Bored to death?

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK.
International Journal of Epidemiology (Impact Factor: 9.18). 04/2010; 39(2):370-1. DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyp404
Source: PubMed
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    • "Indeed, it seems that boredom presages delinquent behaviour (Horvath and Zuckerman 1993) and substance abuse (Iso-Ahola and Crowley, 1991). An epidemiological study has even found that individuals with a great deal of boredom are more likely to die during follow-up than those not bored at all (Britton and Shipley 2010). Scitovsky's bi-partition of motivations for comfort and for novelty is consistent with a body of empirical evidence in psychology which shows that extrinsic motivations, which are goal-oriented, cluster around preferences for " financial success, appearance, and social recognition " , whereas intrinsic motivations, which are experience-oriented, cluster around preferences for " self-acceptance, affiliation and community feeling. "
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    ABSTRACT: The recent debate on happiness in economics has revived interest in Scitovsky's 1976 book The Joyless Economy, which aims at explaining the income-happiness paradox, i.e. 'why [American] unprecedented and fast-growing prosperity had left its beneficiaries unsatisfied.' A dynamic economic model will distil Scitovsky's proposal, which has not yet been integrated into conventional economics. It will show that people's dissatisfaction may be due to their excess of demand for `comfort', which requires consumption goods, and to their lack in pursuing `creative activities', which instead essentially require leisure and a skill, called `leisure skill', that people have failed to develop. Since comfort includes comparing consumption with that of others, Scitovsky also strengthened the conventional solution of the paradox.
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    ABSTRACT: Boredom is closely aligned with depression, but is understood to be conceptually distinct. Little is known about boredom among active drug users and the potential association with depression and HIV risk. Current IDUs (n = 845) completed a baseline behavioral survey including socio-demographic characteristics, self-reported boredom, depressive symptoms (CESD score), and HIV risk behaviors. One-third of the sample reported high boredom in the past week. In multivariate analysis, those who reported boredom were less likely to be older, African-American, have a main partner, and to be employed at least part-time. Controlling for covariates, those with high boredom were almost five times as likely to report high depressive symptoms. Co-occurrence of boredom and depressive symptoms (28 %) was strongly and independently associated with a range of injection risk behaviors and sex exchange. This study demonstrates the need for more thorough understanding of mental health and HIV risk among urban drug users.
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