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

  • Yukiko Uchida

    ()

  • Yoshiaki Takahashi
  • Kentaro Kawahara
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    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

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10902-013-9463-6
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2014)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 207-221

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:15:y:2014:i:1:p:207-221
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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 S137-S145.
    2. Robert Metcalfe & Nattavudh Powdthavee & Paul Dolan, . "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. Richard M. Ryan & Veronika Huta & Edward Deci, 2008. "Living well: a self-determination theory perspective on eudaimonia," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 139-170, January.
    5. Antonella Delle Fave & Ingrid Brdar & Teresa Freire & Dianne Vella-Brodrick & MariƩ Wissing, 2011. "The Eudaimonic and Hedonic Components of Happiness: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 100(2), pages 185-207, January.
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