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Measuring life balance through discrepancy theories and subjective well-being

posted on 2009-01-01, 00:00 authored by Robert CumminsRobert Cummins
The concept of life balance implies that there is some optimal time allocation between the various forms o(human activity we engage in each day. So life balance can be measured by the size of the discrepancy between how we should and how we do allocate our time.
If someone chooses to spend all of their discretionary time writing poetry, is this a balanced life? Many people would say no. They would judge such a life to be imbalanced because life is full of competing demands, and writing poetry all day means that other aspects of life are neglected.
But is this just an imposed value judgment, or does the concept of a balanced life have deeper meaning? The answer must lie with whatever we use to measure the outcome. Any conclusion that balance is better than imbalance must be based on empirical evidence. So, what should be measured?


Title of book

Life balance : multidisciplinary theories and research

Chapter number



73 - 93


Slack Inc and AOTA Press

Place of publication

Thorofare, N.J. and Bethesda, MD






Contents: Life balance : evolving the concept / Charles H. Christiansen ... [et al.] -- Life balance : the meaning and the menace in a metaphor / Jerome E. Bickenbach and Thomas A. Glass -- Problematizing life balance : difference, diversity, and disadvantage / Gail Elizabeth Whiteford -- Optimal lifestyle-mix : an inductive approach / Ruut Veenhoven -- Multiple roles and life balance : an intellectual journey / Stephen Marks -- Defining and validating measures of life balance : suggestions -- A new measure, and some preliminary results / Kennon M. Sheldon -- Measuring life balance through discrepancy theories and subjective well-being / Robert A. Cummins -- Time use and balance / Andrew S. Harvey and Jerome Singleton -- Aspects of daily occupations that promote life balance among women in Sweden / Lena-Karin Erlandsson and Carita Håkansson -- Importance of experiential challenges in a balanced life : micro- and macro-perspectives / Dennis Persson and Hans Jonsson -- Theoretical model of lifestyle balance and imbalance / Kathleen Matuska and Charles H. Christiansen -- Another perspective on life balance : living in integrity with values / Wendy Pentland and Mary Ann McColl -- The 'hurried' child : myth vs. reality / Sandra L. Hofferth, David A. Kinney, and Janet S. Dunn -- Time use imbalance: developmental and emotional costs / Jiri Zuzanek -- Emotional regulation, processing, and recovery after acquired brain injury : contributors to life balance / Beatriz C. Abreu ... [et al.] -- Professional coaching for life balance / Amy Heinz and Wendy Pentland -- Research directions for advancing the study of life balance and health / Catherine Backman and Dana Anaby.

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter; B Book chapter

Copyright notice

2009, Slack Inc and AOTA Press




K Matuska, C Christiansen, H Polatajko, J Davis

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