Piecing the jigsaw puzzle of adolescent happiness
Happiness is increasingly recognized as a proxy for utility and therefore a valuable maximand for policy decisions. As a result many studies have investigated happiness and the associated determinants in both overall and specific life domains. Adolescent happiness, however, remains largely unexplored. The aim of this study is to explore the relative importance of happiness of young Dutch adolescents at home, school, and leisure, and their associations with a broad array of personal and context characteristics within each of these domains. We used data from a study which investigated adolescents' health behaviour in relation to their attitudes regarding health and lifestyle as well as their considerations and expectations regarding the future consequences of their behaviour (n = 1436). Variables were selected on the basis of findings in the literature or significant univariate Pearson correlations between the variable and domain-specific or overall happiness. The data was analysed using multiple hierarchical stepwise regressions. In line with international findings, most adolescents reported high levels of overall happiness with a mean score of 7.69 (SD = 1.23) on a scale from 0 to 10. Personal and context characteristics were associated with adolescent overall happiness either directly or indirectly, via domain-specific happiness. Happiness at home, at school, and during leisure hours contributed approximately equally to overall happiness but were associated with different characteristics. Finally, the results demonstrate that adolescents differentiate their happiness levels between life domains, which support the relevance of a multidimensional approach in happiness studies. This study provides additional insight over single-dimensional studies of happiness and a more comprehensive explanation of previously published findings.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Frey, Bruno S & Stutzer, Alois, 2000.
"Happiness, Economy and Institutions,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 918-38, October.
- Luo Lu & Chia-Hsin Hu, 2005. "Personality, Leisure Experiences and Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 325-342, 09.
- Adam Crossley & Darren Langdridge, 2005. "Perceived Sources of Happiness: A Network Analysis," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 107-135, 06.
- Brouwer, Werner B.F. & Culyer, Anthony J. & van Exel, N. Job A. & Rutten, Frans F.H., 2008. "Welfarism vs. extra-welfarism," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 325-338, March.
- Shannon Suldo & E. Huebner, 2004. "The Role of Life Satisfaction in the Relationship between Authoritative Parenting Dimensions and Adolescent Problem Behavior," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 165-195, April.
- Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
- Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
- Carol Graham, 2005. "Insights on Development from the Economics of Happiness," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(2), pages 201-231.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001.
"What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
503, CESifo Group Munich.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2002. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 402-435, June.
- Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Ada Ferrer-i-Carbonell & Paul Frijters, 2004. "How Important is Methodology for the estimates of the determinants of Happiness?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(497), pages 641-659, 07.
- Bruni, Luigino, 2004. "The “Technology of Happiness” and the Tradition of Economic Science," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 26(01), pages 19-44, March.
- E. Huebner & Robert Valois & Raheem Paxton & J. Drane, 2005. "Middle school students’ perceptions of quality of life," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 15-24, 03.
- Yew-Kwang Ng, 1996. "Happiness surveys: Some comparability issues and an exploratory survey based on just perceivable increments," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 1-27, May.
- van Exel, N.J.A. & de Graaf, G. & Brouwer, W.B.F., 2006. ""Everyone dies, so you might as well have fun!" Attitudes of Dutch youths about their health lifestyle," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(10), pages 2628-2639, November.
- Paul Dolan & Daniel Kahneman, 2008. "Interpretations Of Utility And Their Implications For The Valuation Of Health," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(525), pages 215-234, 01.
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2003.
"Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy,"
CREMA Working Paper Series
2003-07, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Alois Stutzer & Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Reported Subjective Well-Being: A Challenge for Economic Theory and Economic Policy," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 124(2), pages 191-231.
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeremy Hunter, 2003. "Happiness in Everyday Life: The Uses of Experience Sampling," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 185-199, June.
- Ruut Veenhoven, 1991. "Is happiness relative?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 1-34, February.
- Melikşah Demir & Metin Özdemir & Lesley Weitekamp, 2007. "Looking to happy tomorrows with friends: Best and close friendships as they predict happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 243-271, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:31:y:2010:i:6:p:923-935. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.