Research Topic

Interpersonal Wellbeing Across the Life Span

About this Research Topic

Having good-quality interpersonal relationships can help us live longer and happier lives. Maintaining unhealthy relationships, as well as experiencing long-term feelings of loneliness and isolation, can lead to poor psychological and physical health outcomes, low life satisfaction, and high rates of ...

Having good-quality interpersonal relationships can help us live longer and happier lives. Maintaining unhealthy relationships, as well as experiencing long-term feelings of loneliness and isolation, can lead to poor psychological and physical health outcomes, low life satisfaction, and high rates of mortality. Nurturing healthy relationships is therefore essential to maintain wellbeing and to build thriving societies.

Individual behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and beliefs shape interpersonal experiences and influence wellbeing. However, the nature of this interdependence is not linear across the lifespan as an individual’s goals, priorities, meanings, and motivators change over time. In early childhood, for example, the child-parent relationship is essential to the child’s wellbeing. In adolescence and early adulthood, friendships and work relationships are central in one’s life fulfillment and satisfaction. In later life people may prioritize stable and positive emotional experiences, investing energy and time on meaningful relationships over those involving some degree of uncertainty.

Despite its importance, interpersonal wellbeing has mostly been explored within the realm of social behavioral psychology, with less research being conducted to understand the role of interpersonal relationships on the wellbeing of clinical and ethnically diverse populations, for example. In a time of globalization, climate change, and changes in interpersonal communication, factors related to, and patterns of, interpersonal and intergroup relationships are likely to continuously evolve. To tackle loneliness and social isolation, and to increase interpersonal wellbeing on a large scale, such changes to interpersonal processes need to be better understood. Further investigation will provide the necessary theoretical foundations to understand interpersonal processes, guide directions for future research, and inform strategies for the application of interventions and therapy.
This Research Topic will focus on interpersonal well-being across the life span with the aim to study and deepen our understanding of interpersonal relationships (or interdependence) as a key determinant of wellbeing among individuals and communities.

To this end, we welcome manuscripts reporting on a variety of designs and methods (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, surveys, lab-experiments, observation, clinical trials, neuroimaging) to examine interpersonal wellbeing from infancy to childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood; all article types will be considered.

We are particularly interested in original research that aims to address the following:
• stability and change in interpersonal well-being across the lifespan;
• the intersection between physical and mental health and interpersonal wellbeing across the lifespan;
• studies using life course approaches to examine interpersonal wellbeing;
• the impact of stigma and discrimination on the interpersonal wellbeing of commonly underrepresented populations (e.g. mental illness, displaced populations or refugees, homeless);
• individual/group perceptions and experiences on using arts/nature/music/technology to maintain interpersonal wellbeing;
• intersectoral research involving health and environmental sciences exploring ways through which architectural designs and urban planning can affect and/or improve interpersonal wellbeing across the lifespan;
• intersectoral research exploring the role of climate change/poverty/displacement / urban violence on interpersonal wellbeing;
• the use of new technological solutions to improve interpersonal wellbeing;
• predictors and mean levels of interpersonal well-being in different population groups;
• interventions (including behavior change interventions) aimed at tackling loneliness and social isolation through improving social-connectedness and interpersonal well-being; and
• the role of interpersonal wellbeing in one’s perceived social support, social-connectedness, relationship satisfaction, health, development, and quality of life.


Keywords: Social Psychology, Interpersonal relationships, Well-Being, Interpersonal wellbeing, Social capital, Social connectedness, Loneliness, Social isolation, Life course, Life span, Applied Psychology, Positive psychology, Health psychology, Behaviour Change, Health, Quality of Life, Cognition, Emotion, Prevention, Health Promotion, Social Care, Health Care, Social Prescribing, Psychological health, Public health, Clinical Populations, Vulnerable Populations, Underrepresented populations, Globalisation, Technology, Climate change, Intersectoral research, Urban designs


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

02 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

02 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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