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Changes in Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being After a Severe Nationwide Disaster: The Case of the Great East Japan Earthquake

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  • Yukiko Uchida

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  • Yoshiaki Takahashi
  • Kentaro Kawahara

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a longitudinal survey (N = 10,744) that examined how the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 affected the hedonic and eudaimonic well-being of young people in Japan outside of the afflicted area. Our dataset consists of Japanese citizens in their 20 and 30s from all non-afflicted prefectures. We conducted two surveys on well-being, one before the earthquake (December 2010) and one after (March 2011). The results suggested that people who were thinking about the earthquake when they completed the second survey had slightly increased general well-being after the earthquake as compared to before, showing that reflecting on the earthquake had prompted them to reevaluate their lives and increased eudaimonia. However, they experienced temporary negative emotional reactions more frequently, which shows that their sympathy for those in the afflicted area decreased their hedonic well-being. After the earthquake, Japanese youth were likely to value social connectedness and ordinary life. Moreover, this mindset promoted prosocial behaviors such as making donations and volunteering. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Yukiko Uchida & Yoshiaki Takahashi & Kentaro Kawahara, 2014. "Changes in Hedonic and Eudaimonic Well-Being After a Severe Nationwide Disaster: The Case of the Great East Japan Earthquake," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 207-221, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:15:y:2014:i:1:p:207-221
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-013-9463-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nancy Morrow-Howell & Jim Hinterlong & Philip A. Rozario & Fengyan Tang, 2003. "Effects of Volunteering on the Well-Being of Older Adults," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 58(3), pages 137-145.
    2. Robert Metcalfe & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, "undated". "Destruction and distress: using a quasi-experiment to show the effects of the September 11 attacks on subjective well-being in the UK," Discussion Papers 09/10, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Carol Ryff & Burton Singer, 2008. "Know Thyself and Become What You Are: A Eudaimonic Approach to Psychological Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 13-39, January.
    4. Antonella Delle Fave & Ingrid Brdar & Teresa Freire & Dianne Vella-Brodrick & Marié Wissing, 2011. "The Eudaimonic and Hedonic Components of Happiness: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(2), pages 185-207, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John F. Helliwell & Haifang Huang & Shun Wang, 2016. "New Evidence on Trust and Well-being," NBER Working Papers 22450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane & Nattavudh Powdthavee, 2015. "Trust and Happiness: Comparative Study Before and After the Great East Japan Earthquake," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(3), pages 919-935, September.
    3. Eiji Yamamura, 2016. "Natural disasters and social capital formation: The impact of the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95, pages 143-164, March.
    4. repec:eee:japwor:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jan Goebel & Christian Krekel & Tim Tiefenbach & Nicolas Ziebarth, 2015. "How natural disasters can affect environmental concerns, risk aversion, and even politics: evidence from Fukushima and three European countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(4), pages 1137-1180, October.
    6. Yamamura, Eiji, 2015. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan, using data from 2008 to 2014," MPRA Paper 67076, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. SUGANO Saki, 2015. "The Well-Being of Elderly Survivors after Natural Disasters: Measuring the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake," Discussion papers 15069, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. Takuya Ishino & Akiko Kamesaka & Toshiya Murai & Masao Ogaki, "undated". "Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being," Working Papers e89, Tokyo Center for Economic Research.
    9. Eiji Yamamura, 2015. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on the body mass index of children in Japan 2010-2014," ISER Discussion Paper 0941, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    10. John F. Helliwell & Lara B. Aknin & Hugh Shiplett & Haifang Huang & Shun Wang, 2017. "Social Capital and Prosocial Behaviour as Sources of Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 23761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Yamamura, Eiji, 2016. "Impact of the Fukushima nuclear accident on obesity of children in Japan (2008–2014)," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 110-121.
    12. Takuya Ishino & Akiko Kamesaka & Toshiya Murai & Masao Ogaki, 2014. "Effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake on Subjective Well-Being," Keio-IES Discussion Paper Series 2014-010, Institute for Economics Studies, Keio University.
    13. Eiji Yamamura & Yoshiro Tsutsui & Chisako Yamane & Shoko Yamane, 2014. "Effect of major disasters on geographical mobility intentions: the case of the Fukushima nuclear accident," ISER Discussion Paper 0903, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    14. Saki Sugano, 2016. "The Well-Being of Elderly Survivors after Natural Disasters: Measuring the Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 211-229, June.
    15. Tiefenbach, Tim & Kohlbacher, Florian, 2015. "Disasters, donations, and tax law changes: Disentangling effects on subjective well-being by exploiting a natural experiment," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 94-112.

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