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Happiness: Meaning and Determinants Among Young Adults of the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria

Listed author(s):
  • Aaron Adibe Agbo

    ()

    (University of Nigeria)

  • Blessing Ome

    (University of Nigeria)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract The present study explored the constituents of lay conceptions of happiness and its determinants among young adults of the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. Participants were asked to define happiness and outline the things they think make people happy. Analyses of the responses revealed that participants defined happiness with words reflecting both affect and cognitive evaluation of life. Positive affect words dominated the definitions followed by words reflecting cognitive evaluation of life. Interestingly, participants were more likely to define happiness with focus on the self than with focus on the other, which is contrary to seeming suggestions in literature that non-Western societies view happiness from communalistic perspectives. Significant gender differences occurred in line with findings that females are more likely to express interdependent views of happiness while males usually take individualistic route. Participation, affection, and leisure needs topped participants’ descriptions of the things that make people happy. Interesting relationships emerged among the variables with some contradicting and others confirming previous findings. Implications and limitations of findings were discussed. Suggestions for further studies were also made.

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    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10902-016-9722-4
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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Happiness Studies.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2017)
    Issue (Month): 1 (February)
    Pages: 151-175

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9722-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10902-016-9722-4
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springer.com

    Order Information: Web: http://www.springer.com/social+sciences/wellbeing+%26+quality-of-life/journal/10902/PS2

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    1. R. Veenhoven, 2008. "Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 449-469, September.
    2. Costanza, Robert & Fisher, Brendan & Ali, Saleem & Beer, Caroline & Bond, Lynne & Boumans, Roelof & Danigelis, Nicholas L. & Dickinson, Jennifer & Elliott, Carolyn & Farley, Joshua & Gayer, Diane Elli, 2007. "Quality of life: An approach integrating opportunities, human needs, and subjective well-being," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2-3), pages 267-276, March.
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    11. Jason Raibley, 2012. "Happiness is not Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(6), pages 1105-1129, December.
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    13. 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.
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