Does Subjective Health Affect the Association between Biodiversity and Quality of Life? Insights from International Data

Suzanne Skevington, Richard Emsley, Svenja Dehner, Ian Walker, Stuart Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Global health may depend upon biodiversity (BD) for well-being, but evaluation is challenging, as cross-cultural data is scarce. International models of the association between biodiversity (BD) and quality of life (QoL), examined whether subjective health is a mediating factor. The biophilia hypothesis was evaluated. Multi-Level Mediation Analysis modelled adult data (N = 3511) from 15 countries. Subjective QoL was assessed in six WHOQOL SRPB domains, and subjective health rated. Four area-independent indicators of plant and animal BD were estimated. Poverty (HDI education) was a covariate. Biodiversity was strongly, positively associated with QoL, but subjective health was not a significant mediator in any model. Although spiritual QoL showed best fit, confirming the hypothesis, social, psychological, and independence models were also significant. From nine spiritual components, QoL from hope and optimism showed the strongest model. Furthermore, only hope correlated moderately, positively with BD in mammals, and ferns. This is the first major international study in this field. When judging QoL in relation to BD, people do not take into account whether their health is good or poor. The exclusive biophilia focus on spiritual QoL is unwarranted, deserving a broader multi-dimensional approach. Global policy and the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Early online date10 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2018

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biodiversity
quality of life
health
optimism
mediation
animal
well-being
poverty
evaluation
education

Keywords

  • Biodiversity
  • Biophilia
  • Evaluation
  • Health
  • Quality of life
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

Does Subjective Health Affect the Association between Biodiversity and Quality of Life? Insights from International Data. / Skevington, Suzanne; Emsley, Richard; Dehner, Svenja; Walker, Ian; Reynolds, Stuart.

In: Applied Research in Quality of Life, 10.08.2018, p. 1-17.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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