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Socio-affective well-being: what it is and how it influences us

Socio-affective well-being: what it is and how it influences us

June 12, 2024

One of the worst pitfalls we can fall into when deciding how we want to live is to assume that only we influence our own well-being. That is why the concept of socio-emotional well-being is so important .

Throughout this article we will see what socio-affective well-being consists of, and why it is a central concept of both psychology and social sciences.

  • Related article: "Psychological well-being: 15 habits to achieve it"

What is socio-affective well-being?

Socio-affective well-being is the set of biological, contextual and relational factors that allow us to feel good , in a global and holistic sense. It is, in short, to feel good about oneself and the material and social context in which one lives.

It is important to take into account, for example, that the people who have all the basic needs covered (that is, those that have to do with maintaining a good state of health in real time, or very short term) may feel very bad for several reasons: a work environment in which punishments prevail, a poor social life, etc.

That's why, in the same way that mental disorders are not simply experienced "from the inside out", but the environment also influences how you live, the same happens with our well-being.

The concept of socio-emotional well-being means that happiness and health go from being phenomena that must be treated individually to much more complex phenomena, for which the public and collective management of the environment also counts. Therefore, the public administration also has the duty to worry about this issue.

  • Article by psychologist Bertrand Regader: "Metacognition: what it is, concept and theories"

Contextual elements that influence this

To help better understand what social-emotional well-being is, it is good to review some examples of aspects of our environment that influence this . Let's see them

1. Presence or absence of abuse

This is a very important element, and more considering that Abuse is not always physical or involves injuries , but it can become psychological and very subtle.

  • Related article: "The 9 types of abuse and their characteristics"

2. Number of social and environmental stimuli

It is not the same to live in a place with a very rich variety of novelties and stimuli, than to do it in a solitary hut in the middle of a desert. In the long run, monotony and lack of novelties leave a mark on mental health .

3. Presence or absence of discrimination

Discrimination continues to be a very present social problem and is suffered by several vulnerable groups. Therefore, it has an impact on the social-emotional well-being of people who suffer from this discrimination and, to a lesser extent, that of other citizens who have evidence of the fragility of the social fabric in which they live .

  • You may be interested: "The 16 types of discrimination (and their causes)"

4. Presence of solidarity culture

Solidarity allows the less favored people to receive help from those who are in a better situation. Due, it is a logic that runs in the opposite direction to individualism , and part of a collectivist conception of society in which socio-emotional well-being has a great importance.

Socio-affective well-being in the vital stages

The needs to which the socio-emotional well-being must respond evolve as we go through the stages of life. Let's see several examples of this.


During childhood, physical contact with the father or mother is especially important, as well as the existence of a rich communication both in the content and in the emotional charge that is expressed through gestures and language.

In addition, it is important to have a rich environment that promotes learning and the development of curiosity.


In adolescence, it is especially important to have healthy relationships with peer group members (friends and classmates). Self-identity and self-esteem develop, in large part, depending on how other people treat us.


From approximately 15 to 20 years of age, the need for develop an independent life and perceive one's own self-efficacy . Knowing how to do everything adults do allows them to feel part of society.


From age 20 to 45, approximately, social problems and intellectual concerns become more important. Access to culture In order to learn in a self-taught way, they gain strength, since they seek to cultivate their own knowledge.At the same time, the importance of others' opinions about oneself is not given much importance, given that self-concept is much better consolidated than before.

Mature age

In this stage there is a tendency to value stability more in relation to what has been achieved over the years. In the same way, the risk of isolation due to a frequent decline in the number of friends It also worries and can endanger socio-emotional well-being.

Social Thinking: Crash Course Psychology #37 (June 2024).

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