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Rethinking wellbeing: Toward a more ethical science of wellbeing that considers current and future generations

Jessica Mead, Zoe Fisher, Lowri Wilkie, Katie Gibbs, Julia Pridmore, Jeremy Tree, Andrew Kemp Orcid Logo

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Swansea University Author: Andrew Kemp Orcid Logo

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DOI (Published version): 10.22541/au.156649190.08734276

Abstract

The construct of wellbeing has been criticised as a neoliberal construction of western individualism that ignores wider systemic issues including increasing burden of chronic disease, widening inequality, concerns over environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change. While these criticism...

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Published in: authorea
Online Access: https://doi.org/10.22541/au.156649190.08734276
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa51906
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Abstract: The construct of wellbeing has been criticised as a neoliberal construction of western individualism that ignores wider systemic issues including increasing burden of chronic disease, widening inequality, concerns over environmental degradation and anthropogenic climate change. While these criticisms overlook recent developments, there remains a need for biopsychosocial models that extend theoretical grounding beyond individual wellbeing, incorporating overlapping contextual issues relating to community and environment. Our first GENIAL model (Kemp 2017) provided a more expansive view of pathways to longevity in the context of individual health and wellbeing, emphasising bidirectional links to positive social ties and the impact of sociocultural factors. In this paper, we build on these ideas and propose GENIAL 2.0, focusing on intersecting individual-community-environmental contributions to health and wellbeing, and laying an evidence-based, theoretical framework on which future research and innovative therapeutic innovations could be based. We suggest that our transdisciplinary model of wellbeing - focusing on individual, community and environmental contributions to personal wellbeing - will help to move the research field forward. In reconceptualising wellbeing, GENIAL 2.0 bridges the gap between psychological science and population health health systems, and presents opportunities for enhancing the health and wellbeing of people living with chronic conditions. Implications for future generations including the very survival of our species are discussed.  
College: College of Human and Health Sciences