Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Correlates of Life Satisfaction

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Correlates of Life Satisfaction

Article excerpt

Life satisfaction is an overall assessment of feelings and attitudes about one's life at a particular point of time. According to Diener et al. (1985) life satisfaction refers to the overall cognitive judgmental aspects of subjective wellbeing and is likely to influence to everything around us. The life satisfaction indicator is a subjective proxy measure of quality of life that complements more objective indicators. People judge or evaluate how content they are with their general circumstances by comparing it to a standard that they deem appropriate for themselves. Furthermore, life satisfaction is not unidimensional, i.e., when assessing life satisfaction, individuals' overall perception of life or their satisfaction with life as a whole must be considered (Diener et al., 1985). Based on the findings of a longitudinal study, Headey and Wearing (1989) concluded that individuals have a 'set point' for their subjective well being. While the level of life satisfaction could be negatively affected by certain life events this appeared to be temporary; over time, these participants reverted to their original base line level of life satisfaction. Life satisfaction comes from many different sources which are unique and different for every person. Life satisfaction can shift all the time from events, situations, family and friend implications and many different things that must be taken into consideration. It is frequently included as an outcome or consequence variable in work-family research (Hasnain, Ansari, Ali, & Sharma, 2012). Life satisfaction research with adults has shown that positive levels of life satisfaction are not just an epiphenomenon, that is a simple by-product of positive life experiences, personality characteristics, and so forth. Rather, many benefits accrue to those who typically experience high levels of life satisfaction. These benefits include positive outcomes in intrapersonal, interpersonal, vocational, health, and educational arenas (King, Lyubormirsky, & Diener, 2005). Low levels of life satisfaction are similarly predictive of a variety of negative outcomes, including mental and physical health problems (a review by Frisch, 2000). Life satisfaction is manifested through health, personal, economic, social and marital satisfaction.

Life satisfaction scores vary by demographic variables, like gender, age, marital status, education, income, and work status. According to analysis of the data from the World Values Survey for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on an average in the OECD, life satisfaction is marginally higher among men, in the age group under 25 years and over 65 years. It is significantly higher among married than unmarried. In addition to this more education, higher incomes, and employment are also found to be predictors of higher life satisfaction. There is considerable disagreement in the literature regarding whether women report higher or lower levels of wellbeing than men. While some cross-country studies have found women to be happier than men (Telia, MacCulloch, & Oswald 2003; Easterlin, 2003; Blanchflower & Oswald, 2004), others find gender to be uncorrelated with levels of self-reported happiness (Kahneman &. Krueger, 2006), and yet others find that women are less happy than men (Mroczek & Kolarz, 1998). In India Kant (1996) observed significant difference between males and females regarding life satisfaction, with females experiencing lower life satisfaction then men. Gender differences were also observed in the case of coping strategies when life dissatisfaction was high in females and low in males (Reddy & Srinivas, 1996) and in adjustment problems (Balachandran & Raju, 1997).To some extent, this might be related to the measures being used. Thus, in a recent review of the literature, Paul Dolan, Tessa Peasgood,and Mathew White (2008) find that women tend to report higher happiness (Alesina, Telia, & MacCulloch, 2004) but show worse scores on the happiness questions included in the General Health Questionnaire (Clark & Oswald, 1994). …

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