Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 1295-1313

First online:

Do Cultural Values Affect Quality of Life Evaluation?

  • Alfonso UrzúaAffiliated withEscuela de Psicología, Universidad Católica del Norte
  • , Claudia Miranda-CastilloAffiliated withEscuela de Psicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valparaíso
  • , Alejandra Caqueo-UrízarAffiliated withDepartamento de Filosofía y Psicología, Universidad de Tarapacá Email author 
  • , Franco MascayanoAffiliated withEscuela de Psicología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Valparaíso

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Schwartz defines cultural values as motivational types, where each value reflects goals and objectives to be achieved. According to Schwartz, cultural values are related to an orientation that is individualistic (values referred to as power, achievement, hedonism, stimulation and self-direction), collectivistic (benevolence, tradition and conformity) or mixed (security and universalism). Today, there is a theoretical consensus that cultural values are mediators in the evaluation of quality of life (QOL); nonetheless, there are few published studies to date relating them to QOL. To determine whether a significant relationship exits between cultural values and QOL in three Spanish-speaking countries. A total of 821 persons participated: 321 from Chile, 200 from Spain and 300 from Cuba. The Schwartz Cultural Values Survey and the WHOQOL-BREF Quality of Life Scale were used. Analysis of variance, and correlation and regression analyses were preformed after collecting data. Only hedonism was significantly correlated with the global evaluation of QOL in Spain and Chile. Few correlations were found in all three countries between cultural values and the QOL domains evaluated, with the exceptions of the value of self-direction, which was related to physical well-being, and the value stimulation, which was correlated with psychological as well as social well-being in all three countries. Certain values may be associated with a better perception of QOL, depending on the particular culture of the population evaluated.


Cultural values Quality of life Crosscultural Spanish speaker