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Close relationships and subjective well-being

A life course perspective on social needs, relations, and interactions
PhD ceremony:Ms V.L. (Vera) Buijs
When:March 14, 2024
Supervisor:prof. dr. B.J.M. (Nardi) Steverink
Co-supervisors:dr. B.F. (Bertus) Jeronimus, dr. G.M.A. Lodder
Where:Academy building RUG
Faculty:Behavioural and Social Sciences
Close relationships and subjective well-being

This dissertation focuses on how social needs and well-being relate to age and personality. It finds that age doesn't seem to significantly impact social needs fulfillment and that both family and friends are important for well-being at all ages. The study suggests that people tend to be happier with friends, but this doesn't mean friendships are always more beneficial for well-being than family relationships. The quality of interaction seems crucial in this regard. It emphasizes that both family and friendship relations are important and shouldn't be strictly separated. Age doesn't appear to be decisive in preferring friends or family, and individual variation in needs and relationships matters more than age or personality. The research suggests that understanding personal relationship preferences and needs can help address loneliness and improve well-being. Overall, the thesis highlights that investing in fulfilling relationships is essential for well-being, regardless of age or personality.