Study provides snapshot of Perth happiness

November 4, 2013
Study provides snapshot of Perth happiness

New research findings from Murdoch University are providing a glimpse into how the people in Perth are feeling about their lives.

PhD candidate Jane Genovese said results from 440 online surveys and 30 personal interviews have provided a snapshot of modern life in the hectic city.

"While similar studies of social wellbeing have been done elsewhere in Australia, this is the first to look at Western Australia," she said.

"We wanted to get an accurate and broad look at people's lives, which is why we designed a robust survey of 150 questions and put it on-line for everyone who wanted to provide input to contribute."

Key findings include:

•50.3 per cent of people say the demands of everyday life get them down;
•43.8 per cent say maintaining close relationships has been difficult and frustrating for them;
•36.3 per cent often feel lonely because they have few close friends with whom to share their concerns;
•59.8 per cent feel worried about what others think of them;
•33.9 per cent feel people they know have gotten more out of life than they have;
•36.5 per cent do not have a good sense of what they are trying to accomplish in life;

Surprisingly, while 87.4 per cent of people felt they were in charge of their lives, 59.8 per cent felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities and 62 per cent agreed that there were not enough minutes in the day.

"It seems like a paradox that 90 per cent of people felt in charge of their situation in life and yet 60 per cent felt overwhelmed by their responsibilities," Ms Genovese said.

"It suggests that people are knowingly making decisions to take on too much.

"In the interviews, we got some sense as to why. For example, a number of people felt they had to work long hours to give their kids the best start in life and be a good role model, yet felt guilty about being away from them."

While the survey has raised issues of concern, roughly 80 per cent of respondents said that when they looked at 'the story of their lives' they felt pleased with how things had turned out.

"It wasn't all doom and gloom, but clearly there are areas where individuals may need to take stock and make some changes," Ms Genovese said.

In the final phase of her PhD, Ms Genovese will be looking at potential applications for her data.

Explore further: Study reveals benefits of wishes on seriously ill children and their parents

Related Stories

Study reveals benefits of wishes on seriously ill children and their parents

September 10, 2013
New research has shown that schemes that grant children with a life threatening illness a special wish have a positive impact on their and their family's wellbeing.

Oldest old at risk from social isolation

July 25, 2013
Using new data from the UK's largest ever social survey, Understanding Society, the Personal Finance Research Centre (PRFC) at the University of Bristol and the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) have produced preliminary ...

Oldest-old women less happy with husbands

September 26, 2013
Having a husband in old age doesn't necessarily make a woman happy, research from Flinders University reveals.

Recommended for you

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

Opioids and obesity, not 'despair deaths,' raising mortality rates for white Americans

July 20, 2017
Drug-related deaths among middle-aged white men increased more than 25-fold between 1980 and 2014, with the bulk of that spike occurring since the mid-1990s when addictive prescription opioids became broadly available, according ...

Aging Americans enjoy longer life, better health when avoiding three risky behaviors

July 20, 2017
We've heard it before from our doctors and other health experts: Keep your weight down, don't smoke and cut back on the alcohol if you want to live longer.

Parents have critical role in preventing teen drinking

July 20, 2017
Fewer teenagers are drinking alcohol but more needs to be done to curb the drinking habits of Australian school students, based on the findings of the latest study by Adelaide researchers.

Fresh fish oil lowers diabetes risk in rat offspring

July 19, 2017
Fresh fish oil given to overweight pregnant rats prevented their offspring from developing a major diabetes risk factor, Auckland researchers have found.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.