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Happiness and Academic Achievement: Evidence for Reciprocal Causality


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Several cross-sectional studies have demonstrated an association between subjective well-being and school success (Gilman & Huebner, 2003; Verkuyten & Thijs, 2002). In a prospective, longitudinal study, we explored the direction of causality in this relationship. At the beginning of the school year, fifth grade students completed measures of well- being and an intelligence test. In the spring, we collected report card grades from school records. One year later, we repeated the same procedure but did not re-administer the intelligence test. Participants reporting higher well-being were more likely to earn higher final grades, even when controlling for IQ, age, and the previous year's GPA. Furthermore, students earning higher grades tended to go on to experience higher well- being, controlling for IQ, age, and previous well-being. The findings suggest the relationship between well-being and academic performance may be reciprocally causal.
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Happiness and Academic Achievement: Evidence for Reciprocal Causality
Patrick D. Quinn and Angela L. Duckworth
Several cross-sectional studies have demonstrated an association between subjective
well-being and school success (Gilman & Huebner, 2003; Verkuyten & Thijs, 2002). In a
prospective, longitudinal study, we explored the direction of causality in this relationship.
At the beginning of the school year, fifth grade students completed measures of well-
being and an intelligence test. In the spring, we collected report card grades from school
records. One year later, we repeated the same procedure but did not re-administer the
intelligence test. Participants reporting higher well-being were more likely to earn higher
final grades, even when controlling for IQ, age, and the previous year’s GPA.
Furthermore, students earning higher grades tended to go on to experience higher well-
being, controlling for IQ, age, and previous well-being. The findings suggest the
relationship between well-being and academic performance may be reciprocally causal.
The relationship between well-being and academic performance is not yet well-
understood. Does school achievement come at the expense of happiness? Or, conversely,
are better-performing students happier? And if so, can we assign causal weight to the
Earlier research (e.g., Huebner, 1991a, Huebner & Alderman, 1993) failed to find a
significant association between well-being and academic performance in cross-sectional
studies, but recent findings have consistently linked academic achievement with well-
In a 2006 cross-sectional study, Gilman and Huebner found that students of mean age
14.45 who reported high life satisfaction were more likely to report higher grade point
averages (GPAs) than students with lower life satisfaction. Moreover, those students with
high life satisfaction reported better attitudes towards school and towards teachers.
Similarly, Verkuyten and Thijs (2002) found, in a sample of students aged 10 – 12, that
life satisfaction correlated significantly (r = .12) with self-reported GPA. Indeed, in
Huebner’s and Alderman’s (1993) study mentioned above, which failed to find a
significant difference between groups of low-performing and normally-performing
elementary students on life satisfaction at a two-tailed alpha level of .01, the difference
between groups was medium-sized (d = .59).
The question of causality remains unanswered. Might well-being be a result of high
performance in school? While much research treats well-being as an outcome, there has
been, to our knowledge, no longitudinal study testing whether earning good grades
improves well-being. Well-being might also boost academic performance, though little is
known of the academic benefits of high well-being (Gilman & Huebner, 2006).
Additionally, it could be that a third variable, such as intelligence or a demographic
variable, drives both academic performance and well-being.
The current research was inspired by calls for longitudinal research on happiness
from Diener and Seligman (2002) and Gilman and Huebner (2006). We tested two non-
mutually exclusive hypotheses: Does subjective well-being predict academic
performance? Does earning good grades predict well-being?
Seventy-eight percent of students (N = 257) from two consecutive fifth grade classes
at a public magnet school in a Northeastern city were combined into one sample for our
analyses. Children in the two classes did not differ in terms of gender (χ2(1) = 0.47, p =
.49), race (χ2(4) = 7.42, p = .12), age at assessment (t(310) = .93, p = .36, d = .10), or
subjective well-being (t(311) = 1.51, p = .13, d = .17). The sample (mean age = 10.5
years, SD = 0.35) was 50% female, 56% White, and 18% low-income.
In the fall, participants completed measures of cognitive and affective happiness and
an IQ test. In the spring, we collected report card grades from school records. One year
later, we repeated the same procedure but did not re-administer the IQ test.
Subjective well-being. Participants completed the following measures of well-being:
Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale (LSS: Huebner, 1991b)
The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule for children (PANAS-C:
Laurent et al., 1999)
Subjective well-being scores were calculated as the mean of standardized scores of
the Life Satisfaction Scale and the difference between the positive and negative affect
scores of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule.
IQ. Participants completed the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test Seventh Edition
(OLSAT7) Level G, a group-administered, multiple-choice test of intelligence (Otis &
Lennon, 1997). OLSAT7 scores were converted to normal curve equivalent scores for all
Academic performance. We collected year-end report card grades from school
records. GPA was calculated as the mean of academic subject grades.
Parents’ Income. We estimated socioeconomic status with the U.S. census’ median
income by zip code.
The subjective well-being measures all exhibited good internal consistency. The
observed internal reliability of life satisfaction in fifth grade was alpha = .83, and internal
reliabilities of positive and negative affect in fifth grade were both alpha = .88.
Subjective well-being was not related to gender (t(311) = 0.78, p = .44, d = .09), IQ
(r = .09, p = .14), or parents’ income (r = -.04, p = .44). Because there was a trend for
older children to have higher subjective well-being (r = .10, p = .08), we controlled for
age in subsequent analyses.
Well-being predicted academic performance. Children higher in subjective well-being
at the beginning of the sixth grade year went on to earn significantly higher final grades
when controlling for IQ, partial r = .24, p < .001. Moreover, participants with higher
subjective well-being were more likely to improve their grades. When controlling for IQ
and the previous year’s GPA, well-being again predicted grades, partial r = .14, p = .04.
Earning better grades also predicted subjective well-being. Fifth grade GPA predicted
sixth grade well-being when controlling for IQ, partial r = .21, p < .001. The correlation
remained significant (partial r = .14, p = .04) when controlling for subjective well-being
at fifth grade as well, indicating that children who earned better grades were more likely
to experience improved well-being.
Academically successful children are often construed as miserable, made so by their
pursuit of achievement. Indeed, popular literature increasingly argues for relaxing
academic standards as a means to increased happiness (Robbins, 2006). However, our
results, consistent with a 2005 review of the professional success and happiness literature
by Lyubomirsky, King, and Diener, suggest that happiness and academic achievement are
mutually reinforcing. Children higher in subjective well-being earn higher grades, even
when controlling for intelligence and past academic performance. Furthermore, school
success predicts subjective well-being when controlling for intelligence and past well-
being scores. That is, children who perform well in school may do so in part because they
are happy, and performing well academically may make children happier.
Diener, E. & Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Very happy people. Psychological Science, 13(1),
Gilman, R. & Huebner, E. S. (2006). Characteristics of adolescents who report very high
life satisfaction. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35(3), 311-319.
Huebner, E.S. & Alderman, G.L. (1993). Convergent and discriminant validation of a
children’s life satisfaction scale: Its relationship to self- and teacher-reported
psychological problems and school functioning. Social Indicators Research, 30,
Huebner, E.S. (1991a). Correlates of life satisfaction in children. School Psychology
Quarterly, 6(2), 103-111.
Huebner, E.S. (1991b). Initial development of the Student’s Life Satisfaction Scale.
School Psychology International, 12(3), 231-240.
Laurent, J., Catanzaro, S. J., Joiner, T. E., Jr., Rudolph, K. D., Potter, K. I., Lambert, S.,
et al. (1999). A measure of positive and negative affect for children: Scale
development and preliminary validation. Psychological Assessment, 11(3), 326-
Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect:
Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803-855.
Otis, A. S., & Lennon, R. T. (1997). Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) technical
manual. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement.
Robbins, A. (2006). The overachievers : The secret lives of driven kids (1st ed.). New
York: Hyperion.
Verkuyten, M. & Thijs, J. (2002). School satisfaction of elementary school children: The
role of performance, peer relations, ethnicity, and gender. Social Indicators
Research, 59(2), 203-228.
... Likewise, many researches have reported a direct association between academic achievement and happiness, suggesting that students with more dynamic academic performance also have significantly higher level of happiness Tabbodi et al., 2015;Walker et al., 2012;Zarnaghash et al., 2015). While it has been also observed, that better academic performance can lead to an increased level of happiness (Quinn & Duckworth, 2007). One key factor discovered in several studies was that parent's involvement in a child's primary education plays a critical part in a child's academic performance (Barger et al., 2019;Hill & Craft, 2003;Marcon, 1999). ...
... Whereas, some studies do suggest that self-esteem not as a valid predictor of happiness (Lyubomirsky et al., 2006) which is similar to the current findings of non-orphan children. Lastly, the present research also confirmed the moderating role of self-esteem between happiness and academic achievement in Table 4. Present result outcomes were also consistent with previous literature as well (Alokan et al., 2014;Hassanzadeh & Mahdinejad, 2013;Quinn & Duckworth, 2007). ...
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The primary purpose of the study was to compare the difference between the level of academic achievement, happiness and self-esteem among orphan and non-orphan children based on their gender and institution in Pakistani cultural context. Additionally, to assess whether self-esteem, observed to be lower in orphan children, acts as a moderator between their academic achievement and happiness. A cross-sectional quantitative method was used in the present study using Children Happiness Scale and Rosenberg Self-esteem scale to measure happiness and self-esteem. Whereas, students last year’s final exam results were used to measure academic achievement. The sample for the present study comprised 1000 participants (boys = 515, girls = 485) with age ranged between 10 and 14 years. Combined sample consisted of four equal groups (each of n = 250) including non-orphans in private schools; non-orphans in government schools; orphans in private orphanages and orphans in government orphanages for comparative analysis. The results yielded significant difference among orphans and non-orphan children based on gender (F (3,990) = 14.6, p < .005, Wilk’s ƛ = .958, ηp² = .042) and institutions (F (9,2409) = 788.617, p < .005, Wilk’s ƛ = .035, ηp² = .672). The findings also suggested that both academic achievement (β = .159) and self-esteem (β = .715) significantly predict happiness. Self-esteem displayed a significant moderating role (F (3,996) =11.681, p = .00, B = .033, R² = .495) in the relationship between academic achievement and happiness. The research was successful in its endeavour to explore the relationship between study variables and can be used in devising policies which can focus to work on increasing the quality of education for orphan children providing them the chance to be on par with non-orphan children and achieve a similar level of happiness.
... Happiness is found to be positively related to academic performance (Seligman et al. 2009). Quinn and Duckworth (2007) established the causal relationship between happiness and academic performance in fifth-grade students. Therefore, it can be concluded that happiness is one of the strong predictors of academic success. ...
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One of the key issues of the learning experience is students’ performance during the course, as this is pointed to as one of the main indicators for boosting competences’ development and skills’ improvement. This study explores the roles of spirituality, forgiveness, and gratitude on students’ academic performance, proposing a model of analysis revealing a first-order moderation effect of spirituality in the mediation effect of happiness, on the relation between gratitude and forgiveness with students’ academic performance. Two hundred twenty management students from various Indian universities voluntarily participated in the study. To avoid common method-bias issues, data concerning the study variables were obtained in two distinct moments. To test for the moderated-mediation model of analysis, we have followed the PROCESS analytical procedure. Results showed that forgiveness and gratitude were positively and significantly related to happiness and academic performance. It was also possible to see that spirituality moderates the relationship between forgiveness for self and student happiness. Finally, the moderated-mediating impact of spirituality and happiness on the relationship between gratitude and academic performance was also supported. The present study has taken the lead from positive psychology to assess the students’ character strengths related to their well-being and success. It proposes an innovative model of analysis, supported by theoretical reasoning, pointing to the existence of a moderated-mediation relation predicting students’ academic performance.
... These included academic and non-academic accomplishments, leisure activities, engagement in prosocial behaviour, and positive personal attributes. Specifically, academic accomplishments are related to well-being (Quinn & Duckworth, 2007). Leisure activities also play an important role in adolescents' personal development (Larson & Verma, 1999). ...
This chapter focuses on positive adolescent development and the role of gratitude in particular in promoting adolescent well-being. A global view on the subject is offered, with a specific focus on the Indian cultural context. The chapter consists of three main sections. The first section offers various perspectives on adolescent development, emphasizing a strengths-based approach. It highlights empirical findings on how gratitude benefits adolescents. This section also presents the cross-cultural and indigenous Indian aspects of gratitude. The second part describes an empirical study involving gratitude journaling among Indian adolescents. Study findings and implications are discussed. The third and final section of this chapter presents both Indian and international scenarios towards positive adolescent development and concludes by proposing future recommendations.
Academic achievement has been one of the major issues in psychology and affiliated sciences over a century. There are many factors involved with that, one of them is a sense of happiness among students. And, the other one is self- esteem of students. So, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between contingencies of self-worth and happiness with academic achievement in male students of second high school. The research method was descriptive and correlations study. The statistical population of research consisted of all the male students of second high school Shahriyar City, Iran (3800 people). First of all, according to Morgan’s suggested table, 340 students were selected by multistage cluster random sampling from this population. Second, all participants were asked to complete contingencies of self-worth tests of Crocker et al., and Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. The final academic semester GPA was considered as a measure of academic achievement. Then, the data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics such as frequency, percentage, mean, standard deviation, Pearson's correlation coefficient and regression analyses. The results of Pearson correlation revealed that there were significant relation between the contingencies of self -worth and happiness with academic achievement. And, the correlation between happiness and contingencies of self- worth were negative and significant. In general, the result of regression analysis indicated that happiness is the best predicator of academic achievement. Educational specialists should pay attention to psychological variables along with formal education.
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- This paper presents an insight on the effect of mental health and spiritual intelligence on the happiness and academic performance among undergraduate students at Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). The study had been conducted using quantitative method. A set of questionnaire had been distributed to 460 respondents randomly and selected from a population of 9121 UMP undergraduate students. In prior, the instrument had been checked for its validity and reliability. Results indicate majority of the respondents had achieved high level of mental health, spiritual intelligence and happiness. The correlation analysis revealed that mental health and spiritual intelligence had a significant positive effect on happiness and academic performance. The regression analysis however had shown that happiness had no significant mediation effect on the relationship between mental health and spiritual intelligence and academic performance. Overall, this study had filled in the literature gap on the level of mental health, spiritual intelligence and happiness among students in the context of Malaysian universities particularly in UMP. The model developed by the researcher can be used as a reference in future studies for further investigate how students’ happiness and academic performance can be enhanced through their mental health and spiritual intelligence. Abstrak - Penyelidikan ini bertujuan untuk mengkaji pengaruh faktor kesihatan mental dan kecerdasan spiritual ke atas kebahagiaan hidup dan prestasi akademik pelajar-pelajar Ijazah Sarjana Muda di Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP). Kajian dijalankan secara kuantitatif melalui kaedah tinjauan dengan menggunakan soal selidik sebagai instrumen kajian ke atas 460 orang responden yang dipilih secara rawak mudah daripada 9121 orang pelajar Ijazah Sarjana Muda UMP. Analisis deskriptif mendapati majoriti responden mempunyai tahap kesihatan mental, kecerdasan spiritual dan kebahagiaan hidup yang agak tinggi. Analisis korelasi pula menunjukkan bahawa kesihatan mental dan kecerdasan spiritual berhubung secara positif dengan kebahagiaan hidup dan prestasi akademik. Analisis regresi walau bagaimanapun membuktikan bahawa kebahagiaan hidup tidak mempunyai pengaruh mediasi yang signifikan ke atas hubungan di antara kesihatan mental dan kecerdasan spiritual dengan prestasi akademik. Secara keseluruhannya, kajian ini telah menyumbang kepada kekurangan dalam literatur mengenai tahap kesihatan mental, kecerdasan spiritual dan kebahagiaan hidup dalam konteks pelajar universiti di Malaysia khususnya di UMP. Model yang dibina dalam kajian ini boleh dijadikan rujukan kajian yang lebih mendalam pada masa akan datang untuk memahami bagaimana kebahagiaan hidup dan prestasi akademik pelajar boleh ditingkatkan melalui kesihatan mental dan kekuatan kerohanian mereka.
Objective: This study examined relationships between physical fitness, health behaviors, and occupational outcomes of university affiliates. Participants: 166 university affiliates of an American university (including students, faculty, and staff) participated between October 2018 and March 2020. Methods: Participants completed fitness measurements, wore a device to measure physical activity (PA) and sleep for one week, and completed a survey evaluating happiness and job satisfaction. Multiple regression models evaluated associations between physical fitness, health behaviors, and occupational outcomes. Results: 45% of participants had "poor" cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and unhealthy % fat. CRF, body composition, and muscular endurance were related to PA while body composition was related to sleep duration. Muscular endurance was related to GPA and job satisfaction. Conclusions: Findings suggest 45% of university affiliates had deficient physical fitness and may benefit from increasing PA and sleep. Universities should evaluate fitness within holistic programs to improve affiliates' health and, ultimately, occupational success.
The move from secondary education into higher education is an important life event for many young people, and such a dramatic change in environment and responsibility can bring with it significant new challenges. Reports and surveys outlining low levels of wellbeing amongst students are becoming more and more prevalent. Many universities provide a broad range of support provisions, yet outcomes for students generally remain poor. The way in which pastoral care and guidance is signposted and communicated plays an important role in engaging young people, particularly in an environment where perception and stigma can be significant in influencing behaviour. Ensuring that wellbeing support is delivered in a convenient and sustainable way is a valuable tool in encouraging young people to come forward. Wellbeing should be reflected in every aspect of strategy for higher education providers, and a culture of proactive advice rather than reactive support should be the norm. Most importantly, reflecting on the voice of young people and creating student-led schemes will go a long way in ensuring that wellbeing support is open, accessible and effective.
Grit is a complex phenomenon that is typically conceptualized as the combination of perseverance of effort and consistency of interest. While multiple scales exist to measure grit, the 8-item Grit-S Scale and 12-item Grit-O Scale are the most widely used. Grit has been demonstrated to have positive relationships with academic outcomes, educational attainment, and psychological state of mind among adolescents and adults. Individuals with higher levels of grit have also been found to have lower levels of stress, depression, and suicidal ideation. It is unclear whether grit is domain-specific or if it transfers across environments. In addition to providing an overview of the research on grit, this chapter also highlights strategies for parents and teachers to foster grit and positive well-being in their students. Emerging intervention research suggests that grit may be malleable, although more studies are needed in this area. Further research should also focus on grit with marginalized and disadvantaged populations.
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This book is the proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research.
Aims The current study aims to examine the role of energy drink and energy shot consumption in school disengagement, low academic performance, and academic expectations, and investigates the robustness of these associations across sex, grade, race, and substance use history. Method This study employs a pooled cross-sectional design and uses a nationally representative sample of 8th (ages 13–14 years) and 10th (ages 15–16 years) grade adolescents from seven recent cohorts (2010–2016) of the Monitoring the Future study. Logistic regression and negative binomial regression were employed to examine the association between energy drink and energy shot consumption and academic risk factors, controlling for sociodemographic factors and other health and social behaviors. Ancillary robustness checks across key subgroups in the data were also performed. Results The results indicate that energy drink and energy shot consumers are significantly more likely to report all academic risk outcomes. Specifically, youth who heavily use energy drinks and shots have significantly higher odds of each of the academic risk outcomes relative to both less habitual users and nonusers. These patterns hold across subgroups, despite associations being somewhat stronger among females, younger participants, Whites, and youth with no substance use history. Conclusions The current study suggests that energy drink consumption (particularly heavy consumption) may be an early warning sign of academic risk. It may be beneficial to limit adolescent energy drink consumption, provide early intervention for heavy adolescent consumers, and raise awareness of the dangers associated with their use.
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The present study examines school satisfaction among 1,090 Dutch and ethnic minority children aged between ten and twelve in relation to their school context. Data were gathered in 51 classes from 26 schools. Individual and classroom variables were examined simultaneously, using multilevel analysis. Controlling statistically for general life satisfaction and teacher likeability, the results show that the effects of educational performance and peer victimization on school satisfaction were mediated by perceived scholastic competence and social self-esteem, respectively. In addition, ethnic minority groups were more satisfied with school than the Dutch pupils, and girls were more satisfied than boys. Multilevel analysis showed that school satisfaction was dependent on the classroom context. The academic and social climate in the class had positive effects on the level of satisfaction with school. The percentage of Dutch pupils, the percentage of girls and the number of pupils had no significant independent effects on school satisfaction.
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Numerous studies show that happy individuals are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, friendship, income, work performance, and health. The authors suggest a conceptual model to account for these findings, arguing that the happiness-success link exists not only because success makes people happy, but also because positive affect engenders success. Three classes of evidence--crosssectional, longitudinal, and experimental--are documented to test their model. Relevant studies are described and their effect sizes combined meta-analytically. The results reveal that happiness is associated with and precedes numerous successful outcomes, as well as behaviors paralleling success. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that positive affect--the hallmark of well-being--may be the cause of many of the desirable characteristics, resources, and successes correlated with happiness. Limitations, empirical issues, and important future research questions are discussed.
This article describes the development of a brief research instrument to measure global life satisfaction in children, the Student's Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS). A preliminary version of the SLSS was administered to a sample of 254 children age 7-14 from the Midwestern United States. The scale demonstrated acceptable internal consistency and a unidimensional factor structure. Satisfaction scores did not differ as a function of age, grade or gender. Analyses of individual items as well as total scale scores indicated a high degree of overall life satisfaction, which is consistent with findings reported for adults. A cross-validation study with a more heterogeneous sample of 329 children age 8-14 from the Midwest yielded similar results, including adequate temporal stability. A revised version correlated predictably with criterion measures. The revised SLSS appears useful for research purposes with students as early as age 8. Implications for future research are discussed.
Investigated 79 5th–7th graders' global life satisfaction using a life satisfaction scale and selected personality tests. Individual differences in global life satisfaction were not associated with demographic variables (age, grade, gender, parent marital status, and parent occupational status), but were associated with personality characteristics. Students who reported high life satisfaction tended to rate themselves higher on measures of self-esteem, internal locus of control, and extraversion and lower on measures of anxiety and neuroticism. Satisfaction with family life was more strongly associated with high overall satisfaction than satisfaction with friends. Recent school grades did not correlate significantly with global life satisfaction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
A child version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; D. Watson et al, see record 1988-31508-001), the PANAS-C, was developed using students in Grades 4–8 ( N = 707). Item selection was based on psychometric and theoretical grounds. The resulting Negative Affect (NA) and Positive Affect (PA) scales demonstrated good convergent and discriminant validity with existing self-report measures of childhood anxiety and depression; the PANAS-C performed much like its adult namesake. Overall, the PANAS-C, like the adult PANAS, is a brief, useful measure that can be used to differentiate anxiety from depression in youngsters. As such, this instrument addresses the shortcomings of existing measures of childhood anxiety and depression. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
This study investigated the characteristics of adolescents who report high levels of life global satisfaction. A total of 485 adolescents completed the Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS) (Huebner, E. S. (1991). Sch. Psychol. Int. 12: 231–240.) along with self-report measures of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and school-related functioning. Based on their SLSS scores, students were divided into three groups: “low” (bottom 20% of the distribution), “average” (middle 50%), and “high” (upper 20%). Youth in the high satisfaction group reported significantly higher adaptive functioning on all dependent variables than youth in the low satisfaction group. Relative to students with average life satisfaction, students with high life satisfaction reported superior scores on a measure of social stress, a measure of attitudes toward teachers, and on all measures of intrapersonal functioning. Also, no adolescents in the high life satisfaction group demonstrated clinical levels of psychological symptoms, whereas 7% of the average group and 42% of the low satisfaction group reported clinical levels of symptoms. Taken together, the findings suggested that high life satisfaction is associated with some mental health benefits that are not found among youth reporting comparatively lower satisfaction levels.
Two studies are reported that provide additional validity evidence for the Students' Life Satisfaction Scale (SLSS: Huebner, 1991a). In the first study, evidence for the convergent validity of the SLSS is provided by significant negative correlations with measures of depression and loneliness and a significant positive correlation with a measure of self-esteem. Additionally, as evidence of discriminant validity, the SLSS failed to differentiate a normally achieving group of students from a group of at risk students. In the second study, the pattern of correlations between the SLSS, selected demographic variables, IQ scores, and a measure of teacher-reported school behavior problems provided evidence of cross-method convergent and discriminant validity. The SLSS was also able to differentiate a group of emotionally handicapped students from non-emotionally handicapped students. The implications of the findings for further study of the subjective well-being of children are discussed briefly.
A sample of 222 undergraduates was screened for high happiness using multiple confirming assessment filters. We compared the upper 10% of consistently very happy people with average and very unhappy people. The very happy people were highly social, and had stronger romantic and other social relationships than less happy groups. They were more extraverted, more agreeable, and less neurotic, and scored lower on several psychopathology scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Compared with the less happy groups, the happiest respondents did not exercise significantly more, participate in religious activities significantly more, or experience more objectively defined good events. No variable was sufficient for happiness, but good social relations were necessary. Members of the happiest group experienced positive, but not ecstatic, feelings most of the time, and they reported occasional negative moods. This suggests that very happy people do have a functioning emotion system that can react appropriately to life events.
Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) technical manual
  • A S Otis
  • R T Lennon
Otis, A. S., & Lennon, R. T. (1997). Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) technical manual. San Antonio, TX: Harcourt Brace Educational Measurement.
The overachievers : The secret lives of driven kids
  • A Robbins
Robbins, A. (2006). The overachievers : The secret lives of driven kids (1st ed.). New York: Hyperion.