Advertisement

Social Indicators Research

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 285–296 | Cite as

The measurement of social well-being

  • James S. Larson
Article

Abstract

This paper provides a conceptual framework for viewing social well-being as composed of two elements: social adjustment and social support. Social adjustment is a combination of satisfaction with relationships, performance in social roles and adjustment to one's environment. Social support is composed of the number of contacts in one's social network and satisfaction with those contacts. Through the pioneering work of McDowell and Newell, comparative ratings of measures of social adjustment and social support are available. It appears that Weissman's Social Adjustment Scale and Sarason's Social Support Scale are currently the best measures in terms of validity and reliability. But, they are merely starting points for future measurement of these concepts.

Keywords

Social Support Social Network Conceptual Framework Good Measure Comparative Rating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abanobi, O.: 1986, ‘Content validity in the assessment of health status’, Health Values 10, pp. 37–40.Google Scholar
  2. Barenthin, I.: 1975, ‘The concept of health in community dentistry’, Public Health Dentistry 35, pp. 177–184.Google Scholar
  3. Basch, P.: 1990, Textbook of International Health (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  4. Blum, H.: 1976, Expanding Health Horizons (Third Party Associates, Oakland, CA).Google Scholar
  5. Breslow, L.: 1972, ‘A quantitative approach to the world health organization definition of health: physical, mental and social well-being’, International Journal of Epidemiology 1, pp. 347–355.Google Scholar
  6. Breslow, L.: 1989, ‘Health status measurement in the evaluation of health promotion’, Medical Care, 27 supplement, pp. S205-S216.Google Scholar
  7. Brooks, W.et al.: 1990, ‘The impact of factors on measurement of functional status’, Medical Care 28, pp. 793–804.Google Scholar
  8. Brown, J.et al.: 1984, ‘The dimensions of health outcomes: a cross-validated examination of health status measurement’, American Journal of Public Health 74, pp. 159–161.Google Scholar
  9. Deliege, D.: 1983, ‘Indicators of physical, mental and social well-being’, World Health Statistics Quarterly 36, pp. 349–393.Google Scholar
  10. Epstein, A.et al.: 1989, ‘Using proxies to evaluate quality of life: can they provide valid information about patients' health status and satisfaction with medical care?’, Medical Care, 27 supplement, pp. S91-S98.Google Scholar
  11. Evans, D. and Gall, T.: 1988, ‘Response specificity revisited: stress and health status’, Journal of Clinical Psychology 44, pp. 108–114.Google Scholar
  12. Goldman, B. and Busch, J. (eds.): 1982, Directory of Unpublished Experimental Measures Vol 3 (Human Sciences Press, New York).Google Scholar
  13. Goldsmith, S.: 1972, ‘The status of health indicators’, Health Services Reports 87, pp. 212–220.Google Scholar
  14. Hecht, H.et al.: 1990, ‘Anxiety and depression in a community sample: the influence of comorbidity in social functioning’, Journal of Affective Disorders 18, pp. 137–144.Google Scholar
  15. Hersen, M. and Bellack, A.: 1988, Dictionary of Behavioral Assessment Techniques (Pergammon Press, New York).Google Scholar
  16. Ishii-Kuntz, M.: 1990, ‘Social interaction and psychological well-being: comparison across stages of adulthood’, International Journal of Aging and Human Development 30, pp. 15–36.Google Scholar
  17. Kaplan, R. and Anderson, J.: 1988, ‘A general health policy model: update and applications’, Health Services Research 23, pp. 203–235.Google Scholar
  18. Kennedy, E.: 1989, ‘An examination of the relationship between childhood depression and social competence amongst primary school children’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 30, pp. 501–573.Google Scholar
  19. Killian, T. and Killian, L.: 1990, ‘Sociological investigations of mental illness: a review’, Hospital and Community Psychiatry 41, pp. 902–911.Google Scholar
  20. Lubin, B. and Zucherman, M.: 1988, ‘Affects, demographic variables, and health’, Journal of Clinical Psychology 44, pp. 131–141.Google Scholar
  21. McDowell, I. and Newell, C.: 1987, Measuring Health: A Guide to Rating Scales and Questionnaires (Oxford University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  22. Mechanic, D. and Hansell, S.: 1987, ‘Adolescent competence, psychological well-being, and self-assessed physical health’, Journal of Health and Social Behavior 28, pp. 364–374.Google Scholar
  23. Meehan, R.et al.: 1988, ‘The stability of health status in rheumatoid arthritis: a five-year study of patients with established disease’, American Journal of Public Health 78, pp. 1484–1487.Google Scholar
  24. O'Reilly, P.: 1988, ‘Methodological issues in social support and social network research’, Social Science & Medicine 26, pp. 863–873.Google Scholar
  25. Orth-Gomer, K. and Unden, A.: 1987, ‘The measurement of social support in population surveys’, Social Science & Medicine 24, pp. 83–94.Google Scholar
  26. Retzinger, S.: 1989, ‘A theory of mental illness: integrating social and emotional aspects’, Psychiatry 52, pp. 325–335.Google Scholar
  27. Riehlman, L. and Wolchik, S.: 1988, ‘Personal goals and interpersonal support and hindrance as factors in psychological distress and well-being’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 55, pp. 293–301.Google Scholar
  28. Segovia, J.: 1989, ‘An empirical analysis of the dimensions of health status measures’, Social Science & Medicine 29, pp. 761–768.Google Scholar
  29. Siegmann, A. and Elinson, J.: 1977, ‘Newer sociomedical health indicators: implications for evaluation of health services’, Medical Care, 15 supplement, pp. 84–92.Google Scholar
  30. Sintonen, H.: 1981, ‘An approach to measuring and valuing health states’, Social Science & Medicine 15C, pp. 55–65.Google Scholar
  31. Sommers-Flanagan, J. and Greenberg, R.: 1989, ‘Psychosocial variables and hypertension’, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 177, pp. 15–24.Google Scholar
  32. Steinberg, L.et al.: 1989, ‘Authoritative parenting, psychosocial maturity, and academic success among adolescents’, Child Development 60, pp. 1424–1436.Google Scholar
  33. Strauss, J.: 1989, ‘Comment on Retzinger’, Psychiatry 52, pp. 336–338.Google Scholar
  34. Sullivan, D.: 1981, Conceptual Problems in Developing an Index of Health (National Center for Health Statistics, Rockville, MD).Google Scholar
  35. Temkin, N.et al.: 1989, ‘General versus disease-specific measures: further work on the sickness impact profile for head injury’, Medical Care 27 supplement, pp. S44–S53.Google Scholar
  36. Verbrugge, L.: 1985, ‘Triggers of symptoms and health care’, Social Science & Medicine 20, pp. 855–876.Google Scholar
  37. Ware, J.et al.: 1981, ‘Choosing measures of health status for individuals in general populations’, American Journal of Public Health 71, pp. 620–625.Google Scholar
  38. Weinberger, M.et al.: 1987, ‘Assessing social support in elderly adults’, Social Science & Medicine 25, pp. 1049–1055.Google Scholar
  39. Weinert, C. and Tilden, V.: 1990, ‘Measures of social support: assessment of validity’, Nursing Research 39, pp. 212–216.Google Scholar
  40. WHO Psychiatric Disability Assessment Schedule: 1988 (World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland).Google Scholar
  41. Williams, J.et al.: 1989, ‘The person-in-environment (pie) system for describing problems of social functioning’, Hospital and Community Psychiatry 40, pp. 1125–1127.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Larson
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GovernmentUniversity of ArkansasLittle RockUSA

Personalised recommendations