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

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Abstract

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.

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