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Sustainable Well-Being

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 12268

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, University of Eastern Finland, Yliopistonranta 1 E, 70211 Kuopio, Finland
Interests: behavioral change; systems change; sustainable society; sustainable well-being
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable well-being represents a holistic and integrated systems approach combining standard of living, quality of life, and sustainability. Standard of living is associated with material living conditions and is characterized by material possessions, pleasure, and comfort. Quality of life refers to sources of well-being beyond material prosperity, such as meaning in life, social connectedness, and personal flourishing. Quality of life also includes affective conditions such as peace of mind, elation, and delight, and may also include more philosophical approaches, such as questioning conceptions of human place and purpose. Sustainable development, or sustainability, is based on the ideal of “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainable ways of living are associated with certain behaviors, emotions, thoughts, attitudes, and values.

Sustainable well-being comprises sustainable development and well-being at the individual, societal, and planetary levels. In this interdisciplinary Special Issue, we ask: How can people combine sustainability and well-being in their day-to-day life? Can this be achieved, for example, by giving preference to walking or cycling instead of car driving because doing so is better both for the environment and for people’s physical and psychological well-being? We also want to know what the key elements of sustainable well-being in society are, and how decision makers can be more in touch with what really matters to citizens in society. Strikingly, well-off citizens have started to lose a sense of meaning in life despite continuous improvement in their material well-being. Can sustainability and life satisfaction be achieved together?

Prof. Dr. Arto O. Salonen
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 985 KiB  
Article
The Global Demand for Migrant Care Workers: Drivers and Implications on Migrants’ Wellbeing
by Shereen Hussein
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10612; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710612 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2152
Abstract
Background: Demographic changes across the globe create increasing demands for care labour mobility. The contribution of migrant workers to the long-term care (LTC) systems is not confined to the western world or countries that have already completed their ageing transitions; they also play [...] Read more.
Background: Demographic changes across the globe create increasing demands for care labour mobility. The contribution of migrant workers to the long-term care (LTC) systems is not confined to the western world or countries that have already completed their ageing transitions; they also play an essential role in maintaining the care systems in countries with emerging ageing populations. Despite the increased demand for LTC services, such jobs remain unattractive with difficult working conditions and insecure prospects in most European countries and are only emerging in the Middle East. This paper explores factors affecting the demand for care mobility, reflecting on the experience of some OECD countries with already aged populations and countries in the Middle East, which are currently transitioning into aged populations. Methods: Conducting a statistical review of key ageing and LTC indicators, combined with a narrative review of relevant literature, the analysis considers the increased demand on migrant care labour. Drawing on a case study of the UK, where the immigration system is being reformed post-Brexit, we utilise In-depth interviews with 27 migrants working in LTC in the UK (2018–2020) to explore impacts on care workers’ wellbeing. Results: The findings show that both sets of countries draw on migrant workers as an essential source for LTC workforce supply to maintain and enhance the wellbeing of those receiving care in host societies. Meanwhile, care mobility creates care gaps in home countries, adversely affecting migrant workers’ wellbeing. Interview analysis with migrant care workers in the UK showed that such a process adversely affects migrants’ material and emotional wellbeing. Conclusion: The ability of migrants to move and work in different countries is shaped by several intersecting systems, including the host country’s immigration and welfare regimes. Migrants working in LTC are predominantly women who are usually motivated to work in care due to financial and social needs and usually maintain caring responsibilities across borders. Migrants employ their agency to navigate complex entry systems, settlement, or cross-border mobility to provide LTC in both formal and informal contexts. The implications on migrants’ wellbeing are considerable and should be addressed within a context of increased global mobility linked to ageing populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Well-Being)
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10 pages, 310 KiB  
Article
Association between Contact with Nature and Anxiety, Stress and Depression Symptoms: A Primary Survey in Brazil
by Adriano Bressane, Rogério Galante Negri, Irineu de Brito Junior, Liliam César de Castro Medeiros, Isabela Lopes Lima Araújo, Mirela Beatriz Silva, Amanda Louisi dos Santos Galvão and Graziele Coraline Scofano da Rosa
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10506; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710506 - 23 Aug 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2913
Abstract
Mental health benefits have been linked to human interaction with nature. However, most studies have been carried out in developed countries, limiting the generalizability of empirical findings to other parts of the world. To address this gap, this study was conducted in Brazil. [...] Read more.
Mental health benefits have been linked to human interaction with nature. However, most studies have been carried out in developed countries, limiting the generalizability of empirical findings to other parts of the world. To address this gap, this study was conducted in Brazil. The objective of the study was to assess whether the frequency of contact with nature affects the occurrence of anxiety, stress, and depression. Data were collected between June and July 2022 through an online survey (n = 1186, 1 − α = 0.95, p = 0.05, 1 − β = 0.85, rho = 0.1). Thus, the public online survey made it possible to carry out voluntary response sampling suitable for an exploratory study, with the purpose of an initial understanding of an under-researched population. First, a logistic regression was performed for quantifying the association between contact with nature and mental symptoms. In addition, three groups of people having different frequencies (low, medium, and high) of contact with nature and a reference group, comprised of those who reported no contact, were compared using Kruskal–Wallis and Dwass–Steel–Chritchlow–Fligner tests. This study employs a cross-sectional design and relies on retrospective recall. As a result, the research hypothesis was confirmed. People who very rarely have contact with nature had a 97.95% probability of moderate occurrence of stress, which decreases to 20.98% for people who have contact with nature frequently. Furthermore, in the same comparison, the probability of occurrence was 3.6 times lower for anxiety and 4.8 times lower for depression. In conclusion, the evidence indicates that the greater the frequency of contact with nature, the lower the occurrence of stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms. Nevertheless, the benefits of this contact were significant only when its frequency was moderate (about once or twice a week) or higher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Well-Being)
22 pages, 2267 KiB  
Article
Cognitive-Emotional Benefits of Weekly Exposure to Nature: A Taiwanese Study on Young Adults
by Yin-Yan Yeung and Chia-Pin Yu
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7828; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137828 - 27 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2306
Abstract
Empirical evidence of nature’s benefits to cognitive and emotional well-being is emerging. In this study, 48 Taiwanese young adults (24 indoors and 24 outdoors in urban greenspace) completed four weekly 45 min exposure sessions. The study explores whether the outdoor group surpasses the [...] Read more.
Empirical evidence of nature’s benefits to cognitive and emotional well-being is emerging. In this study, 48 Taiwanese young adults (24 indoors and 24 outdoors in urban greenspace) completed four weekly 45 min exposure sessions. The study explores whether the outdoor group surpasses the indoor group in cognitive and emotional well-being and nature connectedness. There were no significant differences for the indoor group across different measurements of rumination and connectedness to nature. However, the outdoor group displayed a significant reduction in rumination post-test compared to the one week prior and the first session. Similarly, for sessions two, three, and four and one month post-test, the outdoor group’s connectedness to nature was significantly higher than pre-test. Specific autobiographical memory was enhanced while overgeneral autobiographic memory was reduced during the third and fourth sessions, though these changes were not sustained at one-month follow-up. Surprisingly, both groups yielded similar results in decreased depression, anxiety, and stress. A significantly higher number of outdoor group participants had employed nature exposure for coping with stress or emotions after the program. We discuss the implications of this for counseling services for young adults and highlight future research possibilities, including formulating a nature-exposure protocol and a program evaluation for consolidating evidence-based nature prescription. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Well-Being)
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20 pages, 1023 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Social Support as an Argument for the Sustainable Construction of the European Community Space
by Mihai Marian, Dragos Darabaneanu, Florentina Chirodea and Constantin Toca
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127448 - 17 Jun 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Cohesion policy is a constant and central area of interest across the European Union. The development and success of European society depends on the social and economic cohesion at the level of all member states. Starting from this assumption, our study will focus [...] Read more.
Cohesion policy is a constant and central area of interest across the European Union. The development and success of European society depends on the social and economic cohesion at the level of all member states. Starting from this assumption, our study will focus on the interdependence between social cohesion and social support, the latter being interpreted and analysed as a means whereby social cohesion may be achieved. Thus, understanding the manifestations of community cohesion at the level of the European communities is an essential element in this investigation, while its main purpose is to build an explanatory model for interpreting social support. Based on such a framework, social cohesion may be analysed and understood. The following measurement scales will be applied to the analysis of social support: the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, the Survey of Recent Life Experiences, and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. The source of the information is a non-random sample of 1364 respondents. Data processing is based on the implementation of structural equation modelling (SEM) in order to explore the key factors that influence the perception of social support. As mentioned previously, we plan to build an explanatory model that links the perception of social support with life satisfaction and the disturbing factors that are the outcome of life experiences. A set of comparisons is also made using the independent t test and one-way ANOVA. The perception of social support is interpreted from the perspective of the occupational situation, the age category, the educational level and the marital status of respondents. The variables included in the study generally satisfied the goodness of fit indexes in accordance with the recommendations of the literature on SEM models. The conclusions of the study show that social support is at the core of community integration and one of the determinant elements of social cohesion. Everyday life events condition the perception of social support. In turn, the perception of social support acts on life satisfaction. It has been observed that a higher perception of social support may be associated with greater cohesion at the level of communities and also with a more stable social environment. We have identified a determining relationship between the perceived social support and the degree of social cohesion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Well-Being)
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15 pages, 1443 KiB  
Article
Well-Being and Entrepreneurship Intention: An Empirical Study of New Perspectives
by Nicolás Contreras-Barraza, Eduardo Acuña-Duran, Juan Carlos Oyanedel, Guido Salazar-Sepúlveda, Alejandro Vega-Muñoz and Antonio Ariza-Montes
Sustainability 2022, 14(7), 3935; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14073935 - 26 Mar 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2073
Abstract
The research aims to examine the relationships between the constructs of entrepreneurial intention according to the theory of planned behavior (TPB) model and subjective well-being (SW). The model used considers the works proposed by Liñán and Chen and Oyanedel, Vargas, and Paez, and [...] Read more.
The research aims to examine the relationships between the constructs of entrepreneurial intention according to the theory of planned behavior (TPB) model and subjective well-being (SW). The model used considers the works proposed by Liñán and Chen and Oyanedel, Vargas, and Paez, and a questionnaire was applied to 1043 people in an urban population of the three main regions of Chile using multivariate statistical methods for its analysis (structural equation models). The proposed hypotheses are that subjective well-being towards entrepreneurship has a direct and positive effect on entrepreneurial intention (H1), personal attitude towards entrepreneurship has a direct and positive effect on entrepreneurial intention (H2), perceived behavioral control towards entrepreneurship has a direct and positive effect on entrepreneurial intention (H3), and subjective norm towards entrepreneurship has a direct and positive effect on entrepreneurial intention (H4). The results indicate that subjective well-being on entrepreneurial intention shows indirect effects mediated by subjective norm, contributing to the theoretical development concerning well-being incidence on entrepreneurial behavior, providing theoretical elements that can serve as a basis for further strengthening the understanding of the relationships between personal well-being, economic growth, and the harmonious relationship with the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Well-Being)
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