Measuring social well-being : a critical review of the development, reliability and validity of social well-being measures with particular reference to selected measures in New Zealand : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Social Policy, Massey University

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Massey University
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An overview of the major overseas and New Zealand measures of social well-being is provided in the thesis. The research methods employed are forms of documentary and interview research. The relevant literature is reviewed and the principal researchers from some of the New Zealand measures were interviewed concerning the issues surrounding the measurement methods. The measures described include poverty lines, deprivation and standard of living indexes and social indicators. The reliability and validity issues of five New Zealand recent measures of social well-being are critiqued. The thesis also discusses the possible developments that these five measures might undertake in order to address their reliability and validity issues. The thesis argues that social well-being measures could be developed in terms of their concept definition, choice of indicators for assessment and level of public participation in order to provide more valid estimations. This would allow for more detailed research findings concerning the experienced types and levels of social well-being and would enable more adequate social policy initiatives because the specific resource needs of different population groups could then be more easily identified and targeted.
Quality of life measurement, Social indicators, New Zealand social conditions, Social well-being