Correlation between the perceived residential environment quality and the inhabitants’ quality of life and civic behavior

Open access


Although it has been assumed for many years that there is a relationship between the subjectively perceived quality of residential environment and quality of life, empirical evidence for the existence of such a link has been inconclusive. It is also assumed that the perception of residential environment in a certain way covariates with the behavior of people in this environment; Empirical support for this correlation is now all the more problematic. The objectives in the our research project were as follows: (1) enriching the current knowledge about those links between the perceived quality of various residential areas and their inhabitants’ experienced quality of life, and (2) examining the co-variables between the sense of satisfaction with the residence and declared pro-social and civic behavior. For the purpose of our study, we proposed an original theoretical framework integrating several available man-environment-behavior relationship concepts with the more general homeodynamic regulation concept for achieving psychological balance. Sixty-two people aged 18 to 85 took part in the research. Two groups were identified in the analysis: young adults and seniors. No significant correlation was found between the respondents’ perceived quality of life and their satisfaction with the quality of the environment they inhabited. It was almost exclusively seniors who undertook activities to benefit the residential area, and their life quality was correlated with this activity. Young adults turned out to be generally inactive. Correlations between pro-social and civic behavior and the residential area’s assessed quality proved to be weak and simple, but had different directions and dimensions in young adults and seniors.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Allport G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Cambridge MA: Addison-Wesley.

  • Bandura A. (1978). The self system in reciprocal determinism. American Psychologist33(4) 344–358. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.33.4.344

  • Bell P. A. Greene T. C. Fisher J. D. & Baum A. (2004). Psychologia środowiskowa (Wyd. 1 w jęz. pol). Psychologia Środowiskowa. Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

  • Berntson G. G. & Cacioppo J. T. (2007). Integrative Physiology: Homeostasis Allostasis and the Orchestration of Systemic Physiology. In J. T. Cacioppo L. G. Tassinary & G. G. Berntson (Eds.) Handbook of psychophysiology (3rd ed. pp. 433–452). Cambridge New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • Bonnes M. Scopelliti M. Fornara F. & Carrus G. (2012). Urban environmental quality. In L. Steg Berg Agnes E. van den & De Groot Judith I. M (Eds.) BPS textbooks in psychology. Environmental psychology. An introduction (pp. 97–106). Chichester West Sussex Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Campbell A. Converse P. E. & Rodgers W. L. (1976). The quality of American life: Perceptions evaluations and satisfactions. Publications of Russell Sage Foundation. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Retrieved from

  • Cannon W. B. (1963). The wisdom of the body (Rev. and enl. ed.). The Norton library: N205. New York: Norton.

  • Carmichael C. L. Reis H. T. & Duberstein P. R. (2015). In your 20s it’s quantity in your 30s it’s quality: The prognostic value of social activity across 30 years of adulthood. Psychology and Aging30(1) 95–105. doi:10.1037/pag0000014

  • Czapiński J. & Błędowski P. (2014). Aktywność społeczna osób starszych w kontekście percepcji Polaków – diagnoza społeczna 2013: Raport tematyczny. Warszawa: Centrum Rozwoju Zasobów Ludzkich.

  • Czapiński J. Sułek A. & Szumlicz T. (2011). Indywidualna jakość życia. Contemporary Economics5(3) 160–270.

  • Dębek M. (2014). Towards people’s experiences and behaviours within their worlds: The integrative-transactional framework for studying complex people-environment interactions. Social Space8(2) 1–55.

  • Dębek M. & Janda-Dębek B. (2013). Jakość życia w przestrzeniach zurbanizowanych – definicje podsumowanie wyników badań oraz problemy metodologiczne. Czasopismo Psychologiczne19(2) 251–263. doi:10.14691/CPPJ.19.2.251

  • Dębek M. & Janda-Dębek B. (2015). Perceived Residential Environment Quality and Neighborhood Attachment (PREQ & NA) Indicators by Marino Bonaiuto Ferdinando Fornara and Mirilia Bonnes – Polish adaptation. Polish Journal of Applied Psychology13(2) 111–162.

  • Diener E. Lucas R. & Oishi S. (2002). Subjective well-being: The science of happiness and life satisfaction. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.) Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 63–73). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Doliński D. & Łukaszewski W. (2000). Typy motywacji. In J. Strelau (Ed.) Psychologia. Podręcznik akademicki (pp. 469–491). Gdańsk: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

  • European Commission. (2005). Social Capital: Special Eurobarometer (No. 223). Retrieved from

  • European Commission. (2015). The 2015 Ageing Report: Economic and budgetary projections for the 28 EU Member States (2013-2060) (The European Economy No. 3). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

  • Eurostat. (2012). Active ageing and solidarity between generations: A statistical portrait of the European Union 2012 (Population and social conditions). Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Retrieved from European Union website:

  • Fisher K. J. & Li F. (2004). A community-based walking trial to improve neighborhood quality of life in older adults: a multilevel analysis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine28(3) 186–194.

  • Fornara F. Bonaiuto M. & Bonnes M. (2010). Cross-Validation of Abbreviated Perceived Residential Environment Quality (PREQ) and Neighborhood Attachment (NA) Indicators. Environment and Behavior42(2) 171–196. doi:10.1177/0013916508330998

  • Franken R. E. (2002). Human motivation (5th ed.). Belmont CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

  • Gandziarowska-Ziołecka J. Średnicka J. & Zyskowski K. (2012). Kapitał społeczny i dobro wspólne. In A. Giza & M. Sikorska (Eds.) Współczesne społeczeństwo polskie (1st ed. pp. 359–399). Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

  • García Mira R. Uzzel D. Real E. & Romay J. (2005). Housing Space and Quality of Life: Introduction. In R. García Mira D. Uzzel E. Real & J. Romay (Eds.) Ethnoscapes. Housing space and quality of life (pp. 1–5). Aldershot Hants England: Ashgate.

  • Gifford R. (2007). Environmental psychology: Principles and practice (4th ed.). Colville: Optimal Books.

  • Grootaert C. Narayan D. Jones V. N. & Woolcock M. (2004). Measuring Social Capital: An Integrated Questionnaire. World Bank working paper: no. 18. Washington D.C.: World Bank.

  • Ilnicka A. (2015). Ustosunkowanie do miejsca i poczucie jego znajomości a skłonność do podejmowania działań na rzecz podniesienia jakości środowiska (Praca magisterska). Instytut Psychologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

  • Keles R. (2012). The Quality of Life and the Environment. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences35 23–32.

  • Keul A. & Prinz T. (2011). The Salzburg Quality of Urban Life Study with GIS Support. In R. W. Marans & R. J. Stimson (Eds.) Investigating Quality of Urban Life (Vol. 45 pp. 273–293). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

  • Kihlstrom J. F. (2014). The Person-Situation Interaction. In D. E. Carlston (Ed.) The oxford handbook of social cognition (pp. 786–805). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from

  • Lewicka M. & Bańka A. (2011). Psychologia środowiskowa. In J. Strelau & D. Doliński (Eds.) Psychologia akademicka. Podręcznik (2nd ed. pp. 497–544). Gdańsk: Gdańske Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

  • Marans R. W. & Stimson R. J. (Eds.). (2011). Investigating Quality of Urban Life (Vol. 45). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

  • Mridha A. & Moore G. (2011). The Quality of Life in Dhaka Bangladesh: Neighbourhood Quality as a Major Component of Residential Satisfaction. In R. W. Marans & R. J. Stimson (Eds.) Investigating Quality of Urban Life (Vol. 45 pp. 251–293). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

  • Oktay D. & Rustemli A. (2011). The Quality of Urban Life and Neighborhood Satisfaction in Famagusta Northern Cyprus. In R. W. Marans & R. J. Stimson (Eds.) Investigating Quality of Urban Life (Vol. 45 pp. 233–249). Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

  • Orte C. March M. X. & Vives M. (2007). Social Support Quality of Life and University Programs for Seniors. Educational Gerontology33(11) 995–1013. doi: 10.1080/03601270701632255

  • Perlaviciute G. & Steg L. (2012). Environment and quality of life. In L. Steg Berg Agnes E. van den & De Groot Judith I. M (Eds.) BPS textbooks in psychology. Environmental psychology. An introduction (pp. 107–118). Chichester West Sussex Malden MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

  • Putnam R. D. (2001). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community (new ed.). New York [u.a.]: Simon & Schuster.

  • Schwartz B. (2013). Paradoks wyboru: Dlaczego więcej oznacza mniej. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

  • Stokols D. (2013). Theory development in environmental psychology. In S. Wapner J. Demick T. Yamamoto & H. Minami (Eds.) Theoretical Perspectives in Environment-behavior Research. Underlying Assumptions Research Problems and Methodologies (pp. 269–276). Springer Verlag.

  • van Kamp I. Leidelmeijer K. Marsman G. & Hollander A. de. (2003). Urban environmental quality and human well-being: Towards a conceptual framework and demarcation of concepts; a literature study. Landscape and Urban Planning65(1-2) 5–18.

  • Wapner S. Demick J. Yamamoto T. & Minami H. (2013). Similarities and differences across theories of environment-behavior relations. In S. Wapner J. Demick T. Yamamoto & H. Minami (Eds.) Theoretical Perspectives in Environment-behavior Research. Underlying Assumptions Research Problems and Methodologies (pp. 289–306). Springer Verlag.

  • World Health Organization. (2004). The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL)-BREF. Geneva: World Health Organization Marketing and Dissemination.

Gesamte Zeit Letztes Jahr Letzte 30 Tage
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 284 93 4
PDF Downloads 138 55 1