Social Indicators Research

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 55–72

Objective and Subjective Auality of Life: an Interactive Model

  • Robert A. Cummins

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007027822521

Cite this article as:
Cummins, R.A. Social Indicators Research (2000) 52: 55. doi:10.1023/A:1007027822521


This paper reviews the relationship between objective and subjective quality of life indicators. It proposes that the interaction of these variables occurs within a system that homeostatically maintains subjective quality of life within a narrow range. Due to the capacity of this system to adapt to varying environmental circumstances, the objective and subjective indicators are normally poorly correlated. However, it is also proposed that very poor objective conditions can defeat homeostasis and, once this occurs, the objective and subjective indicators display stronger covariation. Empirical data are provided to support this model and the implications for understanding the QOL construct are discussed.

subjective quality of lifeobjective quality of lifehomeostasisthresholdliving conditions

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Cummins
    • 1
  1. 1.Deakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia