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Model social economic/financial emotional/spiritual physical intellectual

The mission of the Department of Health and Human Development is to enrich human well-being through teaching, research, and outreach. Our conceptual model of well-being emphasizes interconnectedness. Internationally, the concept of well-being has been used to describe global health, quality of life, and overall sustainability. According to the Oxford American Dictionary, well-being refers to being healthy, comfortable, and happy, although its uses extend to people, environments, wildlife, communities, nations, and so on. Based upon our review of the research, HHD defines well-being as being composed of five distinct but interconnected domains of well-being:




Social well-being indicates how individuals or groups function in relation to others in society and often refers to characteristics such as interpersonal skills, family composition and interaction, social networks and support, community dynamics, and social behavior, including lifestyle, risk-taking, and deviance.


Economic/financial well-being refers to monetary and material resources such as housing, land, employment, occupation, income, and other dimensions of socioeconomic status.


Physical well-being refers to characteristics such as physical fitness, human performance, life expectancy, nutrition, disease incidence, health risk an protective factors, maternal and child health, and access to health care.


Emotional/Spiritual well-being characterizes those aspects involved with feelings, such as perception, attitudes, spirituality, intimacy, self-esteem, self-concept, and mental health.


Intellectual well-being is the ability to process information effectively and the capability to use information in a rational way to grow and solve problems. It includes issues such as creativity, spontaneity, and openness of new ways of viewing situations.

While these five domains are distinct aspects of people’ s lives, we recognize that they are integrated in a fabric of human well-being. We hold central the belief that well-being applies to families, groups, individuals, organizations, and communities.