Effects of Other Demographic Factors on Subjective QOL

  • M. Joseph Sirgy
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 50)


Andrews and Withey (1976), in what is regarded as a seminal study in the psychology of QOL, demonstrated that about 10% of the variance in life satisfaction can be accounted for by demographic characteristics. In later reviews, Diener (1984) and Argyle (1999) suggested a slightly higher estimate: 15%. Based on classic theories of life satisfaction (e.g., bottom -up theory first introduced by Andrews & Withey, 1976; Campbell, Converse, & Rodgers, 1976), an individual’s satisfaction with life is strongly influenced by the objective conditions of his/her life. Bottom-up theory asserts that when a person evaluates their life overall, they review the objective conditions of his/her life in various life domains (i.e., social life, family life, leisure life, work life, financial life, love life, etc.), weigh this domain satisfaction by the relative importance of this domain vis-à-vis other domains, and sum up those evaluations to create an overall judgment. Such a process is essentially grounded on the objective conditions of one’s life, which translates into demographics (age, income, education, marital status, gender, and so on). In the preceding chapter, we discussed the effects of one important demographic factor, income, on the subjective aspects of QOL. In this chapter, we will shift our attention to other demographic factors such as age, gender, education, and marital status, among others.


Life Satisfaction Negative Affect Positive Affect Religious Affiliation Domain Satisfaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Joseph Sirgy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Marketing Pamplin College of BusinessVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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