Present-day society has produced changes in family living patterns and conditions and this has resulted in new stressors and health problems. Most children and adolescents with chronic diseases and disabilities, who were previously cared for at hospitals and institutions for long periods, are now integrated in society and they are expected to live a normal life in the conditions that currently prevail. The number of young people with long-term illnesses/disability has increased worldwide during the last decades. There is lack of studies relating to the way young people regard their daily lives and factors that are important for their well-being. The aim of this study was to describe the meaning of feeling good in daily life in adolescents living with a long-term illness or disability. Eight boys and seven girls, aged between 12 and 19 years, with different conditions of long-term illness or disability, participated in the study. Tape-recorded interviews were conducted between the years 2003-2004 and the data were analysed using content analysis. The results revealed that the adolescents with long-term illness generally experienced well-being like everybody else. Three themes were found to be important in order to feel good: 'a feeling of acceptance of illness/disability as a natural part of life', 'a feeling of support' and 'a feeling of personal growth'. This study concludes that adolescents with long-term illness or disabilities experience well-being when they are allowed to prepare for living a normal life integrated in society.
To investigate whether there are differences in participation in leisure activities between children with and without disabilities in Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands and how much personal and environmental factors explain leisure performance.
In a cross-sectional analytic design, the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment, CAPE, was performed with 278 children with disabilities and 599 children without disabilities aged 6-17 years. A one-way between-groups ANOVA explored the differences in participation between the countries. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis assessed if age, gender, educational level, living area and country of residence explained the variance in participation.
Scandinavian children with disabilities participated in more activities with higher frequency compared to Dutch children. The strongest predictor was country of residence. For children without disabilities, differences existed in informal activities, the strongest predictor was gender.
Differences in school- and support systems between the countries seem to influence patterns of participation, affecting children with disabilities most.
The paper discusses cosmetic surgery in the Finnish cultural context. It is based on interviews with 22 women and men who underwent surgical procedures, 12 plastic surgeons, and two plastic surgery consultants. The article shows that surgery consumers over 55 years old discuss cosmetic surgery as an investment in a better quality of life. Consumers use cosmetic surgery to resist ageist stereotypes of old people and as compensation for tough life experiences which are believed to cause premature ageing. Although aimed at combatting negative attitudes towards old people, such efforts reproduce an ageist ideology by concealing the very qualities (e.g. wrinkles) associated with ageing. Finally, consumers use cosmetic surgery to correct perceived Finnish physical pathologies, such as heavy foreheads, sagging eyelids, and 'potato' noses, which make them seem less white, sadder, and older than they are. The traditional melancholic Finnish body is thus transformed via surgery to represent openness and positiveness - two qualities strongly associated with both youth and the Americanised ideal as it is touted in Finland. The article demonstrates that consumers use cosmetic surgery to transform both physical and emotional states and that cosmetic surgery must be understood as part of national and global cultural processes.
The concept of health contains aspects of social and mental well-being and not just the absence of disease. The concept of well-being is sometimes used interchangeably with the term happiness, although focus has been on other aspects as well. Here we explore associations between happiness and experience of stress at school, personal and social factors among 887 Norwegian school adolescents participating in a World Health Organization project on health-promoting schools. Happiness was measured by a one item question (ordered responses 1-4). The psychosocial factors were represented by an average score of 3-12 items. Odds ratios of feeling very/quite happy were calculated in multiple logistic regression analyses. An increasing degree of stress experience reduced the feeling of happiness significantly. Furthermore, increasing levels of general self-efficacy increased the odds of feeling happy, whereas the more specific measure of school self-efficacy showed no independent effect. Social support from teachers also enhanced happiness significantly. A less consistent pattern was found for support from peers, but the most happy pupils experienced significantly more support than pupils who reported being unhappy. No significant trend was found with decision control. We also explored associations between happiness and psychosomatic symptoms. Pupils feeling unhappy reported a particular symptom more often and they also had the highest mean number of reported symptoms. To evaluate whether these health indicators represent different dimensions of health, a comparison of strength of associations with common risk factors is made. Implications for health promotion practice are discussed.
It has been suggested that biological markers are associated with human happiness. We contribute to the empirical literature by examining the independent association between various aspects of biometric wellbeing measured in childhood and happiness in adulthood. Using Young Finns Study data (n = 1905) and nationally representative linked data we examine whether eight biomarkers measured in childhood (1980) are associated with happiness in adulthood (2001). Using linked data we account for a very rich set of confounders including age, sex, body size, family background, nutritional intake, physical activity, income, education and labour market experiences. We find that there is a negative relationship between triglycerides and subjective well-being but it is both gender- and age-specific and the relationship does not prevail using the later measurements (1983/1986) on triglycerides. In summary, we conclude that none of the eight biomarkers measured in childhood predict happiness robustly in adulthood.
Cites: Int J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec;37(6):1220-618263651
Using data from an Icelandic health-and-lifestyle survey carried out in 2007, 2009, and 2012, we employ a compensating income variation (CIV) approach to estimate the monetary value sufficient to compensate individuals for the presence of various sub-optimal health conditions. This method is inexpensive and easy on subjects and has been applied to several desiderata that do not have revealed market prices. The CIV literature is, however, still limited in its application to health and thus information about its suitability is limited. With the aim of shedding light on the method´s appropriateness we thus provide a broad-view analysis including a spectrum of diseases and conditions that can be held up against more traditionally used methods. CIV for physical conditions vary greatly, but paralysis, fibromyalgia, chronic back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, urinary incontinence, severe headache and thyroid disease were among those consistently associated with substantial well-being reductions. Mental-health results using this method should be read with caution. The societal value of health interventions is multidimensional, including for example increased productivity in the population. However, one of the main positive aspects of increased health is undoubtedly the increased well-being of the treated subjects. Such quality-of-life effects should thus preferably be taken into account. For this reason, information on the value individuals place on recovery from various sub-optimal health conditions is useful when it comes to prioritizing scarce capital in the health sector. It is therefore vital to estimate the importance individuals place on various health states and hold them up against each other. Furthermore, this paper has scientific value as it sheds light on attributes of a potentially useful method in health evaluations.
This study examined the longitudinal relationships between loneliness, physical activity, and mortality in older adults. This study also tested the implication of Fredrickson's Broaden and Build Theory (1998, 2001) that positive emotions (happiness) might serve to "undo" the detrimental effects of negative emotions (loneliness).
Participants (n = 228; 62% female; aged 77-96 years) took part in the Aging in Manitoba Study (2001) and the Successful Aging Study (2003). Mortality information was assessed in 2008.
Regression analyses showed that loneliness longitudinally predicted perceived physical activity and mortality. Moreover, in support of Fredrickson's theory, happiness moderated these relationships, suggesting that happiness had the power to "undo" the detrimental effects of loneliness on activity and mortality.
Loneliness is an independent risk factor for mortality and reduced physical activity among older adults; however, being happy may offset the negative consequences of being lonely. Future interventions could target positive emotions and loneliness as a way of ultimately enhancing the lifespan and wellspan of older adults.
The relation between leisure and well-being, including happiness and self-concept, was examined in 375 children aged 8-12 years. Active leisure (e.g. physical activity) was positively correlated with well-being. Passive leisure (e.g. television and video games) was negatively correlated with well-being. Aspects of active leisure (e.g. the importance of sport to the child and how sports made the child feel) as judged by both parents and children accounted for unique variance in children's wellbeing; passive leisure did not. Similar to previous research on adolescents and adults, active leisure activities were related to children's well-being.