Social Indicators Research

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–34

Modeling the psychological determinants of life quality

  • Antonia Abbey
  • Frank M. Andrews
Article

Abstract

Personality and social psychologists have recently focused on a number of issues which life quality researchers have also examined. This study combines these two perspectives on well-being to address the following two questions: (1) To what extent are perceptions of stress, internal and external control, social support, performance, anxiety, and depression determinants of life quality? (2) To what extent are the predictors of different aspects of life quality (affective, cognitive, global, specific domains) similar or different? Data were collected from 675 respondents in a longitudinal study. Respondents were interviewed four times, six weeks apart. Bivariate analyses, stepwise regressions, and structural modeling were used to analyze the data. The modeling results suggested that internal control, social support, and performance caused increased life quality, whereas stress and depression caused decreased life quality. Control by others did not relate to life quality. The positive affect component of life quality related most strongly to ‘positive’ psychological concepts. Similarly, the negative affect component of life quality related most strongly to ‘negative’ psychological concepts. The implications of these findings for future life quality research are described.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Abbey, A.: 1983, ‘The effects of social support on emotional well-being’, paper presented at the First International Symposium on Behavioral Health, Nag's Head Conference Center.Google Scholar
  2. Abbey, A., D. J. Abramis and R. D.Caplan: 1981, ‘Measuring social support: the effects of frame of reference on the relationship between social support and strain’, paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Los Angeles, CA.Google Scholar
  3. AbbeyA., C.Dunkel-Schetter and P.Brickman: 1983, ‘Handling the stress of looking for a job in law school: the relationship between intrinsic motivation, internal attributions, relations with others, and happiness’, Basic and Applied Social Psychology 4, pp. 263–278.Google Scholar
  4. AbramsonL. Y., M. E. P.Seligman and J. D.Teasdale: 1978, Learned helplessness in humans: critique and reformulation, Journal of Abnormal Psychology 87, pp. 49–74.Google Scholar
  5. AllardtE.: 1976, Dimensions of welfare in a comparative Scandinavian study, Acta Sociologica 19, pp. 111–120.Google Scholar
  6. AndrewsF. M.: 1981, Subjective social indicators, objective social indicators, and social accounting systems, in F. T.Juster and K. C.Land (eds.): Social Accounting Systems (Academic Press, New York), pp. 377–419.Google Scholar
  7. AndrewsF. M. and A. C.McKennell: 1980 ‘Measures of self-reported well-being: their affective, cognitive, and other components’, Social Indicators Research 8, pp. 127–155.Google Scholar
  8. AndrewsF. M. and S. B.Withey: 1976, Social indicators of well-being: Americans' perceptions of life quality, (Plenum Press, New York).Google Scholar
  9. AtkinsonT.: 1979 ‘Public perceptions of the quality of life’, in Statistics Canada (ed.): Perspective Canada III (Statistics Canada, Ottawa).Google Scholar
  10. BarreraM.Jr.: 1981, ‘Social support in the adjustment of pregnant adolescents —assessment issues’, in D. H. Gottlieb: Social Networks and Social Support, Beverly Hills: (Sage Publication, Beverly Hills), pp. 69–96.Google Scholar
  11. BeckA. T.: 1976, Cognitive Therapy and Emotional Disorder (International Universities Press, New York).Google Scholar
  12. BillingsA. G. and R. H.Moos: 1981 ‘The role of coping responses and social resources in attenuating the stress of life events’, Journal of Behavioral Medicine 2 pp. 139–157.Google Scholar
  13. BradburnN. M.: 1969, The Structure of Psychological Well-Being (Aldine, Chicago).Google Scholar
  14. CampbellA., P. E.Converse and W. L.Rodgers: 1976, The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluations and Satisfactions (Russell Sage, New York).Google Scholar
  15. CaplanR. D.: 1979, ‘Social support, person-environment fit, and coping’, in L. A.Ferman and J. P.Gordus (eds.): Mental Health and the Economy (Upjohn Institute, Kalamazoo, MI), pp. 89–137.Google Scholar
  16. CaplanR. D.: 1983, ‘Person-environment fit: past present, and future’, in C.Cooper (ed.): Stress Research: Directions for the 1980's (Wiley, London), pp. 35–78.Google Scholar
  17. CaplanR. D., A.Abbey, D. J.Abramis, F. M.Andrews, T. L.Conway and J. R. P.FrenchJr.: 1984, Tranquilizer Use and Well-Being (Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor).Google Scholar
  18. CaplanR. D., S.Cobb, J. R. P.FrenchJr., R. V.Harrison, and S. R.PinneauJr.: 1980, Job Demands and Worker Health: Main Effects and Occupational Differences (Institute for Social Research, Ann Arbor).Google Scholar
  19. CobbS.: 1979 ‘Social support and health through the life course’, in M. W.Riley (ed.): Aging from Birth to Death (Westview Press, Boulder, CO), pp. 91–106.Google Scholar
  20. Conway, T. L., A. Abbey and J. R. P. French, Jr.: 1983, Beliefs About Control in Different Life Domains, Paper presented at the meeting of the American Psychological Association, Anaheim CA.Google Scholar
  21. CostaP. T.Jr. and R. R.McCrae: 1980 ‘Influence of extraversion and neuroticism on subjective well-being: happy and unhappy people’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 38, pp. 668–678.Google Scholar
  22. CoyneJ. C.: 1976, Toward an interactional description of depression, Psychiatry 39, pp. 28–38.Google Scholar
  23. CoyneJ. C., C.Aldwin and R. S.Lazarus: 1981, ‘Depression and coping in stressful episodes’, Journal of Abnormal Psychology 90, pp. 430–447.Google Scholar
  24. DeanA. and N.Lin: 1977, ‘The stress-buffering role of social support: problems and prospects for systematic investigation’, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases 165, pp. 403–417.Google Scholar
  25. DerogatisL. R., R. S.Lipman, K.Richels, E. H.Uhlenhuth, and L.Covi: 1974, ‘The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL): A self-report symptom inventory’, Behavioral Science 19, pp. 1–15.Google Scholar
  26. DohrenwendB. S. and B. P.Dohrenwend: 1978, ‘Some issues in research on stressful life events’, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases 166, pp. 7–15.Google Scholar
  27. DupuyH. J.: 1977, A Concurrent Validational Study of the NCHS General Well-Being Schedule (National Center for Health Statistics, Hyattsville, MD).Google Scholar
  28. FrenchJ. R. P.Jr., R. D.Caplan and R. V.Harrison: 1982, The Mechanisms of Job Stress and Strain (Wiley, London).Google Scholar
  29. FrenchJ. R. P.Jr., W.Rodgers, and S.Cobb: 1974, ‘Adjustment as person-environment fit, in G. V.Coelho, D. A.Hamburg, and J. E.Adams (eds.): Coping and Adaptation (Basic Books, New York) pp. 316–333.Google Scholar
  30. GilmartinK. J., R. J.Rossi, L. S.Lutomski, and D. F. B.Reed: 1979, Social Indicators: an annotated bibliography of current literature (Garland, New York).Google Scholar
  31. GoldbergerL., and S.Breznitz (eds.): 1982, Handbook of Stress (The Free Press, New York).Google Scholar
  32. HeadeyB.: 1981, ‘The quality of life in Australia’, Social Indicators Research 9, pp. 155–181.Google Scholar
  33. HoelterJ. W.: 1983, ‘The analysis of covariance structures: Goodness-of-fit indices’, Sociological Methods and Research 11 pp. 325–344.Google Scholar
  34. HolmesT. H. and R. H.Rahe: 1967, ‘The social readjustment scale’, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 11, pp. 213–218.Google Scholar
  35. HouseJ. S.: 1981, Work Stress and Social Support (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA).Google Scholar
  36. HouseJ. S., A. J.McMichael, J. A.Wells, B. H.Kaplan, and L. R.Landerman: 1979, ‘Occupational stress and health among factory workers’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 20, pp. 139–160.Google Scholar
  37. JohnsonJ. H. and I. G.Sarason: 1978, Life stress, depression and anxiety: internal-external control as a moderator variable, Journal of Psychosomatic Research 22, pp. 205–208.Google Scholar
  38. JoreskogK. G. and D.Sorbom: 1978, Lisrel IV Users Guide (National Educational Resources, Chicago).Google Scholar
  39. KahnR. L. and T. C.Antonucci: 1980 ‘Convoys over the life course: attachment, roles and social support’, in P. B.Baltes and O.Brim (eds.): Life-Span Development and Behavior (Vol. 3) (Boston, Lexington Press, MA), pp. 253–286.Google Scholar
  40. KahnR. L., D. M.Wolfe, R. P.Quinn, J. D.Snoek, and R. A.Rosenthal: 1964, Organizational Stress: Studies in Role Conflict and Ambiguity, (Wiley, New York).Google Scholar
  41. KammannR., D.Christie, R.Irwin, and G.Dixon: 1979, ‘Properties of an inventory to measure happiness (and psychological health)’, New Zealand Psychologist 8, pp. 1–9.Google Scholar
  42. KammannR., M.Farry, and R.Herbison: 1984, ‘The analysis and measurement of happiness as a sense of well-being’, Social Indicators Research 15, pp. 91–116.Google Scholar
  43. KatzD. and R. L.Kahn: 1978: Social Psychology of Organizations (Wiley, New York).Google Scholar
  44. LaRoccoJ. M., J. S.House, and J. R. P.FrenchJr.: 1980, ‘Social support occupational stress, and health’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 21, pp. 202–218.Google Scholar
  45. LazarusR. S.: 1981, ‘The stress and coping paradigm’, in C.Eisdorfer, D.Cohen, A.Kleinman, and P.Maxim (eds.): Theoretical Bases for Psychopathology (Spectrum, New York), pp. 173–209.Google Scholar
  46. LefcourtH. M.: 1982, Locus of Control: Current Trends in Theory and Research (2nd ed.) (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ).Google Scholar
  47. LevensonH.: 1973, ‘Multidimensional locus of control in psychiatric patients’, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 41, pp. 397–404.Google Scholar
  48. MarsdenP. V.: 1982 ‘A note on block variables in multiequation models’, Social Science Research 11, pp. 127–140.Google Scholar
  49. MasonR. G. and FaulkenberryG. D. (1978). Aspirations, achievements, and life satisfactions. Social Indicators Research 5, pp. 133–150.Google Scholar
  50. McKennellA. C.: 1978, ‘Cognition and affect in perceptions of well-being’, Social Indicators Research 5, pp. 389–426.Google Scholar
  51. McKennellA. C. and F. M.Andrews: 1980, Models for cognition and affect in perceptions of well-being, Social Indicators Research 8, pp. 257–298.Google Scholar
  52. MichalosA. C.: 1980, ‘Satisfaction and happiness’, Social Indicators Research 8, pp. 385–422.Google Scholar
  53. MichalosA. C.: 1983, ‘Satisfaction and happiness in a rural northern resource community’, Social Indicators Research 13, pp. 225–252.Google Scholar
  54. MoumT.: 1980, The role of values and life goals in quality of life: on measuring and predicting subjective well-being — a pilot study (UNESCO Division for Socio-Economic Analysis, Paris).Google Scholar
  55. PearlinL. I., E. G.Menaghan, M. A.Lieberman and J. T.Mullan: 1981, ‘The stress process’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 22, pp. 337–356.Google Scholar
  56. PearlinL. I. and C.Schooler: 1978, ‘The structure of coping’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 19, pp. 2–21.Google Scholar
  57. RabierJ. R.: 1974, Satisfaction et Insatisfaction Quant aux Conditions de Vie dans les Pays Membres de la Communaute Europeenne (Commission of the European Communities, Brussels).Google Scholar
  58. RabkinJ. G. and E. I.Struening 1976, ‘Life events, stress, and illness’, Science 194, pp. 1013–1020.Google Scholar
  59. RotterJ. B.: 1975, ‘Some problems and misconceptions related to the construct of internal versus external control of reinforcement’, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 43, pp. 56–67.Google Scholar
  60. SarasonI. G., H. M.Levine, R. B.Basham and B. R.Sarason: 1983, ‘Assessing social support: the social support questionnaire’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 44, pp. 127–139.Google Scholar
  61. SchaeferC., J. C.Coyne and R. S.Lazarus: 1981, ‘The health-related functions of social support’, Journal of Behavioural Medicine 4, pp. 381–406.Google Scholar
  62. SeligmanM. E. P.: 1975, Helplessness: on depression, development, and death (Freeman, San Francisco).Google Scholar
  63. SelyeH.: 1956, The Stress of Life (McGraw Hill, New York).Google Scholar
  64. SelyeH.: 1980, ‘Stress, aging and retirement’, The Journal of Mind and Behavior 1, pp. 93–110.Google Scholar
  65. ShinD. C., K. D.Kim, and H. K.Lee: 1982, ‘Perceptions of quality of life in an industrializing country: the case of the Republic of Korea’, Social Indicators Research 10, pp. 297–317.Google Scholar
  66. SilverR. L. and C. B.Wortman: 1980, ‘Coping with undesirable life events’, in J.Garber and M. E. P.Seligman (eds.): Human helplessness (Academic Press, New York), pp. 279–340.Google Scholar
  67. Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1980 (101st Ed., 1980), (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC).Google Scholar
  68. VeroffJ., R.Kulka, and E.Douvan: 1981, Mental Health in America: Patterns of Help-Seeking from 1957 to 1976 (Basic Books, Inc. Publishers, New York).Google Scholar
  69. VinokurA. and M. L.Selzer: 1975, ‘Desirable versus undersirable life events: their relationship to stress and mental distress’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32, pp. 329–337.Google Scholar
  70. WarrP., J.Barter, and G.Brownbridge: 1983, ‘On the independence of positive and negative affect’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 44, pp. 644–651.Google Scholar
  71. WellsL. E. and G.Marwell: 1976, Self-esteem: Its Conceptualization and Measurement (Sage, Beverly Hills).Google Scholar
  72. WilliamsA. W., J. E.WareJr., and C. A.Donald: 1981, A model of mental health, life events, and social supports applicable to general populations, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 22, pp. 324–336.Google Scholar
  73. WortmanC. B.: 1976, ‘Causal attributions and personal control’, in J. H.Harvey, W. J.Ickes, and R. F.Kidd (eds.): New Directions in Attribution Research (Vol. 1) (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Hillsdale, NJ), pp. 23–52.Google Scholar
  74. WylieR. C.: 1974–1979, The Self Concept: A Review of Methodological Considerations and Measuring Instruments (rev. ed., Vols. 1–2) (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NB).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonia Abbey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank M. Andrews
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Institute For Social ResearchUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations