A National Representative Study of the Relative Impact of Physical and Psychological Problems on Life Satisfaction
- 558 Downloads
This study assessed the influence of different physical and psychological illnesses on life satisfaction in individuals. A nationally representative sample (N = 2,966) of non-institutionalized Spanish adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years completed a self-report measure on treated physical and psychological problems as well as a measure of overall life satisfaction. The results showed that although physical and psychological problems both had an impact on life satisfaction, greater effect sizes were generally found for psychological rather than for physical illness. Regression analysis, which controlled for the effects of comorbidity and sociodemographic variables (e.g. age, gender, marital status, employment status, and education level), revealed a significant impact on life satisfaction in cancer and migraine (in the domain of physical problems), and in depression, lack of concentration, insomnia, and stress/anxiety (in the domain of psychological problems). Further multivariate analyses were conducted to estimate decreases in the Satisfaction With Life Scale for each of the conditions assessed. A lack of significant interactions revealed that the effect of comorbid physical and/or psychological problems could be additive. The present results show that people who are afflicted with psychological problems exhibit a marked decrease in life satisfaction. As a whole, this negative impact is significantly greater than the decrease associated with physical problems.
KeywordsLife satisfaction Mental problems Physical problems Well-being Mental health Public policy
We thank Margarita Alvarez, Jesús Gallardo, and Isabel de Julian (Coca-Cola Institute of Happiness) for their assistance in all stages of this research and anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous versions of the manuscript.
- Alonso, J., Ferrer, M., Gandek, B., Ware, J. E., Aaronson, N. K., Mosconi, P., et al. (2004). Health-related quality of life associated with chronic conditions in eight countries: Results from the International Quality of Life Assessment (IQOLA Project). Quality of Life Research, 13, 283–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bok, D. (2010). The politics of happiness. What government can learn from the new research on well-being. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Diener, E., & Chan, M. Y. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being., 3(1), 1–43.Google Scholar
- Diener, E., Inglehart, R., & Tay, L. (2012). Theory and validity of life satisfaction scales. Social Indicators Research. doi: 10.1007/s11205-012-0076-y.
- Forward Scotland and Scottish Council Foundation. (2008). A wellbeing framework for Scotland: A better way for measuring society’s progress in the 21st century. http//www.forward-scotland.org.uk/Publications/Wellbeing-Better-Measure-Society-s-Progress.html.
- Funk, M., Drew, N., Freeman, M., & Faydi, E. (2010). Mental health and development: Targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2010/9789241563949_eng.pdf.
- Gravelle, H., & Sutton, M. (2006). Income, relative income, and self-reported health in Britain 1979–2000. Centre of Health Economics, University of York. http://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/discussionpapers/2006/0606.pdf.
- Grossi, E., Blessi, G. T., Sacco, P. L., & Buscema, M. (2012). The interaction between culture, health and psychological well-being: Data mining from the Italian culture and well-being project. Journal of Happiness Studies, 13, 129–148.Google Scholar
- Heliwell, J., Layard, R., & Sachs, J. (2012). (Eds.) World happiness report. New York: The Earth Institute (Columbia University). http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sitefiles/file/Sachs%20Writing/2012/World%20Happiness%20Report.pdf.
- INE, Instituto Nacional de Estadística (2010). Estimacion de población, 2002–2010. Madrid: Instituto Nacional de Estadística. http://www.ine.es/jaxiBD/menu.do?L=0&divi=EPOB&his=0&type=db.
- Jian, H., & Lubetkin, E. (2005). The impact of obesity on health-related quality-of-life in the general adult US population. Journal of Public Health, 7, 156–164.Google Scholar
- Murray, C.J.L., & Lopez, A.D. (1996). The global burden of disease and injury series (volume 1): A comprehensive assessment of mortality and disability from diseases, injuries, and risk factors in 1990 and projected to 2020. Cambridge, MA: Harvard School of Public Health on behalf of the World Health Organization and the World Bank, Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Pinto-Meza, A., Fernández, A., Fullana, M. A., Haro, J. M., Palao, D., Luciano, J. V., et al. (2009). Impact of mental disorders and chronic physical conditions in health-related quality of life among primary care patients: Results from an epidemiological study. Quality of Life Research, 18, 1011–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- StataCorp (2010). Stata statistical software. Release 11. College Station, TX: Stata Corporation.Google Scholar
- Stiglitz, J.E., Sen, A., & Fitoussi, J.P. (2009). Commission on the measurement of economic performance and social progress. http://www.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr.
- Tsuang, M. T., & Winokur, G. (1975). The Iowa 500: Field work in 35-year follow-up of depression, mania, and schizophrenia. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, 5, 359–365.Google Scholar
- White, H. (1980). A heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix and a direct test for heteroskedasticity. Econometrica, 48, 817–838.Google Scholar
- Whiteford, H. A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., Baxter, A. J., Ferrari, A. J., Erskine, H. E., et al. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 6736, 1–12.Google Scholar
- WHO (2009). Disease and injury regional estimates for 2004. Geneva: World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/estimates_regional/en/index.html.