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"I'll die with the hammer in my hand": John Henryism as a predictor of happiness

  • Angner, Erik
  • Hullett, Sandral
  • Allison, Jeroan J.

This paper examines the association between John Henryism - a behavioral predisposition to cope actively with psycho-social environmental stressors - and happiness. On the basis of previous research on aspiration and goal regulation, we predicted that John Henryism would be negatively associated with happiness when controlling for demographic factors and attainment in various domains of life. We tested the prediction in a sample of hypertensive participants (n = 758) drawn from an inner-city, mainly African-American, safety-net hospital in Jefferson County, Alabama. Bivariate analysis revealed no association between John Henryism and attainment in six domains of life: marriage, children, education, employment, income, and health. However, a significant negative association between John Henryism and happiness was found both in bivariate analysis (Spearman's [rho] = -0.335; pÂ

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Psychology.

Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 357-366

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Handle: RePEc:eee:joepsy:v:32:y:2011:i:3:p:357-366
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/joep

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  1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Hypertension and happiness across nations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 218-233, March.
  2. Fernander, Anita F. & Patten, Christi A. & Schroeder, Darrell R. & Stevens, Susanna R. & Eberman, Kay M. & Hurt, Richard D., 2005. "Exploring the association of John Henry active coping and education on smoking behavior and nicotine dependence among Blacks in the USA," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 491-500, February.
  3. Luigino Bruni & Luca Stanca, 2005. "Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Value Surveys," Working Papers 89, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2005.
  4. Stutzer, Alois, 2004. "The role of income aspirations in individual happiness," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 89-109, May.
  5. Christian Bjørnskov & Nabanita Gupta & Peder Pedersen, 2008. "Analysing trends in subjective well-being in 15 European countries, 1973–2002," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 317-330, June.
  6. Dolan, Paul & Peasgood, Tessa & White, Mathew, 2008. "Do we really know what makes us happy A review of the economic literature on the factors associated with subjective well-being," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 94-122, February.
  7. Erik Angner & Michael Miller & Midge Ray & Kenneth Saag & Jeroan Allison, 2010. "Health Literacy and Happiness: A Community-based Study," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 325-338, January.
  8. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Easterlin, Richard A., 2006. "Life cycle happiness and its sources: Intersections of psychology, economics, and demography," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 463-482, August.
  10. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Yannis Georgellis & Nicholas Tsitsianis & Ya Ping Yin, 2007. "Income and Happiness across Europe: Do Reference Values Matter?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2146, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Sonja Lyubomirsky & Chris Tkach & M. DiMatteo, 2006. "What are the Differences between Happiness and Self-Esteem," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(3), pages 363-404, 09.
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