IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

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

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

    in new window

    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:

    Order Information: Web:

    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.:

    in new window

    1. María Sastre, 1999. "Lay Conceptions of Well-Being and Rules Used in Well-Being Judgments Among Young, Middle-Aged, and Elderly Adults," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 203-231, June.
    2. Veronika Huta & Alan Waterman, 2014. "Eudaimonia and Its Distinction from Hedonia: Developing a Classification and Terminology for Understanding Conceptual and Operational Definitions," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(6), pages 1425-1456, December.
    3. 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.
    4. Luo Lu & Robin Gilmour, 2004. "Culture and conceptions of happiness: individual oriented and social oriented swb," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 269-291, September.
    5. 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.
    6. Veronika Huta & Richard Ryan, 2010. "Pursuing Pleasure or Virtue: The Differential and Overlapping Well-Being Benefits of Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 735-762, December.
    7. Mohsen Joshanloo & Dan Weijers, 2014. "Aversion to Happiness Across Cultures: A Review of Where and Why People are Averse to Happiness," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 717-735, June.
    8. 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.
    9. Luo Lu, 2001. "Understanding Happiness: A Look into the Chinese Folk Psychology," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 407-432, December.
    10. Jan Pflug, 2009. "Folk Theories of Happiness: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Conceptions of Happiness in Germany and South Africa," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 551-563, July.
    11. Antonella Delle Fave & Ingrid Brdar & Teresa Freire & Dianne Vella-Brodrick & Marié Wissing, 2011. "The Eudaimonic and Hedonic Components of Happiness: Qualitative and Quantitative Findings," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 100(2), pages 185-207, January.
    12. Jason Raibley, 2012. "Happiness is not Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(6), pages 1105-1129, December.
    13. Po Ip, 2011. "Concepts of Chinese folk happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 459-474, December.
    14. Ethan McMahan & David Estes, 2011. "Measuring Lay Conceptions of Well-Being: The Beliefs About Well-Being Scale," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 267-287, April.
    15. Ethan McMahan & David Estes, 2012. "Age-Related Differences in Lay Conceptions of Well-Being and Experienced Well-Being," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 79-101, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:jhappi:v:18:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10902-016-9722-4. 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: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.