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Posted Monday October, 26th 2020

Mental Wellness Tied to Social Justice Policies, Study Finds

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People who live in countries that promote greater social justice tend to be happier, according to a new study published in the Journal of Community Psychology. Researchers Salvatore Di Martino of the University of Naples and Isaac Prilleltensky of the University of Miami found that social justice and fairness play a large role in feelings of happiness, belonging, and life satisfaction in the European Union.

Di Martino and Prilleltensky write:

“Social justice is one of the strongest predictors of national happiness. After holding constant, both individual and country‐level controlling variables, increasing the level of social justice across the EU member states also increases the level of national life satisfaction.”

According to other transnational and cross-cultural research on life satisfaction and happiness, there is more happiness than feeling good. Social issues such as high unemployment and discrimination of marginalized populations have been correlated with higher suicidality rates and mental ill-health. However, rarely do large scale, nationally sponsored studies on citizens’ life satisfaction consider how inequity and inclusive policies relate to happiness.

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