Theory of Quality of Life in Local Development Policies

Lirios CG

Published on: 2019-12-30


Gross mode, the quality of life, because of the local development policies emerged in the regional cooperation and import substitution schemes, deploying subsidies for business development. In this sense, the objective of this paper is to expose the axes and trajectories of relationships between the allusive factors to the quality of life as an effect of the consensus and disagreement between rulers and the governed, even though the literature warns that it is rather it is a consequence of the guidelines of international organizations. A documentary study was carried out with a selection of sources indexed to institutional repositories. From the Delhi analysis, the scope and limits of three approaches and their contributions to the state of the question are discussed. It is recommended an extension of the study and a data analysis to achieve a comprehensive approach.


Quality of life; Local development; Business development; Public services; Social entrepreneurship


The quality of life, for the purposes of this work, refers to a system of management and administration of resources and services aimed at comfort, satisfaction and happiness. In relation to local development, which suggests a system of co-management between governors and the governed in order to integrate the productive units with regional, national or international dynamics, the quality of life turns out to be indicative of the differences between political actors and social with respect to the positive experiences that will define the subjective well-being, main dimension of the quality of life [1]. In this way, the theoretical, conceptual and empirical frameworks distinguish between quality of life and local development in that the former is a reflection of the policies of social welfare and business development, but not in an economic sense but in terms of the perceptions of the rulers with respect to the performance of their authorities [2]. Consequently, the quality of life would be indicative of social welfare and policies such as government strategies for local development, but if such process generates dissatisfaction or negative experiences in the governed, then the quality of life acquires a social dimension in terms of that alludes to capitals or relationships between sectors violated by government inefficiency [3]. That is, in a context of ungovernability, the rector of the State ceases to be the axis quality of life and promotes civil organization around experiences that, while not positively satisfactory, at least discharging responsibility in the State and lessen the responsibility of civil society before its demands and expectations [4]. In this way it is like the social welfare propitiated by the State when it is not generated, subjective well-being emerges, consisting of self-management and self-administration of resources with the intention of satisfying social needs and expectations that exclude the rulers of such scheme [5]. Even the emergence of an organized civil society to guarantee personal satisfaction and wellbeing, means the reduction of the State to a gendarme function in which security itself is no longer social, national or territorial but rather citizen and private [6]. Consequently, high levels of quality of life correspond to the reduction of asymmetries between political and social actors, as well as a civil organization merged with state institutions. It is a governance or co-government in which the quality of life would be the indicator par excellence [7]. However, studies of the quality of life separate it from social well-being and subjective well-being, warning that it is a local management process without considering the asymmetries between the governors and the governed when establishing the priority issues in the local agenda [8]. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out a preliminary study in order to establish the axes and central themes of the local agenda and in relation to the rectoría of the State, crystallized in social welfare policies, civil participation translated into strategies of subjective well-being and the quality of life as the intersection of both types of well-being [9].

The objective of the present work was to review the literature and discuss the link between both types of well-being in relation to the reported findings of quality of life. A documentary, transversal and exploratory work was carried out with a selection of sources indexed to local repositories such as Latindex and Redalyc, considering the year of publication from 2000 to 2017, as well as the inclusion of concepts such as: "quality of life", "well-being" social "and" subjective well-being ". The Delphi technique was used, which consists of comparing and integrating information in order to establish a discussion of the problem and anticipate future study scenarios.

Theory of Quality of Life

The theoretical frameworks that explain the quality of life are: 1) social well-being, 2) agenda setting, 3)Subjective well-being. Quality of life, from the three approaches alludes to a system of management and self-management of resources and services considered public goods susceptible of being assumed as private in order to guarantee trust, commitment and satisfaction among political and social actors, which would indicate a cogovernment of local development [10]. The emphasis of the incidence of civil organizations on state institutions indicates a quality of life centered on subjective well-being, but also the emergence of a public administration close to the needs and expectations of civil society [11]. If, rather, the influence of institutions on civil organizations is highlighted, then it is possible to observe a quality of life centered on welfare, assistance and social services [12]. Although the theories highlight the importance of a dialogue between the organized sectors of civil society and state institutions, the quality of life has been more attributed to emerging urban development projects in which the authorities are marginal to the growth of the population. Infrastructure and only take care of security, avoiding their participation in civil organizations, which only aims to regulate financially [13]. In this way, social welfare is reflected by a quality of life centered on the provision of public resources and services, as well as crime prevention around private goods. Or, the quality of life is considered as a result of a level of local development in which the State only manages the link between civil organizations with financial or transnational organizations or their homonyms in other regions [14]. Well, when the State neither prevents conflicts nor attends to them with the help of its institutions, the quality of life seems to be confined to a more private dimension than local or regional. The emergence of an agenda focused only on the needs and expectations of citizens with greater purchasing power acquires the appointment and social mandate of quality of life [15].

In this sense, positive experiences are satisfactory for residents who have the resources and services necessary for their health, education, work, recreation or leisure. It is a subjective well-being that not only excludes those who share the resources and services provided by state institutions, but also reduces the State's leading role to financial support, maintenance of infrastructure or repair of facilities that inhibit subjective experience. Of residential or neighborhood quality of life [16]. In both cases, social welfare and subjective well-being, the establishment of a personal, neighborhood, local or public agenda is of the utmost importance. It is a process of influencing policies or strategies that hold or exonerate each of the actors in terms of the impact of an informative dissemination related to a problem of public resources or services [17]. The agenda resulting from the differences and similarities between the governors and the governed reflects a level of quality of life, social and subjective well-being from which it is possible to anticipate a scenario of conflict between political and social actors. This is because the resulting agenda reveals the degree of satisfaction of those involved with respect to the performance of their counterpart [18]. Therefore, the more detailed aspects of the asymmetries between the influence of civil organizations in the institutions and of these in those suggests the possibility of carrying out a more specific analysis in the report of the findings [19].

Quality of Life Studies

Quality of life understood as satisfactions related to resources, values, norms, expectations, perceptions and capacities is a central theme in the public health agenda for sustainable local development [20]. Some studies related to quality of life establish significant differences between sexes with respect to transport, employment and recreation. Likewise, when it is considered as a perceptual system of resources around the individual and in reference to the primary group, it is considered a style of personal wellbeing that is oriented towards social integration [21]. However, quality of life correlates with anxiety and depression in situations of medical uncertainty and deterioration of health. That is, the quality of life is the result of the perception of scarcity of resources rather than the hopes generated from personal abilities. The opportunities seem to be reduced to their minimum expression and with this the responsibility of self-management increases and there is an improvement in expectations through the links between the members of a social, family or school group [22].

The dimensions alluding to quality of life are economic well-being, interpersonal relationship of couple, family situation, neighborhood context, social capital and health status. Therefore, the quality of life is a framework of expectations that start from a figurative nucleus to influence decisions on the distribution of resources [23]. When the individual is going through an economic, health, family or interpersonal situation, he or she often estimates that their quality of life has changed substantially. Immediately activate aesthetic, affective and rational expectations that drive actions that are aimed at generating opportunities and updating the subject's abilities to the group to which they belong or want to belong. That is, the quality of life is the antecedent of the formation of a group identity and sense of belonging anchored to freedoms of choice, expectations of justice and collective mobilization [24]. Establish a correlative model to discuss the importance of other variables in the investigation of the quality of life once the relationships between the factors derived from the literature review were specified: life satisfaction, expected abilities, expectations of opportunity, relationships of trust, perception of justice, appreciation of the environment, norms of context and perceived resources supposes the correlative analysis with the satisfaction of life through the norms of context [25]. The quality of life in its perceptual phase generates emotions of distrust towards the authorities that result in dissenting citizen actions. Rather, the perception of quality of life, in terms of the notion of social justice, is linked to conventional styles of development that the individual has learned since childhood and now in his adult life translates as reliability or trust, but upon realizing that the link with their authorities is asymmetric, then mobilizes the necessary resources for civil disobedience [26].

The quality of life, in its dimension of life satisfaction, requires a set of indicators that guide not only the perception of the subject, but also collective action. A low level of life satisfaction is enough to activate the process of social dissidence, but a high level of life satisfaction does not create collaborative, supportive or empathetic nexuses [27]. However, low levels of life satisfaction, which suggest minimum standards of quality of life, favor the formation of support networks. This is the case of the new lesbian-gay or ecologist social movements, which, by forming self-help groups, cause greater subjective well-being for those who only perceive an abundance of resources [28]. As the quality of life is specific and limited to psychological factors, the expectations of dissatisfaction, indignation and civil disobedience are increased, but social skills such as creativity and innovation of minority groups also emerge in the face of the ideological or pragmatic imposition of the majorities [29]. The quality of life in economic, political, social, health, educational, labor and technological terms is a multidimensional construct. The relationships between opportunities, capacities, responsibilities, justice, reliability and mobilization aimed at life satisfaction can be embodied in a model. These are correlations between variables around which dependency links between economic, political, social, group and personal factors influence life satisfaction [30]. The theory of human capital warns that the capacities would have a significant impact on the life satisfaction, since a high level of education is compensated with a high satisfactory lifestyle. Moreover, if the connection between capabilities and satisfaction starts from real or symbolic opportunities, then as the theory points out, human development is complemented [31].

However, the process that assumes freedoms of choice, capabilities and life satisfaction necessarily, according to the theory of demands and resources, is subject to the availability of resources and their distribution among species. In the case of common resources, there is a zero-sum tragedy in which the actors involved, instead of cooperating and establishing an administrative co-responsibility of the resources, compete unchecked and suppress the possibility of growth of other species. That is why the availability of resources indirectly affects life satisfaction [32]. Although the availability of resources sets the tone in the organization of human groups, it is the State in reference to citizenship, as the theory of rational choice warns, who encourages the dissemination of resources. When the relationship between civil society and its authorities is asymmetric, then the quality of life vanishes, but when there are bonds of trust, then life satisfaction emerges [33]. In another scenario, the nexus between citizens and authorities generates expectations of justice that diminish or enhance co-responsibility. This is so because, according to the ecological theory of development, politics is concomitant with economics. Higher levels of governance are observed in affluent countries, while un governability underlies weak economies. That is why the expected justice directly affects the vital satisfaction of the citizenry with its political system [30].

In the process that starts from trust, capabilities and life satisfaction, the relationship between society and the state oriented towards development has its main link in the formation of human capital. Development, unlike growth, supposes high standards of life satisfaction, which is why skills are an essential factor in the link between political reliability and personal life satisfaction. The indirect relationship between justice and satisfaction when mediated by the capacities supposes ecological scenarios of development. The connection between authorities and citizens is defined by molar and molecular actions that will affect individual satisfaction [33]. Molar acts, in contrast to molecular actions, involve significant links that contrast the individual in crisis situations. On the other hand, insignificant relationships are understood as molecular acts from which it is not possible to build a collective memory, social dissidence or civil disobedience. This is how justice, when considered a system of molar actions, influences vital satisfaction while it is regulated by personal abilities [34]. However, the opportunities that affect the relationships between reliability, justice, capabilities and satisfaction. In this way, the freedoms of choice when linked to political reliability and individual capacities impact on life satisfaction. This is because the trust between citizens and politicians depends on employment choice options. If there are job opportunities, then the political reliability increases and, when the skills are affected, it fosters high levels of satisfaction. Or else, opportunities are disseminated as factors of justice affecting the generation of work skills, while it is possible to observe the increase in personal satisfaction of life [35]. Now, the freedoms of choice imply decisions, demands and resources from which opportunities are generated. It is because of this issue that the availability of resources, but above all, the dilemma of their distribution, impacts on the development of communities or groups that share scenarios and contexts [36]. The history of a community or group seems to be undermined by networks of cooperation and trust as long as the availability of resources allows it. Faced with a situation of scarcity, the dilemmas emerge and with it the tragedies of the common entities. In this sense, opportunities are the result of co-responsibility among the parties involved [37].

In this way, resource management indirectly affects satisfaction through opportunities, reliability, justice and capabilities. In the first instance, the lack of resources would create a reduction of the levels of citizen confidence before the public administration, this would impact on the options of choice, reducing the consumption capacity. Once the purchasing power is compromised, the levels of citizen satisfaction are reduced to their minimum expression. In this tenor, scarcity can also affect perceptions of citizen injustice, in the face of a lack of government response, the capacities of choice are reduced to influence life satisfaction [37]. In contrast, when the availability of resources is insufficient but widely perceived by citizens, the opportunities for choice seem to act in the public trust and with it in decision-making seeking satisfaction not only personal or group, but social. This also involves a process of justice before the distribution of resources via public services. In this scenario, life satisfaction precedes the choice options that, when perceived as abundant, transfer the effect of social justice towards life satisfaction [34]. Likewise, the relationship between the valuation of the environment (available resources) and the satisfaction of life (needs obtained) as a direct and significant process. It is an asymmetric relationship, since the scarcity of resources in the face of rising expectations raises a scenario that compromises citizens' confidence in their future leaders and the capacities of future civil society [37]. The social norms in terms of administration and, therefore, the distribution of resources, their link with satisfaction to be direct and meaningful includes a structural reductionism, or else, in the interrelation with social justice and capabilities implies the emergence of a democratic system of citizen participation before the opening of the State [24]. The specification of relationships between the factors that theories use to explain the incidence of resource availability on life satisfaction leads to the formation of skills understood as options of choice, guides the formation of human capital as a development factor when least economic [36]. The opportunities, capacities and responsibilities perceived not from the physical availability of resources, but from the consumption expectations that public services disseminate to users. Because the resources are administered in the first instance by the State, they generate perceptions of trust that enhance choice, but mistrust inhibits choices and therefore life satisfaction [24].

The common availability of resources triggers dependency relations between the factors used, with the objective of encouraging the opportunities of choice and thereby achieving life satisfaction. The dependency links that are specified in the model are adjusted to the observed data. That is, the perception of availability and communality of resources directly and indirectly impacts the satisfaction of students' lives. In the second case of indirect relationship, the expectations of opportunity, confidence, justice and capacity to reduce or increase the incidence of expected resources on life satisfaction, adjust their specified relationships to the data obtained [21]. That is, the full satisfaction of actions related to academia, technology and employment is influenced by the availability of perceived resources through the students' ingrained behavior. This is so because the conservation of resources obeys to rooted customs in which the sense of belonging is fundamental for personal, group or communal satisfaction [17]. In reference to the dependency relationship between anxiety and low perceived quality of life, the availability of perceived resources indirectly correlates to life satisfaction through context norms. The quality of life, having been considered from two preponderant dimensions: subjective and physical, involved the interrelation between availability of resources and basic psychological processes in which the links of groups would not affect the perception of full satisfaction [9]. However, in this work the relationships of trust and the perception of justice are variables related to the dynamics of groups to which the individual belongs, their influence is less than the valuation of resources (public services of education, technology and employment) and personal abilities (freedom of choice, skills and knowledge), although context norms (entrenched behaviors) increase the relationship between available resources and life satisfaction. However, it will be essential to include personal pathologies in the dependency relations model to contrast their influence on life satisfaction [26]. The quality of life, in its dimension of full satisfaction of public education services, Internet and employment, in the sample of young people surveyed is the indirect relationship between perceived resources and life satisfaction suggests that there are group and personal factors that regulate the impact of a scarcity or perceived abundance of resources, although the state of knowledge warns that it is the psychological variables that are associated with the perceptions of full satisfaction of life [9]. The satisfaction of life to interrelate with perceived resources, environmental assessments, context norms, perception of justice, trust relationships, opportunities and expected capacities can be explained from psychological or sociological theoretical frameworks, but it is necessary to include theories and constructs of an economic nature and political, since its exclusion reduces the quality of life to the perception of the respondents [23].

Final considerations

The contribution of the present work to the state of the matter lies in the review and discussion of the theoretical, conceptual and empirical frameworks related to the quality of life. In the context of local development, the quality of life seems to be determined by the degree of positive experiences or personal satisfaction around resources and public services, although the selection of information sources and the analysis technique limit the work to a context local rather than regional. It is recommended to extend the selection of information to international repositories such as Ebsco, Copernicus or Scopus, as well as the analysis of data mining. Both strategies will allow a discussion and analysis oriented to the influence of the international financial organisms on the state institutions and of these in the civil organizations. The international literature specialized in multilateralism and regionalism will allow to observe the emergence of a quality of life determined by international standards and disconnected from identity, attachment and sense of community. In relation to the study by [36] which highlights the power of state institutions over civil organizations through micro financing, the present work has suggested that a balance between social welfare and subjective well-being implies a high quality of life and a co-responsibility in the construction of the same [35]. Warns that resilience is generated by low levels of consensus among political and social actors regarding the prevention and management of natural disasters, which imply public services and social assistance aimed at reducing stress. Generates by dissatisfaction, although the present work shows that stress is inherent in the asymmetries between governors and the governed when managing and administering public goods. Such a process suggests that the quality of life would be determined by conflicts rather than agreements, since the former are permanent, forcing an endless negotiation and the latter being ephemeral supposes the rupture between the parties.

A [35] Points out that risks such as perceived stress are determinants of the expected resilience in a situation of un governability. That is to say, the quality of life supposes an expectation of latent and galloping threat that can become in the dissatisfaction, the conflict and eventually in a change of political system, regime of government or form of State. Precisely, the importance of quality of life lies in that it does not reflect the social welfare that the policies aspire to provide, but if they lead citizens to build a subjective well-being that legitimizes the absence of the State in terms of civil protection, entrepreneurship citizen or sustainable innovation. It is recommended to review and discuss factors related to quality of life such as risk, stress and resilience as indicative factors, but also determinants of co-responsibility between governed and governed when establishing management and administration of resources and public services.


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