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The Distribution of Well-Being in Ireland

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Author Info

  • Liam Delaney

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Orla Doyle

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Kenneth McKenzie

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

  • Pat Wall

    (Geary Institute, University College Dublin & University College Dublin School of Public Health and Population Science)

Abstract

Objectives There is a substantial knowledge gap about the distribution of mental heath in community populations. The European Social Survey is particularly useful as it contains information on over 40,000 individuals, including 2,286 Irish adults. The objective of this study is to conduct a large scale statistical analysis to examine the distribution and determinants of mental well-being in a large representative sample of the Irish population. Method Analysis of the European Social Survey using robust multiple linear and non-linear regression techniques. The data-set contains WHO-5 scores and subjective well-being for a sample of 2,286 Irish people interviewed in their homes in 2005. Results Ireland has the second highest average WHO-5 score among the 22 countries in the European Social Survey. Multiple linear regression analysis across the distribution of WHO-5 reveals a well-being gradient largely related to education and social capital variables. A probit model examining the determinants of vulnerability to psychiatric morbidity reveals that a similar set of factors predict scores below the threshold point on the WHO-5 scale. Conclusions The results are consistent with marked differences in mental well-being across education levels and variables relating to social capital factors. Such indicators provide a useful index for policy-makers and researchers. However, much further work is needed to identify causal mechanisms generating observed differences in mental health across different socioeconomic groups.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/GearyWp200701.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200701.

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Length: 19 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200701

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Keywords: Psychological well-being; WHO-5;

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Cited by:
  1. Kevin Denny & Orla Doyle, 2006. "Measuring the Relationship between Voter Turnout and Health in Ireland," Working Papers 200611, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Liam Delaney & Pat Wall & Fearghal O'hAodha, 2007. "Social Capital & Self-Rated Health in the Republic of Ireland. Evidence from the European Social Survey," Working Papers 200707, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

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