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Special report : the wellbeing of Australians : groups with the highest and lowest wellbeing in Australia

Cummins, Robert, Walter, Jenny and Woerner, Jacqueline 2007, Special report : the wellbeing of Australians : groups with the highest and lowest wellbeing in Australia, Deakin University, Geelong, Vic..

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Title Special report : the wellbeing of Australians : groups with the highest and lowest wellbeing in Australia
Alternative title Wellbeing of Australians : groups with the highest and lowest wellbeing in Australia
Author(s) Cummins, Robert
Walter, Jenny
Woerner, Jacqueline
Publication date 2007
Series Australian Unity wellbeing index, survey 16.1 ; report 16.1
Total pages v, 80 p.
Publisher Deakin University
Place of Publication Geelong, Vic.
Keyword(s) Quality of life -- Australia
Household surveys -- Australia
Summary Overview and Aim
1. This report concerns an analysis of the cumulative data from 15 surveys using the Personal Wellbeing Index to measure Subjective Wellbeing. The total number of respondents is about 30,000 but not all data were available for all analyses due to changing variables between
surveys.
2. The aim of this analysis is to determine those sub-groups with the highest and the lowest wellbeing.
Method
3. The definition of sub-groups is through the demographic variables of Income, Gender, Age, Household Composition, Relationship Status and Employment Status. Index domains are also included. While not every combination of demographic variables has been tested, the total number of combinations analysed was 3,277.
4. Extreme group mean scores are defined as lying above 79 points and below 70 points. These values are at least five standard deviations beyond the total sample mean score and are, therefore, extreme outliers. The minimum number of responses that could form such a group is
one. Data are accumulated across surveys for corresponding groups.
Results
5. The initial search for the most extreme groups identified the 20 highest and the 20 lowest groups with a minimum N=10. These are termed the ‘Exclusive’ groups since they were based only on the previously identified extreme scores. In order to determine the true mean of each of these groups, a further analysis incorporated all respondents who met the definition of group membership. For example, an Exclusive group defined as [male, 76+ years] would contain only the accumulation of scores from individual surveys that met the extreme score criterion (<70 or >79). The Inclusive group included the scores from all survey respondents who matched the group definition of male, 76+ years.
6. The results revealed a dominance by the domains of the Personal Wellbeing Index. The extreme high groups were predicted by high scores on all domains except safety and relationships. The low groups were defined by low scores on all seven domains.
7. A further search for extreme groups was undertaken that was restricted to the demographic descriptors. The 20 highest and 20 lowest groups were identified based on a minimum cell content of N=10. The corresponding Inclusive group means were then calculated as before.
8. In order to increase the reliability of the final groups, a minimum cell content of N=20 cases was imposed.
9. Six extreme high groups were identified. These are dominated by high income and the presence of a partner. Five extreme low groups were identified. These are dominated by very low income, the absence of a partner, and unemployment.
Conclusions
10. The conclusions drawn from these analyses are as follows:
10.1 The central defining characteristics of people forming the extreme high wellbeing groups is high household income and living with a partner.
10.2 The central defining risk factors for people forming the extreme low wellbeing groups are very low household income, not living with a partner, and unemployment.
10.3 None of these five demographic characteristics are sufficient to define extreme wellbeing groups on their own. They all act in combinations of at least two risk factors together.
Notes March 2007
This is a joint publication of Deakin University, The Australian Centre on Quality of Life and Australian Unity
ISBN 9781741560794
Language eng
Field of Research 170113 Social and Community Psychology
HERDC Research category A5 Minor research monograph
Copyright notice ©2007, Deakin University and Australian Unity
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30010532

Document type: Book
Collection: School of Psychology
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