Individual quality of life: can it be accounted for by psychological or subjective well-being?

There is ongoing discussion in the scientific literature about the need for a more theoretical foundation to underpin quality of life (QoL) measurement. This paper applied Keyes at al.’s (2002) model of well-being as a framework to assess whether respondents (n=136 students) focus on elements of subjective well-being (SWB), such as satisfaction and happiness, or on elements of psychological well-being (PWB), such as meaning and personal growth, when making individual QoL (IQoL) judgments using the Schedue of the Evaluation of Individual Quality of Life (SEIQoL). The Keyes et al’s model was confirmed and explained 41% of the variance in SEIQoL scores. Both SWB and PWB were correlated with the SEIQoL Index Score and SWB was found to be an important mediating variable in the relationship between PWB and SEIQoL. When analyzing different well-being combinations, respondents with high SWB/high PWB had significantly higher SEIQoL scores than did those with low SWB/low PWB. Respondents with high PWB/high SWB had higher SEIQoL scores than did those with high PWB/low SWB. Longitudinal studies in different patient groups are needed to explore the dynamic relationship between IQoL and well-being. Further investigation of the relationship between PWB and SWB with other instruments purporting to measure QoL would contribute to an enhanced understanding of the underlying nature of QoL.