Applied Research in Quality of Life

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 387–410 | Cite as

The Impact of Culture on the Individual Subjective Well-Being of the Italian Population: An Exploratory Study

  • Enzo Grossi
  • Pier Luigi Sacco
  • Giorgio Tavano Blessi
  • Renata Cerutti


The aim of this study is to explore the relationship between cultural access and individual psychological well-being, in order to provide a possible estimation of the impact of cultural participation upon subjective perceptions of well being. Our exploratory research was based on a cross-sectional survey undertook on a medium-large sample (n = 1500) of Italian residents in fall 2008. We refer to the Psychological General Well-Being Index–PGWBI, a tool that has been validated through 30 years of research, as an index of measurement. Moreover, we have administered to the sample an additional questionnaire inquiring about access to 15 distinct culturally related activities. Data are processed by means of a specific methodology based on ANN and Called TWIST. TWIST has been developed by the Semeion Research Center, Rome. Our analysis suggests that culture has a relevant role as a determinant of individual psychological well-being, in that a selected subset of cultural variables turn out to perform among the best predictors of individual PGWB levels. Our results also allow some preliminary considerations about innovative, well-being focused public health policies leveraging upon the human and social developmental role of culture.


Cultural access Cultural and health policies Psychological well-being PGWBI 



We thank an anonymous referee, as well as seminar audiences at the ISQOL 2009 conference in Florence, and at the Happiness and Relational Goods 2009 conference in Venice, for their insightful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this paper. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V./The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enzo Grossi
    • 1
  • Pier Luigi Sacco
    • 2
  • Giorgio Tavano Blessi
    • 2
    • 3
  • Renata Cerutti
    • 1
  1. 1.Bracco Research DivisionMilanoItaly
  2. 2.IULM University20143MilanItaly
  3. 3.Free UniversityBozenItaly

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