Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Social Well-Being

  • Elvira CicognaniEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_2797


Social well-being has been identified by the World Health Organization [WHO] (1948) as a central component of individuals’ overall health. The concept has been conceptualized and operationalized in many different ways.

Within economic disciplines, studies have initially operationalized social well-being using objective criteria such as gross domestic product (GDP) that reflects the relative prosperity of communities and societies; more recently, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] (2011) proposed additional criteria, besides macroeconomic statistics, to better measure individuals’ perceptions of well-being and progress. Research within social sciences has operationalized social well-being in terms of behaviors that reflect community and organizational participation, community or group membership, or social capital and social cohesion (Andrews & Withey, 1976; Coleman, 1988; Putnam, 2000).Within psychology, the focus has been on individual-level...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly