Well-being is recognized as a fundamental human goal and a universal human aspiration. However, some cross-country studies suggest that the desirability of the most often studied concept of well-being—personal life satisfaction—varies across countries, and we know little about the desirability of other types of well-being. Extending this novel area of research, we argue that focusing on the family (as compared to the individual) as the subject of well-being may be another important distinction in how well-being is conceptualized and valued. With data collected in four countries that tend to occupy different positions in rankings of personal life satisfaction (i.e., Canada, Colombia, Japan, and Poland), we document that, irrespective of cultural context, family well-being is valued over personal well-being. These findings suggest that policy makers and scientists may need to pay more attention to family well-being than they currently do.

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Current Psychology
Carleton University Happiness Lab

Krys, K. (Kuba), Capaldi, C.A. (Colin A.), Zelenski, J, Park, J. (Joonha), Nader, M. (Martin), Kocimska-Zych, A. (Agata), … Uchida, Y. (Yukiko). (2019). Family well-being is valued more than personal well-being: A four-country study. Current Psychology. doi:10.1007/s12144-019-00249-2