Factors Associated With Objective Wellbeing In Jamaica: Is Objective Index Still A Good Measure Of Health?
Dr. Paul Andrew Bourne
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry
Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Kingston 7, Jamaica
(876) 457-6990 (Mobile)
Objective: To investigate the factors that influenced the wellbeing of Jamaicans. In addition the study sought to ascertain the power of each factor that influenced wellbeing.
Method: The current study used one of the World Bank’s Living Standard Measurement Surveys (LSMS) - the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions (JSLC). The JSLC was conducted between June and October 2002, using a detailed administered questionnaire. The survey was a nationally representative stratified random sample of 25 018 respondents. For the current work, descriptive statistics were used to provide background information on the sampled population; chi-square for bivariate associations and stepwise technique in multiple regressions was utilized to establish the parameter of the explanatory variables and to determine their influence on the general model. The subsample used to established the current model was 21 740 respondents (i.e. 86.9%).
Results: It was found that 16 factors were used to predict the economic wellbeing of Jamaicans, and there was 92.1% variability in economic wellbeing. Moreover, four factors accounted for 82% of the variability in economic wellbeing. The factors were assets owned, number of children ages 14 years and less, consumption per head, and living arrangement. Assets owned and the number of children in the household accounted for 61% of the total explanation of the change in economic wellbeing of an individual. Individuals in the two wealthiest quintiles had greater economic wellbeing than their counterparts in the two poorest quintiles; but, those in the latter had better health status.
Conclusion: The number of children and access to economic resources had a strong influence on wellbeing with the former being a future economic investment for the parents. This suggests that that objective wellbeing is still a better measure of wellbeing in Jamaica than subjective indexes.