Quality of Life: Factors Determining its Measurement Complexity

Violeta Pukeliene, Viktorija Starkauskiene

Abstract


Measuring ąuality of life is currently at the forefront of the various fields of science. In spite of a great interest in ąuality of life and many attempts to measure it, there is no method of ąuality of life measurement, which is grounded methodologically and accepted generally. Quality of life remains a contested concept, which is measured in different ways: analyzing one or several factors of ąuality of life (material well-being and GDP per person), using objective and subjective dimensions, creating composite indices.Following works and studies of scientists (Cummins, 1996; Diener & Suh, 1997, 1999; Easterlin, 1974, 1995, 2001; Hagerty et al, 2001; Layard, 2005, 2007; Veenhoven, 2000, 2005, 2009), who have analyzed quality of life and its measurement, the present article examines factors determining ąuality of life and complexity of their measurement. The article raises ąuestions for discussion: what factors are involved in ąuality of life? How do they determine the ąuality of life in a particular country? Furthermore, on the basis of theoretical and empirical studies of ąuality of life, insights into opportunities for the development and implementation of ąuality of life studies are presented.A special focus of the present article is on complexity of ąuality of life measurement, which is primarily dependent of the levels and kinds of ąuality of life identified in the first part of the article. If studies of ąuality of life are conducted without having first identified its levels and kinds, this reduces validity and reliability of the results.Factors of ąuality of life and theirgroups arepresented in the second part. It is important to note that in the scientific literature only premises for the identification and systematization of factors of ąuality of life and for analyzing their interrelationships are mentioned, while a wide range of ąuality of life factors and their different classifications only create a great confusion in ąuality of life research. Theoretical studies of ąuality of life measurement indicate that the analysis of one or several factors of ąuality of life fails to do justice to the topic of quality of life measurement. Measurement of quality of life reąuires systemic approach involving identification of factors of ąuality of life and determination of their interrelationships.Finally, on the basis of theoretical studies of ąuality of life and empirical research in this field, factors of ąuality of life are identified, categorized, and united in a single model. In the model of measurement of ąuality of life two environments of ąuality of life are identified - external and internal environment of quality of life. They in turn are divided into four groups of factors, including natural, political, social and economic environments as well as physical, personal developmental, social and material well-beings, which constitute the basis of the theoretical model for measurement of quality of life.The authors of the article believe that the concepts involving multiple criteria, which are determined by several groups of factors, different factors and indicators reflecting them, are best measured by means of indexes.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5755/j01.ee.22.2.311


Keywords


quality of life; livability of environment; individual; societal quality of life, objective, subjective quality of life, factors of quality of life, measurement of quality of life

Full Text: PDF

Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839