Subjective Well-Being and Its Changes:

Case Study of Highland Communities in Northern Thailand

  • pimpimon kaewmanee lecturer
  • Benchaphan Ekasingh Assoc. Prof. Dr.
  • Prathanthip Kramol Assist. Prof. Dr.
  • Nuttamon Teerakul, Dr. Lecturer
Keywords: happiness, quality-of-life, well-being, highland, northern Thailand, HRDI


Well-being for all has been set as the goal of the nation in Thailand after the economic crisis in 1999 along with the King Bhumiphol’s Sufficiency Economy Philosophy. Since then, there have been studying on quality of life and well-being in Thailand. However, the majority of studies on subjective well-being focus only on lowland people and rarely found the highland one, who are hilltribes and live in remote area. This paper will present a study on changes in subjective well-being of participants of HRDI’s project in ten years. In this research, SWB was depicted into three parts of its structure such as satisfaction in life as-a-whole, happiness and eudaimonia.  Also, it was composed by seven components including health status; work-life balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security income and food security.

A total of 908 households of eight communities were interviewed using questionnaires in 2015. The participants were asked to self-rate themselves on their subjective well-being level comparatively between the year 2005 and 2015, and other related information.  

Ordered logit model is employed to explain the extent to which variations in dependent variables of well-being. The results indicate that changes in work-life balance, social connection, civic engagement and governance, environmental quality, personal security and income are significantly related to subjective well-being. These finding may help to inform the policy-makers debate the promotion of well-being in Thailand.


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