Wellbeing – Conceptual Background and Research Practices

Anna Maria Dluzewska


The term wellbeing was introduced with the Gross National Product concept (understood as welfare) and then with the Bruntland Commission Statement, together with the concept of sustainable development. It gained momentum after the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2003, 2005), which opened a new field for interdisciplinary projects. The MEA concept means linking wellbeing to ecosystem services and to sustainable development, looking upon them as inextricable elements of one global process, which are necessary to ensure "our common future". Although the term wellbeing is used very frequently in research and literature, there is a lot of confusion about the content of its meaning. It is sometimes understood in purely economic terms, based on the MEA (2005) definition, from a medical/health point of view or in the socio-psychological way – as the fulfilment of needs or happiness. The article above is an attempt to present the main issues of conceptual background and research practices for wellbeing. The author begins with a conceptual background moving on to the research of wellbeing. The last part of the article gives an overview of participant disciplines (their methodologies and perspectives), the main research topics, and finally – the main gaps in contemporary research and challenges for future ones.


wellbeing; subjective wellbeing; methodologies; research practice

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