Week 2 Discussion Defining Life Balance for the Purposes of Applied Research

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Week2 Discussion: Defining Life Balance for the Purposes of AppliedResearch

Week2 Discussion: Defining Life Balance for the Purposes of AppliedResearch

Similarityin the definitions

Thethree definitions are similar in that they are founded on the ideathat life balance is a positive thing to be pursued, irrespective ofwhether that balance is a mere preconception, an idea in one’smind, or a reality.


Thefirst definition is different because it holds that life balance isachieved when people meet presuppositions of a balanced life. Thesecond definition is based on the idea that a balance of life isachieved when an individual feels at a given time that they areleading a balanced life, but there is no objective criterion tomeasure that balance. The third definition holds that life balance isachieved when the balance is visible and obvious to everyone (Matuska&amp Christiansen, 2009).

Advantagesand disadvantages

Thefirst definition is based on preconceived ideas of a balanced life,which means that it give each person the opportunity to feel thepleasure of having achieved a life balance since their preconceivedideas are different from those of others. However, this definitiondoes not provide a standard measure of the balance of life. Thesecond definition is also advantageous in that it allows people tomeasure their own life balance depending on what they think is abalanced life. However, the definition is quite subjective. The thirddefinition is more objective and fair because it supports a balancedlife that can actually be seen. However, the third definition canlead to superficiality since it can leave out most of the criticalmeasures of life balance that are believed to be correct byindividual persons.

Reasonabilityof the second definition

Itcan be more reasonable to use the second definition because itssubjectivity will allow the researcher to include measures of balancethat are important to an individual person, but not to others.

Exampleof a research based on the second definition

Thestudy conducted by Suzan Lewis and Janet Smithson (2001) andpublished in the article “Sense of entitlement to support for thereconciliation of employment and family life” is an example of aresearch is based on the second definition that is subjective. Thesubjects of the study thought that their lives were balanceddepending on whether their employer provided them with services (suchas child care) that could ease the burdens in their personal lives.Therefore, participants thought their lives were balanced when theirsense of entitlement to such services were satisfied.

Applyingthe research to older adults

Thesubjective measure of life balance is appropriate for older adultswho are likely to think that their lives are balanced under differentcircumstances. It can be used to measure the balance of life of olderadults using variables that they think are the correct indicators ofa balanced life.


Lewis,S. &amp Smithson, J. (2001). Sense of entitlement to support forthe reconciliation of employment and family life. HumanRelations,54 (11), 1455-1481.

Matuska,K. &amp Christiansen, C. (2009). Lifebalance: Multidisciplinary theories and research.Thorofare, NJ: SLACK Incorporation.

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