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Subjective well-being of Beijing taxi drivers
journal contributionposted on 2009-10-21, 00:00 authored by Ingrid NielsenIngrid Nielsen, O Paritski, R Smyth
This study investigates subjective well-being among a sample of Beijing taxi drivers in the lead up to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games using the Personal Wellbeing Index (PWI). The specific aims of this study are (a) investigate the psychometric properties of the PWI in this unique population; (b) ascertain whether Beijing taxi drivers are satisfied with their lives; and (c) examine whether the responses to the PWI from participants falls within the narrow range predicted by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis'. The PWI demonstrated good psychometric properties and was consistent with previous studies for Western and non-Western samples. The data revealed a moderate level of subjective well-being (PWI score = 61.1). While Beijing taxi drivers work long hours for low wages, the PWI was nonetheless within the normative range predicted for Chinese societies by the 'Theory of Subjective Wellbeing Homeostasis'. The results suggest that the homeostatic mechanism is fairly resilient, even when the individual leads relatively a hard life based on objective indicators. Specifically, for Beijing taxi drivers, it appears that external, buffers such as personal relationships and feeling part of the community, act to assist the homeostatic system. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.