The Relationship between Social Support and Subjective Well-Being across the Lifespan

Andreja Brajša-Žganec, Ljiljana Kaliterna-Lipovčan, Ivana Hanzec


The aim of this study was to examine how social support
measured as the subjective assessment of social support
adequacy given by family, friends or significant others contributes
to well-being (happiness, life satisfaction and domain satisfactions)
across the life span. The study was conducted on a representative
sample of the Croatian adult population (N = 1.000).
For the purpose of analyses the sample was divided into three
age groups: 18 to 40 years, 41 to 60 years, and 60+ years. The
results were analyzed by means of multiple group structural
equation modeling, which was performed separately for two
measures of subjective well-being (SWB – a general measure of
life satisfaction and happiness, PWI – domain satisfactions). The
results showed that in all three age groups, among three sources
of social support only the perceived social support from friends
was significantly related to both subjective well-being measures.
Participants who perceived adequate social support from friends
expressed higher levels of subjective well-being.


social support; subjective well-being; age differences

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Print ISSN 1330-0288 | Online ISSN 1848-6096