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Between wellness and fairness: The mediating role of autonomous human choice and social capital in OECD countries.

Authors
  • Di Martino, Salvatore1
  • Scarpa, Michael P2
  • Prilleltensky, Isaac2
  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Bradford, Bradford, UK.
  • 2 Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of community psychology
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2022
Volume
50
Issue
7
Pages
3156–3180
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/jcop.22822
PMID: 35174508
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Theoretical arguments and empirical evidence have been provided in the literature for the role of fairness in wellness. In this paper, we explore the role of two potential mediating variables: autonomous human choice and social capital. Using aggregated panel data across countries belonging to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we compared the OECD Social Justice Index (SJI) with data on life satisfaction to test whether fairness has direct and indirect effects on wellness. Results from a series of Manifest Path Analyses with time as fixed effect, support the hypothesis that the OECD SJI is directly linked to country-level life satisfaction, additionally revealing that its indirect effect operates primarily through people's autonomous choices in life and their country's level of social capital. Our results contribute to two distinct bodies of knowledge. With respect to community psychology, the findings offer empirical evidence for the synergistic effect of personal, relational, and collective factors in well-being. With respect to the impact of economic inequality on wellness, we extend the literature by using social justice as a more comprehensive measure. Limitations and recommendations for future studies are discussed. © 2022 The Authors. Journal of Community Psychology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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