Social tourism and well-being: a
case study of the Family Holiday
Association
Scott McCabe
[email protected]
Outline of the presentation
• The KTP and the Family Holiday Association context
• Subjective well-being/QOL/happiness
– Conceptualisation and current developments
• Subjective well-being research in tourism
– Review of critical issues
• Developing measures of subjective well-being
– relating concepts to tourism
• Methods and data
– our approach to measuring wellbeing, outline of sample
• Findings from the survey research
– does wellbeing change after a holiday?
– Can changes in wellbeing be linked to the holiday?
– Links between social tourists and general population?
• Concluding remarks
Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP)
between:
Research Associate
Sarah Johnson
The University of
Nottingham
Dr Scott McCabe
Family Holiday
Association
Thea Joldersma
KTP aims and objectives
• Increase the evidence surrounding social
tourism in the UK
• Raise the profile of social tourism in the UK
• Increase awareness about the Family Holiday
Association and increase donations to the
charity
• Create a more systematic evidence-based
system of data collection for the Family Holiday
Association
• Undertake a large study of the benefits of social
tourism
Increase evidence/
Systematic data collection
Online knowledge
bank
Experiential learning
Application form
Domestic Violence
Feedback form
Well-being research
Increase the profile/awareness of social
tourism and Family Holiday Association
Subjective Well-being/QOL/Happiness
….muddy waters
• Questions of life satisfaction, the overall quality of our
lives, our sense of well-being, contentment with our lives,
generally concern issues of what makes us happy.
• Aristotelian sense of ‘living well’ – the good life (Ryff
1989).
• Contented with life – ‘happy’ (Deiner 1984)
• Seems simple, yet…
• QOL is a ‘complex yet vague term and, thus, is very
difficult to be defined’ (Iwasaki 2007: 234)
• Genc (2012) identified over 100 definitions of QOL
Life satisfaction
• Life satisfaction is the ‘degree to which an individual
judges the overall quality of his life-as-a-whole
favourably’ (Veenhoven 1991: 7).
• Global assessment (bottom-up spill-over theory) (Sirgy
2010)
• Cognitive judgement based on affective (hedonic) and
cognitive (contentment) aspects.
QOL
• “Individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of their
culture and value system and in relation to their goals, expectations,
standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a
complex way by the person’s physical health, psychological state,
level of independence, social relationships, and their relationships to
salient features of their environment.” (WHOQOL Group: 1997: 1).
• Three main approaches outlined in a taxonomy of QOL definitions:
– global assessments;
– definitions which break the concept down into domains, and;
– definitions that selectively break the concept into fewer component domains
included in the other definitions (Farquar 1995)
• Most often assessed through an assessment of satisfaction with a
range of domains of life (Health, housing, education,
work/employment, leisure, social life)
• Objective and subjective measures overlap in some aspects.
happiness
• Most often measured by a variant of
Bradburn’s (1969) affect balance scale
• Presence of positive and absence of
negative affect
• Doesn’t help answer the cognitive
components of SWB
SWB
•
•
•
•
•
•
Meaning in life – ‘authentic living’ – ‘human flourishing’
Well-being includes a eudaemonic component - consideration of whether the
individual perceives an ability for personal growth and psychological strengths, a
sense that they have the resources and skills to be able to meet their goals or
maximise their potential (Deci and Ryan 2000).
New Economics Foundation (nef) well-being: ‘gives people a sense of how their lives
are going, through the interaction between their circumstances, activities and
psychological resources’ (nef, 2009:18).
Lower perceptions of meaning in life have been attributed to depression and anxiety,
stress and the need for therapy.
Positive meaning in life has been associated with enjoyment of work, happiness and
life satisfaction (Steger et al 2006).
A concern with individuals’ subjective experience of their own lives (Deiner and Suh
1997). Definitions often include:
– global assessments of individual’s satisfaction with life, and
– Affective components, and
– indexes of positive functioning (Kahn and Juster 2002), and
– consideration of their objective and subjective situations (pollard and Lee 2003).
Issues?
• "It's time we admitted that there's more to life than
money and it's time we focused not just on GDP but on
GWB – general wellbeing.“ (Cameron: 2010)
• “If policy-makers are to make well-being a central
objective they have to have ways of measuring it.”
(Layard)
• Trouble is there are many psychological scales
• Often fail to take account of the multi-dimensionality of
well-being – difficult to reduce it to single item measure.
• Often translated as a measure of life-satisfaction, yet
‘There is more to life than satisfaction’ (nef 2009)
QOL, happiness and SWB in
tourism
• Quality of Life – “Life satisfaction is functionally related to satisfaction
within a number of individual life domains (e.g., personal health, work, family, love,
money)…From the review of QOL studies in tourism and elsewhere, it is apparent
that studies which analyze vacations as a domain separate from leisure are sparse.
As a consequence, there is little knowledge about the specific contribution of
vacations to QOL.” (Dolnicar et al 2012: 60). Sirgy (2010) ‘theory’ of leisure travel
QOL relates goal theory to satisfaction with leisure travel and SWB.
• Happiness - positive affect (happiness) is an expected outcome of
vacations – yet there is limited knowledge on tourist’s affective states during/after a
holiday. Happirness is linked to life satisfaction. Nawijn et al 2010 found some
improvements in affect balance during the holiday, but quickly return to normal. De
Bloom et al 2012 found holiday activities only weakly associated with improvements
in health and well-being, but passive activities (savouring, relaxation and sleep)
more strongly.
• Subjective well-being – Gilbert and Abdullah (2004) remains
most widely quoted study. SWB was measured by three separate components;
positive affect, negative affect, life domains and life satisfaction. Well-being
increased by a small amount after the holiday compared to the control group.
Issues?
• The three concepts are used synonymously and
unproblematically (McCabe, Joldersma and Li 2010)
• In a review of QOL definitions Bell (2005) identified 15
examples (not including SWB!)
• Sirgy (2010) conceptual review of QOL uses SWB no
fewer than 47 times to refer to QOL.
• A need to standardise and harmonise concepts and
measures
• A need to ensure that vacations/tourism are included in
standardised measures of well-being and/or QOL
• For social tourists – a need to make the measures
relevant, comprehensive but also manageable
SWB scale
• Life domains: 8 items
(Health, income, accommodation, family,
employment status, social life, amount of
leisure time, way leisure time is spent)
–
Alpha .796
•
Positive and negative affect: 4 items
(nef)
(time in the last week you were happy,
enjoyed life. Time spent in the last week
sad, depressed)
–
Eudaemonic well-being
(psychological resources) (nef)
• Social well-being (relationships): 6
items
(how much time spent with family is
enjoyable, stressful, how often do you
meet socially with friends, colleagues, do
you have people in life who care for you,
discuss intimate matters with, how much
time do you spend feeling lonely)
–
Alpha .782
•
Satisfaction with life scale (SWLS):
5 items
(in most ways life is close to ideal,
conditions of life are excellent, I have the
important things in life, if I could live my life
over, I’d not change anything)
–
•
Alpha: .861
Alpha: .488
•
Positive functioning (resilience and
self-esteem): 4 items
(in general I feel very positive about
myself, at times I feel like a failure, I’m
always optimistic about my future, when
things go wrong in my life, it generally
takes a long time to get back to normal)
–
Alpha: .501
Research questions
• Do SWB levels for social tourists change
after a holiday?
• Can the changes be attributed to the
holiday?
• Do circumstances affecting social tourists
affect well-being?
• What can we say about well-being of
social tourists compared to other
populations?
Data collection/analysis
• Two stage approach (pre
and post holiday)
• Conducted over the
telephone
• 168 pre surveys and 127
post surveys
• Comparison of means
(Wilcoxon Signed Rank
Test)
• Correlation of issues and
SWB measures
(Spearmans rho)
• Comparison of postholiday well-being scores
and results of postholiday evaluations.
• Comparison of well-being
of social tourists and
other populations
Sample characteristics
Families affected by number of issues:
90
89% of
respondents
were women
80
70
Percentage
60
Average
family
size
50
40
30
4
20
10
0
Mental health
Unemployment
Debt
Physical health
Special needs
Issues
The average holiday
length was
4 nights
All families went
on domestic
holidays in the
UK
41%
had never
been on
holiday
before
Findings 1 - does wellbeing change
after a holiday?
Measures
6.06
Pre
Standard
Deviatio
n
1.55
3.26
2.93
2.14
2.86
3.25
1.95
1.82
Amount of leisure
time
8
Spend leisure time
2.50
3.06
1.68
1.70
2.99
3.47
1.95
1.84
1
3.66
4.07
2.25
1.96
Family time
enjoyable
1
Family time
stressful
2
Lonely
5.33
5.61
1.61
1.30
4.18
3.63
2.18
2.01
.92
.94
2
3.14
2.82
1.43
1.38
4
Family
5
Employment
6
Social life
Pre
Mean
Post
Mean
Post
Standard
Deviation
1.35
5.76
7
Change nothing
2.05
7
1
8
9
1.88
1.72
3
7
•
•
Resilience
Wilcoxon
Signed
Rank Test
Asymp
Sig0.00
Asymp
Sig.0.00
Asymp
Sig.0.00
Asymp
Sig.0.00
Asymp
Sig.0.00
Asymp
Sig.0.01
Asymp
Sig0.00
Asymp.
Sig0.00
Asymp
Sig0.01
Asymp
Sig. 0.02
SWLS (0.013), life domains (0.001), and psychological resources had statistically significant
changes in means.
10 areas of SWB measured that had statistically significant changes.
Findings 2 - Can changes in wellbeing be
linked to the holiday?
100
90
80
70
Impact of
holiday on
well-being
domains
60
50
40
General wellbeing
domains
30
20
10
0
Social life
Leisure time
Health
Family time that is
enjoyable
Family relationships
•77.1% of respondents reported moderate to extreme improvements
in QOL due to the holiday
• 8/10 respondents advised higher levels of happiness after the
holiday
• 68.9% of respondents reported higher levels of optimism because
of the holiday
Findings 3 – correlations between
circumstances and well-being before and
after a holiday
Issues/Circumstances
SWLS
British
Household
Panel
Survey
Positive
Affect
Negative
Affect
Resilience
and Selfesteem
Relationships
Gender
-.036
.010
.053
.054
.047
-.127
Missing out
-.054
-.137
.017
.038
-.060
.070
Relationship difficulties
.048
-.017
.038
-.071
.026
-.054
Stress
-.047
-.231*
-.021
.013
-.057
0.24
Mental health
.212*
.199*
.104
-.173
.188*
-.058
Unemployment
-.057
-.055
.198*
.238*
-.251*
.105
Debt
.007
.169
.076
-.018
.051
-.051
Physical health
.063
.155
.114
-.110
.128
.046
Special needs
-134
-.175
.051
-.160
.030
0.69
• Very low correlation of families
issues/circumstance and SWB measures.
Findings 4 - Links between social tourists
and other populations
Measure
General population
Social tourists
Mean (standard deviation)
Positive affect
2.90 (0.82)
2.19 (0.98)
Negative affect
3.47(inv) (0.69)
2.85 (inv) (1.02)
Health
5.14 (1.39)
4.48 (1.80)
Income
4.74 (1.37)
3.17 (1.65)
Accommodation
5.38 (1.29)
4.41 (1.93)
Family
5.38 (1.29)
5.76 (1.55)
Employment
6.18 (1.18)
2.10 (2.14)
Social life
5.08 (1.38)
2.90 (1.96)
Amount of leisure time
4.99 (1.33)
2.76 (1.69)
Way spend leisure time
4.48 (1.48)
3.13 (1.95)
Resilience and self-esteem
Positive
3.85 (0.81)
3.14 (1.35)
Failure
3.73 (1.07)
3.16 (1.29)
Optimism
3.67 (0.94)
3.13 (1.37)
Resilience
3.29 (1.05)
2.82 (1.38)
5.10 (5.10)
5.61 (1.30)
4.17 (1.58)
2.85 (1.39)
Life domains
Relationships
Family time enjoyable
Family time stressful
Comparing
scores of life
domains and
positive and
negative
affect
respondents
had much
lower levels
than general
population
scores.
Concluding remarks
• Holidays do have an effect on self-reported SWB
amongst social tourists
• Holidays impact on eudaemonia is interesting – worth
exploring and comparing with mainstream tourists
• Link between SWB and holiday taking offers insights into
the role of tourism to individuals psychological states and
to social life
• Future opportunities to explore goals for tourism and
well-being effects
• Holidays should be included amongst measures of SWB
and do contribute to leisure-related aspects of QOL
(balance vs structure leisure [Dolnicar et al 2012])
• Well-being scales useful to compare amongst other
vulnerable/disadvantaged groups and societal norms
Thank you
Questions?
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Tourism, well-being and quality of life: exploring issues