Quality of Life is commonplace term, which is rarely adequately defined. The complexity of the concept and its interpretation pose challenges for measurement. The improvement of the quality of life of farm families is an aim of the Teagasc Planning Post Fischler Programme. The primary aim of the research in this paper was to establish a baseline measure of the quality of life of farm families. A secondary research aim was to compare the quality of life of farm families with others. The research survey was carried out with 344 families (farm, non-farm rural and urban). Quality of life was defined as the perception and feeling about one’s current life experience (including family, social, economic/work, personal development/success). Farm families work longer hours and have greater income uncertainty but, overall there was no significant difference between their quality of life and that of rural and urban dwellers. The findings regarding a number of key factors relating to quality of life are documented. In order to derive a comparative measure of quality of life a ‘life quality index’ was constructed. The index included variables relating to: social activities; involvement in organisations; attitudes towards incomes; expenses; borrowings; hours of work; life; and quality of life. The research findings serve the purpose of informing extension agents about quality of life and providing a baseline for future measurement.
Keywords: Quality of Life, Farm Families, Extension