Understanding Well-Being in Multi-Levels: A review

E. C. W. Ng, A. T. Fisher


Well-being is not only an emerging research agenda, but also a critical issue concerning the individual as well as the societal development, because how the issue is viewed has a huge theoretical as well as practical, even policy, implication. In academic, while some argue that well-being is in the subjective perception of one’s life or psychological functioning, others argue that well-being is in the objective conditions and the broader environment. This paper, drawing on psychology tradition, tries to go beyond the dichotomy of well-being as either an individual attribute or external conditions. Instead, this article acknowledges the multi-levels of well-being are closely tied and should be taken into accounts when well-being is concerned. We will provide a brief review of the two major approaches – subjective well-being and quality of life – of well-being before the multi-level approach is introduced. The strength and challenges of the multilevel approach will be discussed.


well-being; subjective well-being (SWB); positive psychology; quality of life (QOL); multi-level approach

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5195/hcs.2013.142


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