Worries and Pain – The Dark Side of Quality of Life

  • Wolfgang GlatzerEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The development of mankind can be regarded as an ongoing struggle for a better quality of life and greater wellbeing. However – as far as we can see – there is always the drawback of different forms of negative wellbeing such as various worries and pain. A global view of the world’s people shows they partly enjoy life and partly suffer; many do both at the same time. It seems each age is characterized by a specific pattern of gratifying and satisfying traits, but also by a typical burden of worries and pain. It is inevitable in a globalized world that people share worldwide worries more than they did before. The bright side of life is always complemented by a dark side and worries and pain are excluded only in the idea of paradise. Common experience is that everyday disturbances as well as natural catastrophes and political disorganization are ongoing causes of worries and pain. Avoiding negative wellbeing and increasing positive wellbeing, together with expectations of a good future, are important contributors to the comprehensive wellbeing of people.


Burden Disaster Future expectations Negative wellbeing Pain Suffer Worries 


  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, R. (2011, May 13). World suffering – Conceptualization, measurement and findings. Paper presented at the 2011 annual meetings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) in Phoenix, Arizona.Google Scholar
  3. Andrews, F. M., & Withey, S. B. (1976). Social indicators of wellbeing. Americans perceptions of life quality. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  4. Boehnke, K., et al. (1998). The structure and dynamics of worry: Theory, measurement, and cross-cultural replications. Journal of Personality, 66, 745–782.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bradburn N. M. (1969). The Structure of Psychological Well-being. Chicago: AldineGoogle Scholar
  6. Campbell, A., Converse, P. E., & Rodgers, W. L. (1976). The quality of American life. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  7. Cantril, H. (1965). The pattern of human concerns. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Castrillon, P. (2013). Modernisierung und soziale Konflikte in Kolumbien. Inaugural dissertation, Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main.Google Scholar
  9. Gallup International Research Institute (Ed.). (1978). Interview with humanity. Human needs and satisfactions: A global survey. Basel: Baloise Insurance Group.Google Scholar
  10. Gallup World Poll. (2010). 15 Dec 2011.
  11. Glatzer, W. (2011). Cross-national comparisons of quality of life in developed nations, including the impact of globalization. In K. Land (Ed.), Handbook of social indicators and quality of life research. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  12. Glatzer, W., & Gulyas, J. (2014). Wellbeing and illbeing: Names and naming. In Encyclopedia of quality of life research. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  13. Glatzer, W., & Zapf, W. (Eds.). (1984). Lebensqualität in der Bundesrepublik. Objektive Lebensbedingungen und subjektives Wohlbefinden. Frankfurt am Main/New York: Campus.Google Scholar
  14. Helliwell, J., Layard, R., Sachs, J. (Ed.). (2012). World happiness report. 2 Oct 2012.
  15. Meyer, T. J., Miller, M. L., Metzger, R. L., & Borkovec, T. D. (1990). Development and validation of the Penn State Worry Questionnaire. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 28(6), 487–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pompili, M. (2012). Suicide: A global perspective. E-book, RomeGoogle Scholar
  17. Schwartz, S. H., & Melech, G. (2000). National differences in micro and macro worry: Social, economic, and cultural explanations. In E. Diener & E. M. Suh (Eds.), Culture and subjective Wellbeing. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Tallis, F., Eysenck, M., & Mathews, A. (1992). A questionnaire for the measurement of nonpathological worry. Journal of Personal and Individual Differences, 13(2), 161–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Veenhoven, R. (2012). World database of happiness.
  20. Veroff, J., Douvan, E., & Kulka, R. A. (1981). The inner American: A self-portrait from 1957 to 1976. New York: Basic Books. Page in report 54.Google Scholar
  21. Warr, P. A. (1978). Study of psychological wellbeing. The British Journal of Psychology, 6, 111–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Word Value Survey Wave 5. (2005–2008).

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goethe-UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany

Personalised recommendations