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Happiness Among Adolescent Students in Thailand: Family and Non-Family Factors

  • Rossarin Gray


  • Aphichat Chamratrithirong


  • Umaporn Pattaravanich


  • Pramote Prasartkul


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    This paper explores family and non-family factors contributing to happiness among students aged 15–18 in Thailand. Data come from the Social and Cultural Situation and Mental Health Survey (n = 905). Based on regression analysis, family factors are more important than non- family factors in explaining the variations in adolescents’ happiness. Regarding the family domain, those who reported sufficient time spent with family members and highest level of love and connectedness were happiest. Those living in a two-parent family were happiest, followed by those living with a married father or a married mother (in a single parent family). Those living in an unmarried mother family were unhappiest, controlling for household economic status. These findings highlight the important role of a father in a country with a matrilocal family system. Regarding non-family factors, adolescents with the highest school attendance, highest self-esteem, and highest economic status who also regularly participated in extracurricular activities were happiest. Adolescents who were older and who had to do chores regularly tended to be less happy than their peers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2013

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Social Indicators Research.

    Volume (Year): 110 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (January)
    Pages: 703-719

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:110:y:2013:i:2:p:703-719
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    1. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Axel Skytthe, 2005. "Partner + Children = Happiness? The Effects of Partnerships and Fertility on Well-Being," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(3), pages 407-445.
    2. María Sastre & Gaëlle Ferrière, 2000. "Family 'Decline' and the Subjective Well-being of Adolescents," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 69-82, January.
    3. Ying-Keung Kwan, 2008. "Life satisfaction and family structure among adolescents in Hong Kong," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 86(1), pages 59-67, March.
    4. Nansook Park & E. Huebner & James Laughlin & Robert Valois & Rich Gilman, 2004. "A Cross-cultural Comparison of the Dimensions of Child and Adolescent Life Satisfaction Reports," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 66(1), pages 61-79, April.
    5. Thomas Deleire & Ariel Kalil, 2002. "Good things come in threes: Single-parent multigenerational family structure and adolescent adjustment," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 393-413, May.
    6. Y. Chan & Rance Lee, 2006. "Network Size, Social Support and Happiness in Later Life: A Comparative Study of Beijing and Hong Kong," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 87-112, 03.
    7. Darunee Jongudomkarn & Laura Camfield, 2006. "Exploring the Quality of Life of People in North Eastern and Southern Thailand," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 78(3), pages 489-529, 09.
    8. Donna Ginther & Robert Pollak, 2004. "Family structure and children’s educational outcomes: Blended families, stylized facts, and descriptive regressions," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 671-696, November.
    9. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
    10. Y. Kwan, 2010. "Life Satisfaction and Self-Assessed Health Among Adolescents in Hong Kong," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 383-393, June.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. 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.
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