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For your Eyes Only: A Q-Methodology on the Ontology of Happiness Among Chronically Ill Filipino Elderly in a Penal Institution

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  • Allan Guzman

    ()

  • Kreziah Silva
  • Julienne Silvestre
  • Jenika Simbillo
  • Jan Simpauco
  • Reuben Sinugbuhan
  • Donna Sison
  • Marielle Siy
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    Abstract

    Happiness is a positive phenomenon that is universal in nature and is therefore, pertinent to all human beings. However, the definition of happiness differs from person to person, and varies among cultures, economic status, social connectedness, spiritual upbringing and daily situations. An individual’s contextual perception of happiness can change when subjected to bleak conditions such as incarceration wherein inmates, especially those who are old and are experiencing health impairments are stripped off with their customary source of happiness. Since Filipinos are known to be as “happy people,” this study purports to surface the different facets of what constitute happiness in the context of a penal institution in the Philippine setting. The Q-methodology is the primary design used in the study. It combines the objectivity of quantitative approach with the essence of human experiences as explored in qualitative studies. The participants (P-sample) were twenty elderly inmates suffering from chronic ailments. They were asked to arrange 32 statements (Q-sample), derived from the initial interview, in the Q-sort table based on their degree of agreement, which were then further explicated in the post-sort interviews. The results were then subjected to by-person factor analysis with varimax rotation using the PQ Method version 2.11. Five profiles emerged from the by-person factor analysis, namely: (1) ‘Sense of Affinity’, (2) ‘Sense of Opportunity’, (3) ‘Sense of Indemnity’, (4) ‘Sense of Positivity’ and (5) ‘Sense of Resiliency’. The discussion focused on similarities and differences among profiles regarding the four principal themes (familial, social, internal and spiritual components of happiness) derived from the statements used as the Q-sample. The perception of happiness varies from profile to profile. The differences in views on what constitutes happiness among profiles are more prominent than their said similarities. Most leanings are directed toward the familial and spiritual aspects of happiness however, happiness can also be internally motivated and cognitively construed. While happiness has a direct relationship to an individual’s overall perception of well-being, the nurse, being the primary provider of holistic care, plays a pivotal role in promoting optimum health through awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of vis-a vis an unwavering involvement with the unique and distinct psychological and emotional needs of the elderly inmates characterized by respect, openness, authenticity and inter-subjectivity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 13 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 913-930

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:13:y:2012:i:5:p:913-930

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    Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/content/1389-4978

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    Related research

    Keywords: Chronic illness; Elderly; Filipino; Happiness; Penal institution; Q-methodology;

    References

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    1. Claude Fischer, 2008. "What wealth-happiness paradox? A short note on the American case," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 219-226, June.
    2. Mariano Rojas, 2005. "A Conceptual-Referent Theory of Happiness: Heterogeneity and its Consequences," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 261-294, November.
    3. Melikşah Demir, 2008. "Sweetheart, you really make me happy: romantic relationship quality and personality as predictors of happiness among emerging adults," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 257-277, June.
    4. Rajé, Fiona, 2007. "Using Q methodology to develop more perceptive insights on transport and social inclusion," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 467-477, November.
    5. Liesbeth Snoep, 2008. "Religiousness and happiness in three nations: a research note," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 207-211, June.
    6. Barry, John & Proops, John, 1999. "Seeking sustainability discourses with Q methodology," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 337-345, March.
    7. Yukiko Uchida & Vinai Norasakkunkit & Shinobu Kitayama, 2004. "Cultural constructions of happiness: theory and emprical evidence," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 223-239, September.
    8. Risdon, Andrea & Eccleston, Chris & Crombez, Geert & McCracken, Lance, 2003. "How can we learn to live with pain? A Q-methodological analysis of the diverse understandings of acceptance of chronic pain," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 375-386, January.
    9. Easterlin, Richard A., 1995. "Will raising the incomes of all increase the happiness of all?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 35-47, June.
    10. Zhenghui Chen & Gareth Davey, 2008. "Happiness and Subjective Wellbeing in Mainland China," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 589-600, December.
    11. Valerie Tiberius, 2004. "Cultural differences and philosophical accounts of well-being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 293-314, September.
    12. Mariano Rojas, 2010. "Intra-Household Arrangements and Economic Satisfaction," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 225-241, April.
    13. Rojas, Mariano, 2007. "Heterogeneity in the relationship between income and happiness: A conceptual-referent-theory explanation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 1-14, January.
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