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Quality of Life Research

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 2137–2145 | Cite as

Directionality of the relationship between social well-being and subjective well-being: evidence from a 20-year longitudinal study

Article

Abstract

Purpose

Self-determination theory suggests that psycho-social well-being prospectively predicts subjective well-being. In contrast, the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions suggests that subjective well-being has a positive impact on subsequent levels of psycho-social well-being. The present study sought to empirically disentangle the directionality of the relationship between subjective well-being and social well-being over time.

Methods

The study used three waves of survey data, with intervals of 10 years, from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) project, a representative longitudinal panel study of American adults (N = 2732). Cross-lagged panel modeling was used for data analysis.

Results

The results revealed that social well-being predicted increases in subsequent subjective well-being, whereas subjective well-being did not prospectively predict social well-being. Social well-being also demonstrated more stability over time than did subjective well-being.

Conclusion

These findings suggest that optimal social functioning is more likely to be an antecedent to subjective well-being, not the other way around. The results are consistent with predictions guided by self-determination theory.

Keywords

Subjective well-being Social well-being Longitudinal Hedonic well-being Eudaimonic well-being 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study are in accordance with the conventional ethical standards. We used the data from the national survey of midlife development in the United States. For more information about the data collection procedures, see http://midus.wisc.edu/index.php.

Informed consent

Informed consent has been obtained from all participants included in the study. For more information, see http://midus.wisc.edu/index.php.

Supplementary material

11136_2018_1865_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 KB)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyKeimyung UniversityDaeguSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of MarketingVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of ManagementNagoya University of Commerce and BusinessNisshinJapan

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