A collection of research relating to holistic wellbeing
Keyes, Corey Lee M. (1998). 61(2), 121.
The proposal of five dimensions of social well-being, social integration, social contribution, social coherence, social actualization, and social acceptance, is theoretically substantiated
Bolier, L., Haverman, M., Westerhof, G. J., Riper, H., Smit, F., & Bohlmeijer, E. (2013). BMC Public Health, 13, 119. 9
The results of this meta-analysis show that positive psychology interventions can be effective in the enhancement of subjective well-being and psychological well-being, as well as in helping to reduce depressive symptoms.
This snapshot report summarises key findings from the 2016 Mental Health Monitor and 2016 Health and Lifestyles Survey. Participants reported that the experience of mental distress was common (personally or among people they knew) and that mental distress was more than depression and/or anxiety, and included feeling isolated, overwhelmed by stress and not being able to cope. Awareness of mental distress in self or others was associated with more positive attitudes but participants indicated a reluctance to disclose mental distress in some environments, such as workplaces. Social isolation (also known as loneliness) emerged as an important concern. It was strongly associated with depression, anxiety and other forms of distress, particularly among young people.
This report presents Māori-specific findings from Youth’12, the third national health and wellbeing survey of secondary school students in New Zealand. This is New Zealand’s largest and most comprehensive survey of the health and wellbeing of taitamariki Māori in high schools. Included in the survey is a range of factors that impact on the healthy development of taitamariki Māori, including whānau/family, community, education and social environments. The information presented in this report was provided by 1,701 students who reported Māori ethnicity in 2012 (20% of the entire sample). Also reported are Māori data from the 2001, 2007 and 2012 surveys to identify trends over time.
Durie, M. (2006).
Discusses aspects of Māori wellbeing and how to measure it. Presents a framework for measuring, incorporating 3 levels of wellbeing – individual, whānau, and population. Also discusses a matrix of outcomes, including wellbeing aspects of connection to culture, te reo and land.
Oho mauri: cultural identity, wellbeing, and tāngata whai ora/motuhake : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Māori Studies at Massey University, Wellington, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Pere, L. M. (2006). (Thesis, Massey University).
This study seeks to understand the experience of mental illness from the perspective of those it affects most- the consumer. In order to test the assumption that mental health depends as much on culture and identity as psycho-biology, Oho Mauri examines the worldviews of 17 Indigenous people – Māori - who have had experience of mental illness.
Russell, L., & Health Promotion Agency. (2018).
Te Oranga Hinengaro uses Māori mental health data from three population surveys to highlight findings about whanaungatanga, and belonging, cultural connectedness and reconnection, and cultural identity for Māori mental wellbeing.
Ataera-Minster, J., & Trowland, H. (2018).
Te Kaveinga presents results from the New Zealand Mental Health Monitor and the Health and Lifestyles Survey related to the mental health and wellbeing of Pacific peoples. Published by the Health Promotion Agency, Te Kaveinga is the first in-depth analysis of Pacific mental health using a nationally representative dataset since Te Rau Hinengaro, New Zealand’s last Mental Health Survey. Overall, the findings show that Pacific adults experience psychological distress at higher levels than non-Pacific adults. The findings also tell us that Pacific peoples report high levels of wellbeing and family wellbeing, and are well connected socially and culturally.
Norriss, H. (2010). 6(4), 46–50.
The author (who is a former MHF member of staff) outlines the view of mental health in New Zealand, and presents an overview of factors that will influence this in the future, arguing that leadership is required to further a nation's positive mental health. Recent analysis is then presented on the concept of ‘flourishing’ in people and communities and how this has explored positive states of experience and functioning. The personal and social benefits that this approach can give as part of a full spectrum approach to mental health are considered. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand proposes a range of potential activities as examples that could contribute to an increase of flourishing and positive mental health in the wider New Zealand population.
Aked, J., Marks, N., Cordon, C., & Thompson, S. (2008). Connect... take notice... be active... keep learning... give:
The New Economics Foundation is a people-powered think tank. It works to build an economy where people take control. This report documents the evidence base for each of the five ways to wellbeing.
Field, J. (2009). 28(2), 175–191.
This paper provides a background analysis of research into the relationship between adult learning and wellbeing. It notes that there is a general paucity of rigorous research that focuses specifically on this topic. Studies covered in the review include both those which examine the effects of adult learning upon factors that are directly relevant to wellbeing (such as self-efficacy, confidence, or the ability to create support networks), and those that address factors that are indirectly associated with wellbeing, such as earnings or employment. It argues that evidence from current research suggests that adult learning appears to have a positive, albeit qualified, effect on attitudes and behaviours that affect people’s mental wellbeing.
Robotham, D., Morgan, K., & James, K. (2011).
Learning and education can affect mental health and wellbeing. A partnership between Northamptonshire Teaching Primary Care Trust and Northamptonshire County Council Adult Learning Service resulted in the Learn 2b programme; a series of community-based adult learning courses for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety.
Aknin, L. B., Hamlin, J. K., & Dunn, E. W. (2012). PLoS ONE, 7(6), e39211.
The study finds that before the age of two, toddlers exhibit greater happiness when giving treats to others than receiving treats themselves. Further, children are happier after engaging in ‘costly giving’’ - forfeiting their own resources - than when giving the same treat at no cost.
Ayalon, L. (2008). 20(5), 1000–1013. International Psychogeriatrics
Volunteering was associated with a reduced mortality risk even after adjusting for age, gender, education, baseline mental health and physical health, activity level and social engagement. Those who volunteered for 10 to 14 years had a reduced mortality risk relative to non-volunteers. In addition, those who volunteered privately, not as part of an official organisation, also had a reduced mortality risk compared to non-volunteers. Results of this study suggest that not all aspects of volunteering have the same predictive value and that the protective effects of length of volunteering time and type of volunteering are particularly important. However, whether or not volunteering is the most consistent predictor of mortality and whether once a person volunteers the various aspects of volunteering are no longer associated with mortality risk.
Dulin, P. L., Gavala, J., Stephens, C., Kostick, M., & McDonald, J. (2012). Aging & Mental Health, 16(5), 617–624.
This study provides evidence that volunteering is related to increased happiness, irrespective of ethnicity. It also provides evidence that the relationship between volunteering and happiness is moderated by economic resources. Older individuals at the low end of the economic spectrum are likely to benefit more from volunteering than those at the high end.
These NZ papers examine the benefits that stem from generosity for givers, receivers and the community as a whole.
- What can we do to promote generosity in New Zealand?
- What do we know about generosity in New Zealand?
- What do we mean by generosity?
Tamasese, T. K., Parsons, T. L., Sullivan, G., & Waldegrave, C. (2010).
This research explored Pacific people’s motivators and barriers to volunteering, and the relationship with their cultural obligations. It includes a series of “projects of pride” to illustrate each Pacific group’s perspective.
Mental Health Foundation. (2011).
This paper reflects on the merits of mindfulness to enhance our wellbeing, looks at mindfulness-based interventions, and the application of mindfulness in our education system.
Mental Health Foundation. (2012).
This paper looks at what mindfulness is, how it works, mindfulness-based interventions, and evidence.
Edmunds, S., Biggs, H., & Goldie, I. (2013).
This UK report explores the theme of Mental Health Awareness Week 2013, physical activity and wellbeing.
Research New Zealand. (2016).
This report presents the findings of the eighth survey in an on-going monitor of participants in the Green Prescriptions Active Families (Active Families) programme. As in previous years, the survey sought the views of participants about how well the programme worked for their child and family. Contains statistics.
The results suggest that youth who reported higher levels of social connectedness at one point in time would subsequently report higher wellbeing (i.e., life satisfaction, confidence, positive affect, and aspirations).
Metzger, N., Myers, A., & Woodley, A. (2012).
Findings suggest that Know Your Neighbours has contributed to creating stronger, connected and more inclusive neighbourhoods in North Shore communities. This includes increased feelings of safety and community (93 per cent) and a reduction in reported burglaries. Local street and neighbourhood events have contributed to residents’ feelings of wellbeing.
Tay, L., Tan, K., Diener, E., & Gonzalez, E. (2013). Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 5(1), 28–78.
This analysis revealed that social relations are beneficial for health behaviours such as chronic illness self-management and decreased suicidal tendency. The salutary effects of general measures of social relations (e.g. being validated, being cared for, etc.) on health behaviours are weaker, but specific measures of social relations targeting corresponding health behaviours are more predictive. There is growing evidence that social relations are predictive of mortality and cardiovascular disease, and social relations play an equally protective role against both the incidence and progression of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, evidence was mixed for the association between social relations and cancer.