical health and subjective well-being. Our new evidence confirms that social capital is strongly linked to subjective well-being through many independent channels and in several different forms. Marriage and family, ties to friends and neighbours, workplace ties, civic engagement (both individually and collectively), trustworthiness and trust: all appear independently and robustly related to happiness and life satisfaction, both directly and through their impact on health.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (179K).

Supplementary Material

Supplementary data file:

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Berkman LF, Syme SL. Social networks, host resistance, and mortality: a nine-year follow-up study of Alameda County residents. Am J Epidemiol. 1979 Feb;109(2):186–204. [PubMed]
  • Brickman P, Coates D, Janoff-Bulman R. Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative? J Pers Soc Psychol. 1978 Aug;36(8):917–927. [PubMed]
  • Diener E. Subjective well-being. The science of happiness and a proposal for a national index. Am Psychol. 2000 Jan;55(1):34–43. [PubMed]
  • Gove WR, Hughes M, Style CB. Does marriage have positive effects on the psychological well-being of the individual? J Health Soc Behav. 1983 Jun;24(2):122–131. [PubMed]
  • House JS, Robbins C, Metzner HL. The association of social relationships and activities with mortality: prospective evidence from the Tecumseh Community Health Study. Am J Epidemiol. 1982 Jul;116(1):123–140. [PubMed]
  • Kasser T, Ryan RM. A dark side of the American dream: correlates of financial success as a central life aspiration. J Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Aug;65(2):410–422. [PubMed]
  • Kawachi I, Kennedy BP. Health and social cohesion: why care about income inequality? BMJ. 1997 Apr 5;314(7086):1037–1040. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Kposowa AJ. Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2000 Apr;54(4):254–261. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Krumholz HM, Butler J, Miller J, Vaccarino V, Williams CS, Mendes de Leon CF, Seeman TE, Kasl SV, Berkman LF. Prognostic importance of emotional support for elderly patients hospitalized with heart failure. Circulation. 1998 Mar 17;97(10):958–964. [PubMed]
  • Pollner M. Divine relations, social relations, and well-being. J Health Soc Behav. 1989 Mar;30(1):92–104. [PubMed]
  • Reed DM, LaCroix AZ, Karasek RA, Miller D, MacLean CA. Occupational strain and the incidence of coronary heart disease. Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Mar;129(3):495–502. [PubMed]
  • Sampson RJ, Raudenbush SW, Earls F. Neighborhoods and violent crime: a multilevel study of collective efficacy. Science. 1997 Aug 15;277(5328):918–924. [PubMed]
  • Schoenbach VJ, Kaplan BH, Fredman L, Kleinbaum DG. Social ties and mortality in Evans County, Georgia. Am J Epidemiol. 1986 Apr;123(4):577–591. [PubMed]
  • Seeman T, Mendes de Leon C, Berkman L, Ostfeld A. Risk factors for coronary heart disease among older men and women: a prospective study of community-dwelling elderly. Am J Epidemiol. 1993 Dec 15;138(12):1037–1049. [PubMed]
  • Sugisawa H, Liang J, Liu X. Social networks, social support, and mortality among older people in Japan. J Gerontol. 1994 Jan;49(1):S3–13. [PubMed]
  • Wilson W. Correlates of avowed happiness. Psychol Bull. 1967 Apr;67(4):294–306. [PubMed]

Articles from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences are provided here courtesy of The Royal Society

Formats:

Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...

Links

  • Cited in Books
    Cited in Books
    PubMed Central articles cited in books
  • MedGen
    MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

  • The social context of well-being.
    The social context of well-being.
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Sep 29, 2004; 359(1449)1435
    PMC

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...