The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: A compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being

The Oxford Happiness Project, School of Psychology, Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
Personality and Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.86). 11/2002; 33(7):1073-1082. DOI: 10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00213-6


An improved instrument, the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (OHQ), has been derived from the Oxford Happiness Inventory, (OHI). The OHI comprises 29 items, each involving the selection of one of four options that are different for each item. The OHQ includes similar items to those of the OHI, each presented as a single statement which can be endorsed on a uniform six-point Likert scale. The revised instrument is compact, easy to administer and allows endorsements over an extended range. When tested against the OHI, the validity of the OHQ was satisfactory and the associations between the scales and a battery of personality variables known to be associated with well-being, were stronger for the OHQ than for the OHI. Although parallel factor analyses of OHI and the OHQ produced virtually identical statistical results, the solution for the OHQ could not be interpreted. The previously reported factorisability of the OHI may owe more to the way the items are formatted and presented, than to the nature of the items themselves. Sequential orthogonal factor analyses of the OHQ identified a single higher order factor, which suggests that the construct of well-being it measures is uni-dimensional. Discriminant analysis has been employed to produce a short-form version of the OHQ with eight items.

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    • "The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire ( OHQ ; Hills and Argyle , 2002 ) The OHQ was derived from the Oxford Happiness Inventory ( OHI ) , which , reduced 29 items , attempts to measure the happiness of a general nature of each individual , that is , psychological well - being . For example , " I am not particularly optimistic about the future , " " I am well satisfied about everything in my life , " " I am very happy , " " Life is good , " and " I always have a cheerful effect on others " . . . "
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    ABSTRACT: Great thinkers, philosophers, scientists, and artists from History have often been concerned about one of the most important elements of life: happiness. The study had four goals: (1) To analyze possible differences in feelings of happiness as a function of sex and age; (2) To explore the relations of happiness with risk factors (psychopathological symptoms, behavior problems) and protective factors (self-concept-self-esteem, cooperative behavior, social skills) for health; (3) To identify predictor variables of happiness; and (4) To explore whether self-esteem mediates the relationship between happiness and psychopathological symptoms. The sample comprised 286 adolescents (14-16 years old). The study used a descriptive, correlational, and cross-sectional methodology. Seven assessment instruments were administered. The ANOVAs confirm that there are no sex differences, but happiness decreases as age increases. Pearson coefficients show that adolescents with more feelings of happiness had fewer psychopathological symptoms (somatization, obsession-compulsion, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation, psychoticism…), fewer behavioral problems (school-academic, antisocial behavior, shyness-withdrawal, psychopathological, psychosomatic), high social adaptation, high self-concept/self-esteem, many cooperative behaviors, many appropriate social skills, and few negative social skills (inappropriate assertiveness, impulsiveness, jealousy-withdrawal). Multiple regression analysis identified five variables predicting happiness: high self-concept, few symptoms of depression, many cooperative behaviors, high self-esteem, and low psychoticism. Results showed a partial mediational effect of self-esteem in the relation between happiness and psychopathological symptoms. The discussion focuses on the importance of implementing programs to promote feelings of happiness, as well as protective factors for health (self-esteem, cooperation…).
    Frontiers in Psychology 08/2015; 6:1176. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01176 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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    • "It is quite telling that researchers and practitioners have developed questionnaires on stress , anxiety and depression in people with autism , but no questionnaires for positive feelings , assessing how happy people with autism are . Since happiness is a subjective concept , it is assessed by default through verbal self - reports and questionnaires such as the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire ( Hills and Argyle , 2002 ) . This can be a problem in autism . "
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    ABSTRACT: The first chapter, by Peter Vermeulen, describes the work of Autisme Centraal in Belgium which aims to identify strategies which lead to good feelings and positive wellbeing. He argues that we do not focus enough on promoting happiness within our work and that we should find ways to increase happiness. He suggests that practitioners need to help individuals to identify activities, sensory experiences and people that make them feel good. Staff at Autisme Centraal have devised strategies to help autistic children and adults determine what gives them a ‘good feeling’ and a ‘bad feeling’. The idea is very simple, and it is very telling that despite the simplicity, it is not common practice within our work to focus on finding activities which make individuals with autism happy and then to ensure they have access to these.
    Good Autism Practice: Autism, happiness and wellbeing., Edited by Glenys Jones, Elisabeth Hurley, 11/2014: chapter The practice of promoting happiness in autism: pages 8-17; BILD., ISBN: 9781905218356
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    • "However, they unexpectedly found that intrinsic religiosity negatively correlated with happiness, whereas extrinsic social religiosity positively correlated with happiness. A limitation of their study was the use of Oxford Happiness Questionnaire (Hills & Argyle, 2002) which has been criticised as a valid measure of happiness (Kashdan, 2004; Lewis & Cruise, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Past research has found positive links between happiness and various aspects of religiousness, yet it remains unclear how religion contributes to happiness and other well-being outcomes. One possible route is through purpose in life. Among a sample of 208 Christian Polish university students we investigated the mediating role of purpose in life between religion and subjective well-being. Intrinsic religiosity, as expected, was related to higher levels of purpose in life, happiness and life satisfaction, and positively predicted happiness and life satisfaction through purpose in life. The findings support the notion that eudaimonia and eudaimonic constructs like purpose in life may be the links between religion and well-being outcomes.
    Mental Health Religion & Culture 10/2014; 17(8):827-831. DOI:10.1080/13674676.2014.928850
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