The Social Connectedness and Life Satisfaction Nexus: A Panel Data Analysis of Women in Australia

Christopher Ambrey, Jennifer Ulichny & Christopher Fleming

This study explores the interplay between time pressures at home and at work, social connectedness, and well-being as reported by Australian women. Specifically, taking advantage of longitudinal data (from the Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey for the years 2001 to 2013) and employing the newly developed “blow up and cluster” estimation technique, this study finds there has been a marginal decline in the life satisfaction of Australian women. After accounting for changes in sociodemographic characteristics, a more pervasive negative trend in life satisfaction appears to be reported by both men and women, and both genders report higher levels of life satisfaction for greater levels of almost all measures of social connectedness. This study adds to a growing body of evidence pointing toward the importance of frequent and meaningful social connections to societal well-being, as well as the need to refocus attention on well-being in public-policy spheres.

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