Handbook of Quality of Life Research


Handbook of Quality of Life Research

Place and Space Perspectives

9781789908787 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Robert W. Marans, Research Professor Emeritus, Institute for Social Research and Professor Emeritus of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan, US, Robert J. Stimson, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of Queensland, and Honorary Professorial Fellow of Geography, University of Melbourne, Australia and Noah J. Webster, Associate Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, US
Publication Date: 2024 ISBN: 978 1 78990 878 7 Extent: 442 pp
This erudite Handbook demonstrates how multiple approaches have been used to conceptualize, measure, and model the complex issue of quality of life (QOL) and individual well-being, emphasizing place and space as critical factors in a meaningful QOL experience among diverse populations including special attention given to older adults.

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This erudite Handbook demonstrates how multiple approaches have been used to conceptualize, measure, and model the complex issue of quality of life (QOL) and individual well-being, emphasizing place and space as critical factors in a meaningful QOL experience.

The Handbook of Quality of Life Research brings together an international array of esteemed academics who examine QOL through a series of case studies and empirical investigations, covering a range of environmental settings from rural and metropolitan regions to neighbourhoods and home environments to hospitals. Chapters use a range of methodologies and theoretical perspectives to investigate QOL in relation to place and space and their unique impacts on people. In light of the current threat posed by the climate crisis and changing worldwide demographic trends, the Handbook explores issues of migration, the impact of urbanization, the effect of natural environments and environmental degradation on QOL, and a sub-section dedicated to the importance of place for the well-being of older adults.

Offering critical methodological insight into the complex and elusive concept of QOL, this book will be crucial reading for students and scholars of urban geography, social and cultural geography, sociology and sociological theory, and environmental psychology. Also, given presentation of timely empirical findings, it will be an invaluable read for urban and regional planners.

Critical Acclaim
‘Quality of life can be quite the nebulous subject of study. Despite this, Marans, Stimson and Webster present a cogent and insightful foray into the topic from much-needed place-based perspectives along with measurement and applications approaches. Prediction - this book will quickly become a definitive resource for quality-of-life studies!’
– Rhonda Phillips, former president of the International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies

‘As the environment on Earth changes around us, so too does the experience of community living. And the most salient indicator of whether our species will continue to flourish is measured life quality. In this most timely volume, esteemed authors provide invaluable information and advice regarding community well-being and change.’
– Robert A. Cummins, Deakin University, Australia

‘This edited book by Marans, Stimson, and Webster is a great Handbook involving a set of chapters written by experts in a variety of disciplines and fields of study. The focus of the Handbook is quality of life from a place and space perspective. The Handbook addresses issues of community well-being that can assist scholars in advancing the research agenda and practitioners in formulating more effective policies and designing urban plans to enhance the quality of life of community residents. As such, I believe that this Handbook is a treasure for both scholars and policy makers, and I recommend it highly.’
– M. Joseph Sirgy, Virginia Tech, US, and North West University, South Africa

‘This is an important collection of quality of life/well-being studies edited and written by pioneers and leaders in the contemporary research field. Special attention is given to the relatively under-studied significance of geographic place and space, with complexity of issues, methods, theories and findings thoroughly explained in user-friendly terms. Policy makers, planners and researchers in the field will find this volume a welcome aid to their work.’
– Alex C. Michalos, editor of the Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research
Contributors include: Susana Alves, Toni C. Antonucci, Liat Ayalon, Dimitris Ballas, Hannah Badland, Anthony Barnett, Marino Bonaiuto, Kathrin Büter, Rodrigo F. Cantarero, Ester Cerin, Si Chen, Wei Cheng, Valeria Chiozza, Jennifer Day, Christopher D. Ellis, Greg Foliente, Jimmy Fung, Robert Gifford, Sara Hadavi, Julia Kirch, Christine Kormos, Byoung-Suk Kweon, Poh-Chin La,i Ruby S. Y. Lee, Rosemary Leonard, Chien-Tat Low, Christine A. Mair, Robert W. Marans, Gesine Marquardt, Rod McCrea, Amanda J. McIntyre, Wi-Kit Ming, Esteban Montenegro-Montenegro, Kostas Mouratidis, Gordon F. Mulligan, Chris Pettit, James J. Potter, Jessica Rourke, Leila Scannell, Robert J. Stimson, Piret Veeroja, Helga von Breymann, Andrea Walton, Noah J. Webster, Hans-Werner Wahl, Paulina Pui-Yun Wong, Casper J. P. Zhang, Thanasis Ziogas


Preface xix

1 Complexity and diversity of quality of life-related research 2
Robert J. Stimson, Robert W. Marans and Noah J. Webster
2 Overview of approaches to measurement and empirical analysis of
quality of life and well-being 13
Robert J. Stimson, Robert W. Marans and Noah J. Webster
3 Investigating happiness: a socio-spatial inequalities perspective 26
Thanasis Ziogas and Dimitris Ballas
4 Understanding environmental impacts on people’s quality of life via
environmental psychology: three basic principles 44
Marino Bonaiuto and Valeria Chiozza

5 Objective approaches to investigating and measuring quality of life and
well-being 60
Robert J. Stimson
6 Investigating subjective quality of life: using survey research methods 78
Robert J. Stimson and Robert W. Marans
7 Integrating subjective and objective measures in quality of life research 93
Robert J. Stimson, Rod McCrea, Robert W. Marans and Noah J. Webster
8 Assessing alternative air quality measures and their impact on quality of
life: the case of Hong Kong 110
Poh-Chin Lai, Chien-Tat Low, Si Chen, Robert Stimson, Ester Cerin, Wei
Cheng, Jimmy Fung and Paulina Pui-Yun Wong
9 How neighbourhood social and built environments influence social
interactions: differences between life stages 127
Piret Veeroja, Greg Foliente, Rod McCrea, Hannah Badland, Chris Pettit and
Jennifer Day

10 Quality of life in large-scale, big-city urban environments: a world perspective 146
Robert W. Marans and Robert J. Stimson
11 Pathways from compact city to subjective well-being: evidence from
Oslo, Norway 164
Kostas Mouratidis
12 The role of neighbourhoods in quality of life: toward a comprehensive model 181
Robert Gifford, Leila Scannell, Christine Kormos, Jessica Rourke and
Amanda J. McIntyre
13 Exploring quality of life in new towns: an overview 198
Robert W. Marans and Noah J. Webster
14 The influence of urban layout on perceived residential quality in
a Costa Rican suburb 213
Helga von-Breymann and Esteban Montenegro-Montenegro

15 Quality of life in small towns: a mid-American case study 229
Rodrigo F. Cantarero and James J. Potter
16 Subjective community well-being and resilience in a rural region
experiencing rapid change 243
Rod McCrea, Rosemary Leonard and Andrea Walton
17 Quality of life, amenities and recent migration across the largest US
metropolitan areas 257
Gordon F. Mulligan

18 Residential neighbourhoods, nearby nature and quality of life 274
Sara Hadavi
19 Effects of environmental degradation on neighbourhood satisfaction
and quality of life 293
Byoung-Suk Kweon and Christopher D. Ellis
20 Nature-based solutions and quality of life: protecting, restoring and
building human capacities 307
Marino Bonaiuto and Susana Alves

21 The importance of place-making for quality of life in later life:
contrasting home and hospital environments 322
Hans-Werner Wahl, Julia Kirch, Kathrin Büter and Gesine Marquardt
22 Quality of life of older adults in continuing care retirement communities 338
Liat Ayalon
23 How urban environments affect quality of life in older
socio-demographic groups: the role of physical activity behaviour 354
Casper J.P. Zhang, Anthony Barnett, Wai-Kit Ming, Poh-Chin Lai, Ruby S.Y.
Lee and Ester Cerin
24 Neighbourhood characteristics linked to quality of life among
vulnerable older adults 371
Noah J. Webster and Toni C. Antonucci
25 Conceptualising contextual variation in older adults’ quality of life
cross-nationally: challenges and opportunities 386
Christine A. Mair

26 Overview and future directions 402
Robert W. Marans, Robert J. Stimson and Noah J. Webster
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