The Well-being Paradox in Latin America: Identifying, Protecting, Capitalizing, and Replicating What Works Well
Self-reported measures of subjective well-being in Latin America consistently indicate higher levels than predicted, despite various societal, economic, and political challenges. This project examines three significant elements that emerge when Latin Americans report on their well-being: the importance of interpersonal relationships, the unexpectedly elevated levels of positive affect, and a tendency to adopt an optimistic outlook on life. Warm and fulfilling relationships with family and friends play a crucial role in the experience of high levels of positive emotions, and alongside a positive view of life situations, contribute to explaining well-being in the region. Evidence shows positive relationships, positive emotions, and optimism are associated with several positive outcomes and are essential to enhance well-being. The findings discussed in this paper have practical applications for public policy, education, coaching, and therapeutic contexts. Preserving these cultural values and practices within Latin American societies is of utmost importance. Furthermore, sharing the unique aspects of Latin American culture regarding well-being can provide valuable lessons that can be applied in different cultures and contexts.