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Varna Medical Forum

HEALTH AND SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING THROUGH THE EYES OF YOUNG PEOPLE

S. Popova, V. Hasanova, S. Gancheva

Abstract


The objective of this communication is to investigate the perceptions of health and subjective well-being by young people in contemporary Bulgarian society. A heterogeneous sample of young people was studied (n=100). The following indicators were considered: age (19-30 years), gender (50% male/50% female), employment (53% students/47% employed), education (60% secondary/40% higher), and familial status (74% single/26% married). A questionnaire containing 22 questions, of which 4 open and requiring the definition of the terms of ‘health‘ and ‘happiness` as well as indication of the factors associated with them was used. Alternative, graphical and correlation analyses were applied. Forty percent of the respondents associated health with the ‘absence of disease`, 38% - with the ‘greatest happiness` and the rest 22% - with the ‘resource for accomplishing your goals`. In 78% of the respondents the concepts of health and happiness (a component of subjective well-being) overlapped. Life satisfaction was related to personal achievements in 66% while happiness was more common thus summarizing emotional category refracted through individual paradigms, needs and circumstances of the individual. For young people, health is a fully functioning and self-realization rather than an absence of a disease, i. e. holistic health - physical, mental, social and spiritual, which, according to 78% of the respondents, is equivalent to happiness. For 84% of the respondents, happiness and life satisfaction are not identical concepts, hence subjective well-being should be considered a two-component construct



Keywords

health, happiness, youth perceptions, inquiry


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