The challenge of defining wellbeing
MetadataShow full item record
Wellbeing is a growing area of research, yet the question of how it should be defined remains unanswered. This multi-disciplinary review explores past attempts to define wellbeing and provides an overview of the main theoretical perspectives, from the work of Aristotle to the present day. The article argues that many attempts at expressing its nature have focused purely on dimensions of wellbeing, rather than on definition. Among these theoretical perspectives, we highlight the pertinence of dynamic equilibrium theory of wellbeing (Headey & Wearing, 1989), the effect of life challenges on homeostasis (Cummins, 2010) and the lifespan model of development (Hendry & Kloep, 2002). Consequently, we conclude that it would be appropriate for a new definition of wellbeing to centre on a state of equilibrium or balance that can be affected by life events or challenges. The article closes by proposing this new definition, which we believe to be simple, universal in application, optimistic and a basis for measurement. This definition conveys the multi-faceted nature of wellbeing and can help individuals and policy makers move forward in their understanding of this popular term.
Dodge, R., Daly, A.P., Huyton, J. and Sanders, L.D. (2012) 'The challenge of defining wellbeing', International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3)
This article was published in International Journal of Wellbeing in 2012, available open access at http://www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org/index.php/ijow/article/view/89
- Education Research 
Showing items related by title, author, subject and abstract.
Matthews, Nic; Kilgour, Lindsey; Christian, Polly; Mori, Kate; Hill, Denise M. (SAGE Journals, 2015-09-01)The well-being of young people is of considerable concern with many initiatives targeting the health behaviors of this population. Educators are among the professional groups being challenged to understand, evidence, and ...
Whitecross, Elliot (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2015)Mental health and well-being is a topic of increasing interest, but within the field of sports coaching empirical data is rare. The present study aimed to provide insight into the levels of well-being and the prevalence ...
Kukuczka, Bartlomiej (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2014)BACKGROUND: Studies that demonstrate ways to reduce occupational stress and its negative impact on health and well-being are few and limited. The aim of this study was to add to the research by investigating the relationship ...