Research Paper

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 149-168

First online:

Well-Being at Work: Some Differences Between Life Satisfaction and Personal Growth as Predictors of Subjective Health and Sick-Leave

  • Lisa Vivoll StraumeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Email author 
  • , Joar VittersøAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Tromsø

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Happiness researchers have begun to study how well-being affects health, in addition to how health influences well-being. The present article follows this trend by reviewing how two separate dimensions of well-being, life satisfaction and personal growth, predict subjective health and sick-leave in distinct ways. It is hypothesized that the two well-being concepts are only moderately correlated with each other, and differently related to subjective health and sick-leave in organizations. Data are from Norwegian job-holders (N = 475). The results show that life satisfaction was negatively related to sick-leave, and this relation was mediated by subjective health. Personal growth was positively related to sick-leave, and this relation was not influenced by subjective health. The difference between life satisfaction and personal growth reflects a critical element in the concept of human well-being that should be considered when designing organizational initiatives aimed at promoting satisfaction, learning opportunities, health and decreasing sick-leave.


Life satisfaction Personal growth Subjective health Sick-leave Hedonic well-being Eudaimonic well-being