Social bonding and subjective wellbeing: findings from the 2017 ISSP Module

Yanjie Bian, Lei Zhang, Yayi Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper is about the impact of social bonding on subjective wellbeing. Statistical analysis of the 2017 ISSP module data from 30 member societies provides the following findings. First, the 30 societies show a large variation in measures of social bonding and subjective wellbeing. Second, an individual’s subjective wellbeing is significantly higher when he/she is socially engaged as compared to the socially isolated, and this is so even after individual attributes are statistically controlled for. Third, social eating participation has a positive impact on subjective wellbeing. Finally, the above-described empirical results are used to create a relational world map, within which societies are located on the intersection of formal and informal channels of social bonding. This map makes it explicit that a country’s dominant mode of social bonding matters for its citizens’ subjective wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-47
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • ISSP
  • Social bonding
  • social eating
  • subjective wellbeing


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