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Aust J Rural Health. 2008 Oct;16(5):290-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2008.00986.x.

Subjective well-being, sociodemographic factors, mental and physical health of rural residents.

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Monash University, Department of Rural and Indigenous Health, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.



To ascertain the relationship between subjective well-being and sociodemographic factors, mental and physical health of a sample of rural residents.


Cross-sectional survey with stratified random sampling of persons based on the 2000 State Electoral Role. Questionnaire was forwarded to 23 000 residents throughout a rural area.


Households within Gippsland.


Five thousand three hundred and ninety-one adults aged 18 years and above.


Residents completed a self-reported questionnaire assessing life satisfaction/subjective well-being, psychological distress, sociodemographic factors, physical and mental health problems.


Completed survey indicated that participants with lower levels of psychological distress, physical disability and mental disability had higher odds of being satisfied with their life. Participants with severe mental disability had the lowest odds of being satisfied with life. On average, participants were satisfied with their life (mean score of 21, SD = 5.9), are within the normal range of the Kessler-10 (mean score = 16.31, SD = 5.85), had no mental disability (mean score = 51.8, SD = 7.36) on the mental component of the Short Form-12 Health Survey, but are mildly physically disabled (mean score = 48.9, SD = 7.74).


The results of this study indicate that sociodemographic factors, psychological distress, physical health and mental health contribute to subjective well-being. Compared with other age groups, those aged 66 years and above had the highest level of life satisfaction. Those living with partner/spouse without children, with no mental or physical disability and no psychological distress had highest level of life satisfaction. Women also had higher levels of life satisfaction compared with men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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