Quality of life factors and its integrated measurement model ; Gyvenimo kokybės veiksniai ir jos kompleksinio vertinimo modelis
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Quality of life factors and its integrated measurement model ; Gyvenimo kokybės veiksniai ir jos kompleksinio vertinimo modelis

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VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY       Viktorija STARKAUSKIEN Ė QUALITY OF LIFE FACTORS AND ITS INTEGRATED MEASUREMENT MODEL    Summary of Doctoral Dissertation Social Sciences, Economics (04 S) Kaunas, 2011  Doctoral dissertation was prepared through the period of 2006–2011 at the Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, Vytautas Magnus University. Scientific supervisor: Academician Eduardas VILKAS (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S) – from 2006 09 till 2008 05. Prof., dr. Violeta PUKELIEN Ė (Vytautas Magnus University, SEconomics, 04 S) – from 2008 05 till 2011 08. Doctoral dissertation is defended in the Economics Council of Vytautas Magnus University:  Chairman: Prof., habil. dr. Zigmas LYDEKA (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Members: Prof., dr. Auks ė BAL ČYTIEN Ė (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Sociology, 05 S). Prof., dr. Kristina LEVIŠAUSKAIT ĖSciences, Economics, 04 S). Prof., habil. dr. Ona Gražina RAKAUSKIEN Ė (Mykolas Romeris University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Prof., dr. Zita TAMAŠAUSKIEN Ė (Šiauliai University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Opponents: Prof., habil. dr. Jonas ČEPINSKIS (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Management and Administration, 03 S). Prof., dr.

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Publié le 01 janvier 2012
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VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY
ViktorijaSTARKAUSKIENQUALITY OF LIFE FACTORS AND ITS INTEGRATED MEASUREMENT MODEL
Summary of Doctoral Dissertation Social Sciences, Economics (04 S) Kaunas, 2011
 
Doctoral dissertation was prepared through the period of 20062011 at the Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Management, Vytautas Magnus University. Scientific supervisor: Academician Eduardas VILKAS (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S)  from 2006 09 till 2008 05. Prof., dr. Violeta PUKELIEN Magnus University, Social Sciences, (Vytautas Economics, 04 S)  from 2008 05 till 2011 08. Doctoral dissertation is defended in the Economics Council of Vytautas Magnus University:  Chairman: Prof., habil. dr. Zigmas LYDEKA (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Members: Prof., dr. Auks BALČYTIEN Magnus University, Social (Vytautas Sciences, Sociology, 05 S). Prof., dr. Kristina LEVIAUSKAIT(Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Prof., habil. dr. Ona Graina RAKAUSKIEN Romeris (Mykolas University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Prof., dr. Zita TAMAAUSKIEN (iauliai University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). Opponents: Prof., habil. dr. JonasČEPINSKIS (Vytautas Magnus University, Social Sciences, Management and Administration, 03 S). Prof., dr. Vlada VITUNSKIEN (Aleksandras Stulginskis University, Social Sciences, Economics, 04 S). The official defense of the doctoral dissertation will take place at 10:00 a. m. on December 16th, 2011 at the public session of Economics Science Council in the Small Hall, Faculty of Economics and Management, Vytautas Magnus University. Address: S. Daukanto st. 28, Kaunas, Lithuania. Summary of doctoral dissertation has been distributed on November 16, 2011. The doctoral dissertation can be reviewed in the library of Vytautas Magnus University and Lithuanian National Martynas Mavydas library.
 
     
   
VYTAUTO DIDIOJO UNIVERSITETAS
ViktorijaSTARKAUSKIENGYVENIMO KOKYBS VEIKSNIAI IR JOS KOMPLEKSINIO VERTINIMO MODELIS
Daktaro disertacijos santrauka Socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika (04 S) Kaunas, 2011
Daktaro disertacija rengta 20062011 metais Vytauto Didiojo universiteto Ekonomikos ir vadybos fakulteto Ekonomikos katedroje. Moksliniai vadovai: Akademikas Eduardas VILKAS (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S)  nuo 2006 09 iki 2008 05. Prof., dr. Violeta PUKELIEN (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S)  nuo 2008 05 iki 2011 08. Disertacija ginama Vytauto Didiojo universiteto Ekonomikos mokslo krypties taryboje: Pirmininkas: Prof., habil. dr. Zigmas LYDEKA (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S). Nariai: Prof., dr. AuksBALČYTIEN(Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, sociologija, 05 S). Prof., dr. Kristina LEVIAUSKAIT (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S). Prof., habil. dr. Ona Graina RAKAUSKIEN (Mykolo Romerio universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S). Prof., dr. Zita TAMAAUSKIEN (iauli universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S). Oponentai: Prof., habil. dr. JonasČEPINSKIS (Vytauto Didiojo universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, vadyba ir administravimas, 03 S). Prof., dr. Vlada VITUNSKIEN (Aleksandro Stulginskio universitetas, socialiniai mokslai, ekonomika, 04 S). Disertacija bus ginama vieame Ekonomikos mokslo krypties tarybos posdyje, kuris vyks 2011 m. gruodio 16 d. 10 val. Vytauto Didiojo universitete, Ekonomikos ir vadybos fakultete, Maojoje salje. Adresas: S. Daukanto g. 28, Kaunas, Lietuva. Disertacijos santrauka isiuntinta 2011 m. lapkričio 16 d. Su disertacija galima susipainti Vytauto Didiojo universiteto bibliotekoje ir Lietuvos nacionalinje Martyno Mavydo bibliotekoje.
INTRODUCTION
Relevance of the research Fullness of human life and quality of life in the country was already discussed in works of early Greek philosophers, including Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), Plato (422-347 B.C.), and Socrates (469-399 B.C.). There are a lot of maxims and thoughts on what determines quality of life, how it should be conceived of and how the highest degree of quality of life may be achieved. In spite of the interest of philosophers and scientists from various fields in quality of life, it was usually used as a self-explanatory concept, the meaning of which was equated to the concept of material wealth (Easterlin, 2001, 2003; Quality, 2005) expressed by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. With its dynamic and complex nature, quality of life becomes ever more relevant theme attracting more and more discussion. The theory of quality of life formed as a separate research field and emerged in the discourse of science in Western Europe and North America only in the 1960s. Since then the issues of measurement and improvement of quality of life of a society, individual social groups, and individuals has been gaining importance, with the aim to identify and solve economic and social problems arising in the society, to set quality of life improvement priorities, and to assess effectiveness of economic policies. The conception and measurement methodology of quality of life had seen some historic changes. The GDP growth  for business and political actors  and high personal income  for population  has long been one of the most important aims on the basis of the belief that this will improve the level of quality of life in the country and that the society will become happier. In the past few years researchers became unanimous in their opinion that individual economic indicators, such as the GDP per capita, unemployment level, or inflation, are not sufficient to assess quality of life, regardless of their importance to it (Cummins, 1996; Felce and Perry, 2002; Haas, 1999; Hagerty et al., 2001; Layard, 2005, 2007; Rakauskien, Lisauskait, 2009; Veenhoven, 2000, 2005, 2009). Scientific research and experience of developing countries shows that the GDP, which has been considered the main measure of economic development and quality of life of the country, may grow for many years, but due to inconsiderate economic and social policies it may fail to fully ensure public good, incompletely
 
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reflecting quality of life of individual social groups or people. With this in mind, economists (Layard, 2005; Stiglitz et al., 2009), representatives of other sciences (Felce and Perry, 1995; Haas, 1999; Kenny, 2005; Veenhoven, 2004, 2005), as well as political and business leaders seek to identify economic and other factors determining quality of life and to construct a reliable integrated quality of life measurement instrument based on scientific evidence. The advantages of a complex quality of life measurement measure for economic and political leaders, population, and persons interested in quality of life of each individual is not only discussed in the literature, but also confirmed by the very subjects, who participate in studies of quality of life. In 2008 French President N. Sarcozy initiated a commission led by J. E. Stiglitz with the aim to identify shortcomings of the GDP as an indicator reflecting quality of life and to find out how components of quality of life  economic wealth, social progress, and sustainable development  could be assessed in an integrated manner (Stiglitz et al., 2009). Integrated measurement of quality of life is the most important prerequisite of its improvement. Lithuanian and foreign economic literature offers little research data on integrated measurement of factors affecting quality of life, thus the focus of the present dissertation is on measurement of quality of life, including internal and external environments of quality of life and factors affecting it. Scientific problem and its exploration level Representatives of various fields of science tend to study quality of life in its narrow sense, by identifying different objects of research. Sociologists (Veenhoven, 1988, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2009; Raphael, 1996) are interested in social life of communities and society, its division into social groups, their structure and links. Economists (Clark & Oswald, 1994; Frey & Stutzer, 2002; Oswald, 1997) study quality of life from the point of view of material wealth  financial situation, living conditions, satisfaction of needs of households. In medicine (Curtis et al., 1997; Farquhar, 1995; Haas, 1999; Novik et al., 2002) and psychology (Michalos, 2004; Argyle, 1987; Diener and Suh, 1997; Kahneman et al., 1999) measurement of quality of life is limited to those aspects directly related to health of the people studied  their physical, functional, and emotional condition. It is necessary to emphasize that as an interdisciplinary and complex phenomenon, integrating a wide range of scientific fields and empirical
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studies, quality of life has not been studied with the emphasis on the economic aspect. There is a lack of a wider causal analysis of economic and other factors determining quality of life of the country and the mechanism of such determination. In spite of a growing interest in the concept and measurement of quality of life, the issue remains difficult and unresolved. A lot of different definitions, their interpretations and different measures of quality of life may be found in economic literature. There is a lack of distinction between the concepts ofwell-being, quality of life,and standards living, which are often used as synonyms (Easterlin, 2003; Veenhoven, 1996, 2000). In the dissertation the termquality of lifeis used in a wide sense, encompassing both macro and micro level factors. In this study the termswell-being andlife satisfaction treated as components of quality of life, which may be are measured using objective and subjective indicators belonging to the micro level. Though some researchers (Cummins, 1996; Felce & Perry, 1997; Haas, 1999; Hagerty et al., 2001; Veenhoven, 2000, 2005) agree concerning the complexity of the conception of quality of life, there is no commonly accepted classification of factors affecting quality of life and unanimous opinion concerning economic and other factors determining quality of life. Scientists indicate assumptions on the basis of which quality of life factors may be identified and systematized and their interrelationships may be studied (Hagerty et al., 2001). Analysis of scientific literature failed to reveal any formulated principal requirements for measurement of quality of life. Depending on purposes of a particular study, various methods are used to assess quality of life: questionnaires and scales for public opinion polling (e.g. R. A. Cummins Comprehensive Quality of Life Scale), individual economic indicators (e.g. GDP per capita), health parameters to measure health-related quality of life (WHO-100) or complex indexes (e.g. Human Development Index,The EconomistIntelligenceUnits Quality of Life Index,etc.). The aforementioned measures of quality of life are drawn by including only macro or micro environment, objective or subjective factors. One or several economic and social indicators may not achieve comprehensive measurement of quality of life in the country, thus application of integrated measurement is desirable. Analysis of topics covered by scientific research of quality of life allows for a conclusion that the absence of a methodologically well-founded model for measurement
 
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of quality of life as a measure for integrated measurement of quality of life represents of the obstacles for objective measurement of quality of life in the country and for definition of directions for improvement of quality of life. All this prompted a deeper analysis of measurement of quality of life on the basis of the systems approach characterized by identification of quality of life factors and their groups and determination of relationship among them. Thus, thescientific problem of this dissertation is formulated by the question: how to perform integrated measurement of quality of life in the country by identifying and classifying economic and other factors determining it. The object of the research quality of life and its measurement. The aim of the research to identify economic and other factors determining quality of life, to specify the concept of quality of life and to formulate a universal integrated model for measurement of quality of life.To reach the aim of the research the followingobjectiveswere set: 1. terminology of the concept of quality ofTo identify the main problems in life and to specify the concept of quality of life, emphasizing its complex and interdisciplinary nature.2. and types of quality of life as well as ofTo conduct analysis of levels factors determining quality of life, to substantiate the importance of their identification in conceptualization and measurement of quality of life as an object of study of the science of economics.3. of life measurement theory and variety of indicatorsTo analyze quality and indexes used for measurement of quality of life. 4. for measurement of quality of life onTo formulate an integrated model the basis of theoretical assumptions and synthesis of factors of external and internal environments of quality of life. 5. Having determined indicators reflecting quality of life factors and weighted coefficients of factors and their groups determining quality of life, to draw a quality of life index function. 6. To assess validity and adaptability of the Quality of Life Measurement Model on the examples of European Union (EU) countries and to propose a universal model for measurement of quality of life.
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The logical structure of the dissertationhas been determined by the main aim of the dissertation and objectives set in order to reach it. Their logical structure is reflected in three parts of the dissertation (Figure 1).
 
 
 
 
INTRODUCTION
1. ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF QUALITY OF LIFE (QL)THEORETICAL
THE CONCEPT OF SYSTEMIC ANALYSIS OF SYSTEMATIZATION OF QUALITY OF LIFE (QL), LEVELS AND TYPES OF THEORETICAL ITS COMPLEXITY AND QL AND FACTORS POSSIBILITIES FOR INTERDISCIPLINARY  OF QL MEASUREMENTDETERMINING QL 
MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE PART 1
2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY OF MEASUREMENT OF QUALITY OF LIFE
FORMULATION AN METHODOLOGICAL IDENTIFICATION AND INTEGRATED MODEL GUIDELINESFORGROUPINGGOAN,QLSITDROFCTORSTFEANFEMURASME MEASUREMENTOFQLDREETFELRECMTIINNINGINDICATORSOF QL MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE PART 2
3. VERIFICATION OF THE QUALITY OF LIFE MEASUREMENT MODEL
ASSESSING VALIDITY UNIVERSAL QUALITY OF LIFE AND ADAPTABILITY OF QUALITY OF LIFE INDEX RELIABILITY ANALYSIS THE QUALITY OF LIFEMEASUREMENT MEASUREMENT MODEL MODELMAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS OF THE PART 3
MAIN FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS Figure 1. Logical layout of the dissertation research
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In the first part of the dissertation theoretical aspects of conceptualization and measurement of quality of life are analyzed. Analysis of the concept of quality of life, identifying the main problems with terminology and emphasizing its complex and interdisciplinary nature, is presented in the first chapter of the theoretical part of the dissertation. This part also contains a systemic analysis of levels and types of quality of life as well as of quality of life factors found in the literature. The second chapter of the theoretical part is dedicated for determination and systematization of theoretical possibilities for measurement of quality of life, indicating the main periods of development of quality of life research and analyzing the variety of economic, social indicators and quality of life indexes. In the second part of the dissertation, having evaluated limitations and shortcomings quality of life measurement instruments (scales, questionnaires, individual indicators, composite indexes), structure of the quality of life model is substantiated and factors of external and internal environment affecting quality of life are identified. On the basis of theoretical assumptions concerning quality of life and synthesis of factors of external and internal environment affecting quality of life the Quality of Life Measurement Model is drawn and indicators measuring the factors included in the model are selected and justified. An expert study is used to determine significance of factors affecting quality of life and their groups and this significance is expressed in weighted coefficients. On the basis of the Quality of Life Measurement Model the Quality of Life Index (IQL) is drawn. In the third and final part of the dissertation IQLreliability analysis is performed, which allows selecting correct method for normalization of data and provision of weight coefficients. Following the quality of life measurement method and the Quality of Life Measurement Model presented in the methodological part of the dissertation, validity and adaptability of the model is tested on the case of the EU countries. The universal Quality of Life Measurement Model is proposed in the final chapter of the third part. At the end of dissertation conclusions are presented. Defended theses of the dissertation  Quality of life is a conception measured on the basis of multiple economic and other factors and encompassing all aspect of human living, based on suitability of external environment for living and on opportunities for improvement and increase of
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own well-being provided by internal environment, which is controlled by the human being him/herself as the holder of rights and freedoms.  quality of life, as a complex phenomenon, requiresMeasurement of systematic approach primarily based on identification of economic factors and their groups affecting quality of life and on definition of indicators reflecting them.  A mathematical index calculation method is appropriate for measurement of quality of life as an object of research of economics science. Methods of the scientific research Analysis of the concept of quality of life, its content, issues related to its assessment and formulation of the Quality of Life Measurement Model has been conducted using general methods of scientific research - systemic and comparative analysis of scientific literature, induction, deduction, graphic modeling, and generalization methods.  Reliability of the Quality of Life Measurement Model has been tested using mathematical, statistical, and expert assessment methods. Expert assessment method has been used to establish significance of the factors determining quality of life. Mathematical and statistical data processing methods using SPSS 17 (Statistical Package for Social Scienceand Microsoft Excel software have been used to analyze) results of expert assessment, to calculate quality of life index and to perform analysis of its reliability. Sources of information Analysis of theoretical and applied aspects of quality of life as an object of the science of economics was conducted on the basis of original research studies of foreign scientists, most of which have been collected using rights of a member of the Quality of Life Center at the Deakin University of Australia. The doctoral candidate has been participating in activities of this Center since 2009. Other references were collected from scientific journals published in both Lithuania and abroad, as well as from monographs and publications found in the international EBSCO and RePEC database. The database of the empirical study conducted consists of statistical data on European Union Member-States published by EUROSTAT and World Bank, Human Development Report data, information published by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND), World Resources
 
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