Quality of life in Bangladesh : an exploration of women's goals and goals satisfaction

  • Kaneta Choudhury

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Bangladesh’s people reportedly enjoy levels of life satisfaction and happiness that are higher than other more ‘developed’ countries. In spite of impressive gains in several human development indicators and consistent GDP growth during the last two decades life satisfaction levels in Bangladesh have declined. This suggests that development initiatives focussed on improve material wellbeing may have a limited impact on individual wellbeing, and that non-material and social factors are of importance.Development agencies have prioritised the empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality. Women are a group for whom the social, cultural and economic transformation that is occurring in the country, has resulted in significant shifts in opportunities and roles. A better understanding of women’s goal priorities and attainment in different contexts will aid the design of more effective interventions for enhancing women’s wellbeing and evaluating their impact.The main objectives of this thesis are to develop and validate a socially and culturally relevant, individualised measure of perceived or subjective quality of life (QoL), the Bangladesh Goal Attainment (BGA) instrument, for women aged 20 to 45 years in Bangladesh. Subjective quality of life or QoL is defined as “the outcome of the gap between people’s goals and perceived resources, in the context of their culture, values, and experiences of un/happiness”(Woodcock et al., 2008). The BGA instrument consists of an expansive list of goals which respondents rate in terms of satisfaction (using a five-point scale) and necessity (using a four-point scale). Three hundred and ninety-nine respondents in a rural site, and 394 in an urban site completed the BGA by interview. Psychometric validation, to derive composite measurement scales to assess perceived QoL of women in different settings in Bangladesh, used frequency distributions, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and Cronbach's alpha. This resulted in a six sub-scale Bangladesh Goal Satisfaction measure (applicable in rural and urban settings), and specific rural and urban measurements scales (four and five sub-scales, respectively). Each sub-scale measures a dimension of perceived QoL relevant to the women that it is being administered to.The Bangladesh Goal Attainment (BGA) instrument is the first multidimensional and standardised instrument to have been developed, to measure the perceived QoL of women in Bangladesh with different socio-economic characteristics and across different locations. The development of the BGA also represents the first detailed study of goal attainment and goal priorities for women, in two very different contexts in Bangladesh.
Date of Award18 Apr 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorJoe Devine (Supervisor)

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