Subjective well-being and physical health: a narrative literature review with suggestions for future research.

A. Zautra, A. Hempel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations


In this article the authors review the findings of eighty-one studies that have tested the relationship between health status and subjective well-being. Support was found for an association between health and well-being, although the source and extent of that relationship could not be clearly delineated given the numerous measurement problems and methodological inconsistencies found among the studies. Objective indices of health tended to have lower correlations with subjective well-being than with self-reports suggesting that various report biases may account for some, but probably not all, of the relationships obtained. Problems in study design and health measurement are also noted. An outline of the major competing hypotheses is presented that would explain the health-well-being association to guide future research and call for more direct study of psychological processes affected by changes in health in future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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