Victimisation surveys

Victimisaton surveys collect information on the level and distribution of criminal victimisation in a society. They are intended to answer questions such as how much crime takes place, what are its characteristics, who are its victims, whether the level of crime is changing over time, who is at risk of becoming a victim, and how do perceptions of safety relate to the actual risk of victimisation (UNECE, 2010). The interaction between victimisation, perceptions of safety and subjective well-being is of high interest, both from the perspective of understanding how victimisation affects well-being, and in order to better understand the impact on the victim of different types of victimisation. Subjective well-being questions are thus of high value to such surveys.

Health surveys

Health surveys already have a considerable tradition of the inclusion of measures of subjective well-being as part of overall and mental health modules such as the widely used GHQ-12 and SF-36 modules. These include questions relating to all three aspects of subjective well-being. However, these modules are calibrated for a specific purpose - measuring overall health status or pre-screening for mental health issues - and in many ways do not conform with best practice in measuring subjective well-being as outlined here. Because of the importance of health status to subjective well-being, there is considerable value in adding a small number of specific subjective well-being measures to such surveys where possible.

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