Quality of Life Research

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 629–641 | Cite as

Changes in SWB following injury to different brain lobes

  • Carrie S. Hayward
  • Mark A. Stokes
  • David Taylor
  • Simon Young
  • Vicki Anderson


A neurological substrate for subjective well-being (SWB) has received little research attention.


This study was designed to conduct exploratory investigation into the neuroanatomical correlates of SWB, by monitoring the SWB of a head-injured population over a six-month period.


Seventy people with head injury (HI), aged 10–65, were studied. The SWB of each participant was measured, and computed tomography (CT) scans were analysed to obtain regional brain injury location (BIL).


SWB was associated with BIL. However, the hypothesis that individuals with left frontal injury would report lower SWB was not supported. Instead, it was observed that participants with injury to their right frontal lobe reported higher SWB than individuals with injury to other regions of the brain.


This study provides initial exploration into the neuroanatomical correlates of SWB.


Quality of life Neuroanatomy Frontal lobe Head Trauma Happiness 

Glossary of acronyms and abbreviations


Akaike’s Information Criterion (Akaike, 1987)


Australian Unity Wellbeing (research project)


Brain injury location


Confidence interval


Computed tomography


Dependent variable


Electroencephalograph analyses


Glasgow Coma Scale




Hierarchical Linear and Nonlinear Modelling program


Independent variable


Post-traumatic amnesia


Personal Wellbeing Index-Adult (International Wellbeing Group, 2005)


Personal Wellbeing Index–School Children (Cummins & Lau, 2004)


Personal Wellbeing Index-School Children (Cummins & Lau, 2005)


Royal Children’s Hospital


Royal Melbourne Hospital


Standard deviation


Standard error


Standard error of mean


Subjective well-being


Traumatic brain injury


Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale 3rd Edition


Wechsler Individual Achievement Tests


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – 4th Edition




chi square/goodness of fit




Degrees of freedom




Intraclass correlation


Percentage of scale maximum


Probability value

\( \sigma_{u0}^{2} \)

Sigma squared/person level variance


Standardized score


Squared correlation of the effect

\( \sigma_{e}^{2} \)

Tau intercept/occasion level variance


Number of independent variables


Number of participants



We are grateful to Senem Eren (Psychology Department, The Royal Children’s Hospital Australia) for her assistance in ethics applications and participant recruitment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carrie S. Hayward
    • 1
  • Mark A. Stokes
    • 1
  • David Taylor
    • 2
  • Simon Young
    • 3
  • Vicki Anderson
    • 4
  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Emergency Medicine ResearchAustin HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Emergency DepartmentThe Royal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Psychology DepartmentThe Royal Children’s HospitalMelbourneAustralia

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