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Mediating Role of Community Participation between Physical Environments, Social Relationships, Social Conflicts, and Quality of Life: Evidence from South Korea

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Abstract

While Community participation has been considered as an essential determinant in enhancing the level of quality of life (QOL), few have systemically tested the mediating impact of community participation between physical Environments, social Relationships, social conflicts, and QOL. Using the 2015 Korean’ Conflicts and Cooperation Survey, which is randomly sampled by gender, age, and regions, this research aims to analyzes the mediating effect of community participation between physical Environments, social Relationships, social conflicts, and QOL. The analysis results show that community participation plays a mediating role in increasing the level of QOL among many people with experiences with social conflict. The individuals’ satisfaction with their physical environment and interpersonal relationships directly affects their level of QOL, while their experiences of social conflict does not have an impact on the level of QOL. The findings of this study suggest that the activation of communities can offset negative experiences resulting from social conflicts and improve the level of QOL of individuals in the South Korean context. This research contributes to methodological and theoretical topics in the field of quality of life.

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Notes

  1. According to Easterlin (1974, 1995), income satisfaction, which is an indicator of the individual’s economic status, is a major factor in increasing happiness. However, an increase in income above a certain level does not always lead to the increase in the individual’s happiness to the same extent. That is, the level of an individual’s happiness does not increase in proportion to the increase in income beyond a certain point.

  2. According to Article 27 of the Special Act on Decentralization and Reorganization of the Local Administration System, one of the purposes of the community center is “the promotion of democratic participation consciousness.”

  3. All of the hypotheses presented in this study are meant to identify the correlation among the variables, not the causal relationship.

  4. Recently, various social conflicts have been manifested in Korean society with the spread of the #MeToo movement. It has been led mainly by participants in local communities or civic groups rather than individuals. The movement has contributed to the settlement of several conflicts, providing an example of community participation that leads to the resolution of social conflicts and elevates the level of QOL.

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Funding

This study was funded by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016S1A3A2924832).

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Correspondence to Kyujin Jung.

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Sangjoon Shin declares that he has no conflict of interest. Kyujin Jung declares that he has no conflict of interest as well.

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Shin, S., Jung, K. Mediating Role of Community Participation between Physical Environments, Social Relationships, Social Conflicts, and Quality of Life: Evidence from South Korea. Applied Research Quality Life 15, 1433–1450 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11482-019-09747-8

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