What are the strongest predictors of subjective mental wellbeing?

Research shows that the quality of our human relationships – above all with family and loved ones, but also with colleagues and in our local community – is the key external factor which affects happiness.
[We already know, from ONS data and from previous publications that personal wellbeing varies by place and that the individual questions that make up ONS’s personal wellbeing scale are also place-based.Our guest blog this week is from Eoin McElroy at the University of Leicester, whose wellbeing network analysis from the Communities of Place Evidence Programme, highlights what matters for wellbeing and the complex relationships that exist between individual, community and place. We found that individual characteristics are the strongest predictors of subjective mental wellbeing. In this analysis, subjective financial difficulty and physical health had the strongest connections with overall wellbeing, represented in the composite Short WEMWBS score: Strongest was a negative association between perceived financial difficulty and the item ‘I’ve been feeling relaxed’.Social support and ‘I’ve been feeling close to other people’ was also notably strong. At a national level we know that having someone to rely on in times of trouble is the second biggest explainer of wellbeing between high and low wellbeing countries.  Read more Share this with your networks:

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