Health-related quality of life and subjective well-being : A cross-cultural perspective <Research Article>Health-related quality of life and subjective well-being : A cross-cultural perspective <Research Article>AA1244667X
Perspectives regarding the concept of health have changed from a pathogenic to a salutogenic model. The salutogenic approach considers different dimensions of well-being as determinants of health within individuals and societies. The relationship among health, subjective well-being, and the environment is broadly conceptualized within a transactional model of stress and coping, which recognizes the potential influence of the external environment on individual well-being. The salutogenic model stresses the strengths of individuals and their capacity for adjustment; it explains why certain people seem to preserve health and successfully cope with exposure to life stressors from their environment. Sense of coherence is a necessary condition for health and quality of life; it is an overall orientation for viewing the world and interacting with the environment in a comprehensive, manageable, meaningful way. A relationship among sense of coherence, health, and quality of life has been found in various clinical samples, general populations, children, and students. University attendance is regarded as a positive event that provides excellent opportunities for individual development; it represents a critical developmental period for young adults, in which students enter a new social environment, where they must adjust to new social norms and establish new relationships. This experience is also accompanied by multiple and significant changes, stress, and challenges in academic, social, and emotional areas. Sense of coherence is a health-promoting resource that can improve resilience, resulting in a positive state of subjective well-being and quality of life. Research in diverse cultural settings will improve our understanding of health outcomes and the extent in which these outcomes are individually, socially, or culturally determined. This is important toward establishing programs for health promotion and establishing health policies to meet the social and societal conditions in different countries.