AuthorHerman, Patricia Marie
Keywordsquality of life
hierarchical linear modeling
Committee ChairSechrest, Lee
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWhether the stated goal of a program is to improve health, reduce crime, or to increase standard of living, the ultimate goal of social programs is to improve overall quality of life. An adequate measure of this outcome would help determine whether achievement of these more specific goals (e.g., health, education) really leads to improvements in overall life quality, and would allow trade-offs to be made in terms of funding across programs. However, an understanding of the determinants of life quality (i.e., the mechanism by which a program did or did not have its intended effect) is also essential to program evaluation and the design of future programs.This study constitutes the analysis of an existing dataset of individual traits, life circumstances, satisfaction with a list of 30 life domains, and overall quality of life for 193 healthy elders to test a hypothesized model of the determinants of life quality. As expected, domain satisfaction appears to be a function of life circumstances. Individuals' traits (e.g., age, sex, personality) modify this relationship, but neither they, nor respondents' reports of domain importance, appear to have any direct effect on quality of life. Instead, domain satisfactions alone are the most proximal determinants of overall quality of life. It also appears that individuals respond differently in terms of overall quality of life to reductions in satisfaction with certain domains than to increases. These findings should be evaluated further as they could affect the design of future successful programs. Because individuals' traits and individuals' ratings of domain importance seem to have no effect on the relationship between domain satisfaction and overall quality of life, it may not be essential to measure these in future studies. Finally, although the data on life domains available to this study were sufficient to generate these results, the first step in the development of adequate measures of overall quality of life and of domain satisfactions will be the construction of a comprehensive, fully-representative list of the life domains that comprise life as a whole.