Looking on the bright side: An assessment of factors associated with adolescents' happiness

Lambert, Michelle; Fleming, Theresa; Ameratunga, Shanthi; Robinson, Elizabeth; Crengle, Sue; Sheridan, Janie; Denny, Simon; Clark, Terryann; Merry, Sally
August 2014
Advances in Mental Health;Aug2014, Vol. 12 Issue 2, p101
Academic Journal
Background: To determine possible factors which may be associated with happiness among New Zealand adolescents. Method: Data were from the Youth'07 Adolescent Health and Wellbeing survey of 9107 secondary school students. Happiness was measured using the WHO wellbeing index. To determine the validity of this measure, correlations were undertaken with a general life satisfaction item, a general mood item and the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale SF. We hypothesised protective factors for happiness included family, school and peer connection, as well as family meals, exercise and belonging to a cultural group. Using questions from the survey we developed scales measuring family, school and peer connection, and used individual items about family meals, exercise and belonging to a cultural group. Hypothesised risk factors for happiness included frequent alcohol and marijuana use; experience of sexual abuse, violence, a long term health condition and ethnic discrimination. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson's correlation coefficient and regression. Results: Happiness was positively associated with good connections with family, friends and school, regular exercise and meals with family. Happiness was negatively associated with witnessing yelling and hitting of children and adults at home, discrimination, frequent marijuana use, sexual abuse, frequent alcohol use and having a long term health condition. Conclusions: This study demonstrates the importance of caring relationships with parents, schools and community for happiness among adolescents. Future strategies to improve adolescent wellbeing must take an ecological approach; acknowledging that family, school and community contexts are important for happiness among young people


Related Articles

  • Životni ciljevi, orijentacije prema sreći i psiholoÅ¡ke potrebe adolescenata: Koji je najbolji put do sreÅ¡e? Brdar, Ingrid; Anić, Petra // Psihologijske teme / Psychological Topics;2010, Vol. 19 Issue 1, p169 

    Happiness is most frequently investigated as subjective well-being, referring to people's cognitive and emotional evaluations of their lives. Studies have shown that intrinsic life goals, like self-acceptance, affiliation and community feeling, contribute to subjective well-being because they...

  • Physical activity for people with dementia: a scoping study. Bowes, Alison; Dawson, Alison; Jepson, Ruth; McCabe, Louise // BMC Geriatrics;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1 

    Background This scoping study aimed to identify how physical activity may benefit people with dementia; how and/or if current service provide these benefits; and what support they need to do so. Methods Methods included an evidence review using literature; mapping current service provision...

  • Online child and adolescent mental health surveys can be good enough. Goodman, Robert // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Aug2013, Vol. 48 Issue 8, p1317 

    Purpose: To assess the value and practicability of online child mental health surveys. Methods: Study 1 followed up an existing low-risk sample from the general population. Study 2 recruited a new high-risk sample via a parents' organization for children with a neurological condition. Both...

  • Separate selves, tribal ties, and other stories. Eckersley, Richard // Family Matters;Winter2004, Issue 68, p36 

    The article presents an appeal for a greater appreciation of the causal layers and complexities behind the patterns in trends in young people's well-being in Australia. The fractured visions of youth create a confusion impression of the total picture. Research based on studies of both mental...

  • Website on Mental Health for Youth.  // Pennsylvania Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation &;Winter2007, Vol. 77 Issue 1, p12 

    The article reports on the availability of an interactive website that provides valuable information for teenagers to help improve their mental health and wellbeing during the transition-age years at www.reachout.com.au. The site, which is developed for Australian youth, includes coping tips,...

  • The Design and Development of Staff Wellbeing Initiatives: Staff Stressors, Burnout and Emotional Exhaustion at Children and Young People's Mental Health in Australia. Coates, Dominiek; Howe, Deborah // Administration & Policy in Mental Health & Mental Health Service;Nov2015, Vol. 42 Issue 6, p655 

    Mental health work presents problems for staff over and above those encountered in other organisations, including other areas of healthcare. Healthcare workers, in particular mental health workers, have poorer job satisfaction and higher job burnout and turnover compared with established norms...

  • Mental Health of Youth in Hong Kong. WONG, Carman Lai Moy // Journal of Youth Studies (10297847);Jan2014, Vol. 17 Issue 1, p81 

    This paper attempts to explore the mental health problems of the youth in Hong Kong and presents some discussions on this subject. A model of holistic well-being is recommended to enhance the mental health of young people from physical, psychological, social, spiritual, and family-orientated...

  • The relationship of comorbidity of mental and substance use disorders with suicidal behaviors in the Nigerian Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Uwakwe, Richard; Gureje, Oye // Social Psychiatry & Psychiatric Epidemiology;Mar2011, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p173 

    Background: Mental and substance use disorders are often associated with an elevated risk for suicidal behaviors. The role of the co-occurrence of multiple disorders in this association is still unclear. Method: The Nigerian Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing is a community survey of mental...

  • Reaching out to young men.  // Synergy (14427818);Dec2010, Issue 3, p15 

    No abstract available.


Read the Article

Courtesy of

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics