Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Meaning of Happiness: A Qualitative Inquiry among Adolescents

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Positive Psychology

Meaning of Happiness: A Qualitative Inquiry among Adolescents

Article excerpt

As studied in contemporary researches, happiness is the ultimate fundamental 'goal' that people pursue in their lives (Diener, 2000). The quest to understand the subjective meaning of happiness drivedto study this universal phenomenon in detail. Happiness of adolescents has been less studied than adult happiness. They being in a growing stage are not able to formulate a complete sense of their selves and the world around them, leading to a rudimentary view of happiness.

Studies on adolescent psychological adjustment have focused primarily on negative outcomes such as depression and anxiety, whereas positive outcomes such as happiness have received less empirical and qualitative attention (Cheng & Furnham, 2003).

Abdel-Khalek and Ahmed (2006) examined the accuracy of measuring happiness by a single item (Do you feel happy in general?) answered on an 11-point scale (010). Its temporal stability was 0.86. The correlations between the single item and both the Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI; Argyle, Martin, & Lu, 1995; Hills & Argyle, 1998) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985; Pavot & Diener, 1993) were highly significant and positive, denoting good concurrent validity. Moreover, the single item had a good convergent validity because it was highly and positively correlated with optimism, hope, self-esteem, positive affect, extraversión, and self-ratings of both physical and mental health. Furthermore, the divergent validity of the single item has been adequately demonstrated through its significant and negative correlations with anxiety, pessimism, negative affect, and insomnia. It was concluded that measuring happiness by a single item is reliable, valid, and viable in community surveys as well as in cross-cultural comparisons.

Patti Valkenburg and Jochen Peter (2007) aim of this study was to contrast the validity of two opposing explanatory hypotheses about the effect of online communication on adolescents' well-being. The displacement hypothesis predicts that online communication reduces adolescents' well-being because it displaces time spent with existing friends, thereby reducing the quality of these friendships. In contrast, the stimulation hypothesis states that online communication stimulates well-being via its positive effect on time spent with existing friends and the quality of these friendships. We conducted an online survey among 1,210 Dutch teenagers between 10 and 17 years of age. Using mediation analyses, we found support for the stimulation hypothesis but not for the displacement hypothesis. We also found a moderating effect of type of online communication on adolescents' well-being: Instant messaging, which was mostly used to communicate with existing friends, positively predicted well-being via the mediating variables (a) time spent with existing friends and (b) the quality of these friendships. Chat in a public chatroom, which was relatively often used to talk with strangers, had no effect on adolescents' well-being via the mediating variables.

Holder and Coleman (2008) The relation between the happiness of 912 year old children and their temperament, popularity, and physical appearance was examined. Participants included 432 children and their parents and teachers. Happiness in children was assessed using a self-rating scale, parents' ratings, teachers' ratings, and the Happiness and Satisfaction Subscale of the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale 2 (Piers-Harris 2) (Piers & Herzberg, 2002). Manual for the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, 2nded. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services]. Estimates of children's temperament, popularity, and physical appearance included parents' ratings, individual items on the Piers-Harris 2, and three domain scales from the Piers-Harris 2: the Freedom From Anxiety Subscale, Popularity Subscale, and Physical Appearance and Attributes Subscale. Children's happiness was correlated with and predicted by ratings of their temperament, popularity, and appearance. …

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