English title: Explaining Low Subjective Well-Being of Persons with Disabilities in Europe: The Impact of Disability, Personal Resources, Participation and Socio-Economic Status
Author(s): Cretien van Campen - Marcus Maria van Santvoort -
Type: Journal article
Persons with chronic disabilities report the lowest subjective well-being (SWB) in many countries. The gap in SWB compared with the non-disabled population is smaller in some countries than in others. Data from the European Social Survey (2007) were analysed in order to: 1) describe the inequality in SWB in 21 European countries; and 2) identify the main determinants of this inequality in SWB. Data on a range of topics of a total of 40,605 persons, including 2,846 persons with serious chronic disabilities, were used of the European Social Survey . SWB was measured using multi-item scales for ‘emotional well-being’ and ‘satisfying life’. Variables on disability, socio-demographics (age, gender, household composition), socio-economic status (level of education, net household income), participation (paid work, voluntary work, social contacts), and personal resources (Supportive relationships, Social cohesion, Vitality, Optimism, Resilience, Perceived autonomy, Perceived accomplishment, Perceived capacity, Perceived engagement, Perceived meaning & purpose) were entered stepwise in regression models of SWB. The results show that persons with disabilities are in a disadvantaged position in terms of SWB in all countries. In the Northern countries, the gaps between disabled and non-disabled persons are smaller than in Eastern European countries. In all countries inequality in SWB is explained mostly by personal resources and not by the level of disability, socio-economic status or level of participation in work. The implications of these findings for policy and practice (e.g. social cohesion and physical exercise programs) are discussed.
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Journal: Social Indicators Research