English title: Predictors of well-being, happiness and health depending on social activity by gender and country: a comparative study

Author(s): Anu Laas - Eda Merisalu -

Language: Estonian

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2009


The aim of this paper is to analyse well-being, happiness and health in a light of social activity. Social activism is often analysed in the framework of social capital, based a trust in institutions and social activity (Putnam 2000). Glaeser et al (1999) confirmed that individuals who spend more time volunteering and have more close friends have better trustworthy behaviour, while a basis for belonging is built on trust. The data analysis tests welfare model (Having, Being and Loving) proposed by Allardt (1976). The findings of this study contribute to the research on civic activism in contemporary society. Data analysis shows a strong influence of social activism and socialising to happiness and health. As to take into account different history and socio-economic context of European countries, the lower ability for voluntary work and resources for socialising is in Eastern European countries. A feeling of closeness with people from neighbourhood has no gender specificity (except Austria, Finland and Spain). Political interests and activism do not matter for feeling closer to the people in local area, but ability to help others matters in the most of countries.

Conference name: Fifth Symposium of COST ACTION A34. Social Movements and Well-Being

Location: Amsterdam

Start date: Mar 4, 2009

Type: Paper

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