The present study intended to examine the level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem among University students.
Further, the study strived to find the correlation between the variables. This study consisted sample of 60 University
students with equal number of male and female participants, selected through purposive sampling technique. The
life orientation test revised (LOT-R) by Scheier, Carver, and Bridges (1994) Oxford happiness questionnaire (OHQ)
developed by Hills and Argyle (2002), and Self esteem scale constructed by Rosenberg (1965) were used to measure
optimism, happiness, and self esteem respectively. For statistical analysis Mean, t- Test, and Pearson Correlation
were applied by using SPSS 20.0 version. The results revealed that male and 20-24 years old students have high
level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem than female and 25-28 years old students. Significant difference was
found between the mean scores of male and female students in respect to their optimism, happiness, and self esteem,
whereas insignificant difference was found between the mean scores of 20-24 years old and 25-28 years old students
in respect to their optimism, happiness, and self esteem. Further results also revealed that there is positively
significant correlation between optimism, happiness, and self esteem. Concurrently, gender is negatively significant
correlated with optimism, happiness, and self esteem, whereas age was found negatively insignificant correlated with
optimism, happiness, and self esteem respectively. On the basis of the findings of the present study we may conclude
that gender has an influential impact on optimism, happiness, and self esteem, whereas age does not.
Keywords: optimism, happiness, self esteem, gender, and age
The term optimism was introduced by Scheier and Carver (1985) Self esteem is the individual's personal opinion about him or
according to them optimism is the global generalized tendency to herself and appreciation of his/her worth. It is a favorable or
believe that one will generally experience good versus bad outcomes unfavorable attitude toward the self. It essentially means how much
in life. Optimistic people expect that good things will happen and a person values his or herself and how important he/she thinks is in
pessimists expect bad things will happen to them. Thus, a person this world. It is how a person sees him/ herself and how he /she feel
presumes that when a goal is important he or she will act to reach the about his/ her accomplishments (Rosenberg, 1965). Self esteem is
desired goal, hoping for the positive outcomes (Scheier & Carver, one's general feelings of self worth (Bong & Clark, 1999). Self
1985-1993). esteem is a principal component of mental health; it has pervasive
and powerful impact on human cognition, emotion, motivation, and
Happiness is commonly defined as a state of wellbeing, associated
behavior (Campbell & Lavallee, 1993). People with high level of
with experiencing pleasures and feeling good. It is an elusive,
self esteem are likely to seek and receive more social support,
affective or enthusiastic state, characterized by feelings of
experience low levels of stress and employ more adaptive coping
enjoyment and satisfaction. Argyle et al. (1989) reported that happy
strategies, which in turn promote good health (Orth, Robins, &
people are those who have average level of satisfaction over a
specific period. Happy people perceive the world as safer and feel
more confident, they are cooperative, tolerant and make sound Optimism, happiness, and self esteem are important aspects of
decisions. Happiness, as described by Martin Seligman is having psychological wellbeing; they have unavoidable and intense effect
three constituent parts viz pleasure, engagement, and meaning. on student's academic performance, emotion, interest, motivation,
Pleasure includes the "feel-good" part of happiness. Living a good and behavior.
life of family, work, friends, and hobbies refers to engagement. Empirical evidence shows that optimism, pessimism, self esteem,
Meaning refers to the use of an individual's strengths and potentials and happiness have significant effects on physical and mental well
to contribute to a large purpose. Myers (1992) exhibits that happiness being (Carver, Scheier, & Segerstrom, 2010; Scheier, Carver, &
promotes success in different areas of human functioning. Happy Bridges, 2001). Optimism is associated to higher academic
people are efficient, active, and productive in their work, they earn performance (Aspinwall & Taylor, 1992); better professional
better income (Argyle, 2001). They are more positive and optimistic performance (Long, 1993); has positively correlated with
toward others (Seligman, 2002). Also they enjoy better physical, psychological well being, individuals' success, academic
emotional, as well as mental health, and cope effectively with daily achievement, and extraversion (Shaheen, 2015; Shepperd, Maroto,
stressors than their counterparts (Vaillant, 2000). & Pbert, 1996; Norem & Chang, 2002). Optimists displayed better
task performance in various domains than pessimists (Robbins,
Spence, & Clark, (1991). Within this context, optimism is seen as a
behavioral strategy that allows people to be happier, more successful
and healthier in their lives (Lopez & Snyder, 2003). Significant
relationship was also found between optimism and happiness.
Optimism, happiness, and self-esteem among university students
Correspondence should be sent to Aehsan Ahmad Dar
Lecturer Government Degree College Sumbal Sonawari
Bandipora Jammu and Kashmir
Indian Journal of Positive Psychology
© 2017 Indian Association of Health, Research and Welfare
Mohammad Amin Wani
Department of Psychology
Aehsan Ahmad Dar
Lecturer Government Degree College
Sumbal Sonawari Bandipora
Jammu and Kashmir
Further, results indicated that positivism predicts happiness Exclusion Criteria
significantly (Hills & Argyle, 2001) simultaneously happiness is ● Students from Science and engineering course were excluded.
strongly associated with optimism (Gorsy & Panwar, 2016). On the ● Family pattern of participants was excluded.
other hand, self esteem has positively correlated with happiness, and ● Socioeconomic status of participants was excluded.
optimism (Baumeister, Jennifer, Joachim, & Kathleen, 2003; ● Religion of the participants was also excluded.
Bastianello, Pacico, & Hutz, 2014). Low self esteem is related with
serious behavioral problems like maladjustment, suicidal tendencies Instruments
and also leads to various psychological problems like stress, anxiety, The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: The oxford happiness
loneliness, depression etc. (Bhattacharjee & Deb, 2007; Manani & questionnaire (OHQ) developed by Hills and Argyle (2002) scale
Sharma, 2013; Leary, 2004). Moksnes and Espnes (2012) consists of 29 items , Each item has five response alternatives
highlighted that levels of self esteem increased with age, results also namely not at all true, slightly true, true, very true, and extremely
revealed that males report higher self esteem than females across all true.
age groups. Saleem and Rafique (2012) also found gender Self Esteem Scale: Self esteem scale constructed by Rosenberg
differences in self esteem and procrastination. Males have (1965) the scale is a ten item Likert scale with items answered on a
significantly higher level of self esteem than females (Nupur & four point scale, from strongly agrees to strongly disagree.
Mahapatro, 2016; Parmar, 2014; Wani et al., 2016). On the basis of Reliability of the test was found through test-retest (.82 to .88) and
above literature, the researcher selected the problem to investigate Cronbach's alpha (.77 to .88) respectively. The scale ranges from 0-
the level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem among university 30, with 30 indicating the highest score possible. Scores between 15
students with following, objectives and hypotheses. to 25 indicates normal level of self esteem and scores below 15
Objectives of the study indicates low self esteem.
The Life Orientation Test Revised (LOT-R): The Life Orientation
● To find the level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem among
Test Revised (LOT-R) developed by Scheier and Carver (1985)
male and female university students
revised by Scheier, Carver, and Bridges (1994). It consists of 10
● To find the level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem among statements (3 positively, 3 negatively and 4 filter items). Only 6
20-24 years and 25-28 years old university students. items are scored, other four filler items are not used for scoring
● To find out the correlation between variables. purpose. These six items are scored as 0 = Strongly Disagree, 1=
Hypotheses of the study Disagree, 2 = Neutral, 3 = Agree, and 4=Strongly Agree. Cronbach's
alpha (0.78) and test retest (0.68 to 0.79) method was used to
H1: There would be significant difference found between optimism, measure the reliability of the test.
happiness, and self esteem among male and female university
H2: There would be significant difference found between optimism, The study was conducted in Annamalai University Annamalainagar
happiness, and self esteem among 20-24 years and 25-28 years old Tamil Nadu on a sample of 60 students, selected through purposive
university students. sampling technique. Prior to administrating the questionnaires
H3: Significant correlation would be found between optimism, among students, proper rapport was established and they were
happiness, and self esteem. informed about the purpose of meeting. During the administration
H4: Gender would be significantly correlated with optimism, process researcher helped those students who had difficulty in
happiness, and self esteem. understanding the statements, after 20-30 minute the participants
H5:Age would be significantly correlated with optimism, happiness, handed over the questionnaires to the researcher and were thanked
and self esteem. for their cooperation. Therefore, the data was collected, after that
obtained data was arranged in tabular form, then systematically
Variables analyzed by applying Mean, t- test, and Pearson Correlation by
In the present study experimental variables are, gender and age, using SPSS 20.0 version.
criterion variables are optimism, happiness, and self esteem. Results
Method The main findings of the present study are shown in tables given
The present study was conducted on a sample of 60 university
students equally divided into two groups on the basis of gender
(males & females). Further these two groups were equally
subdivided into two more groups on the basis of age (20-24 years &
25-28 years), selected through purposive sampling technique.
● Only university students were taken in the study.
● Participants between the age group of 20-28 years old.
● Both Male and Female students were included. Graph 1: Showing gender wise mean scores of optimism,
happiness and self esteem
● Students from social sciences were included.
DAR AND WANI/ OPTIMISM, HAPPINESS, AND SELF-ESTEEM AMONG UNIVERSITY276
Variable Gender No Mean S.D S.E.M df t-value
Optimism Male 30 18.66 3.11 .56 58 7.24**
Female 30 13.33 2.56 .46
Happiness Male 30 94.66 16.24 2.96 58 3.94**
Female 30 76.66 19.02 3.47
Self Esteem Male 30 22.00 3.65 .66 58 6.54**
Female 30 15.66 3.83 .70
** Significant at the 0.01 level
Table 1: Gender wise mean, S.D, SEM, and t- value of optimism, happiness, and self-
esteem scores of university students
Variable Age No Mean S.D S.E.M df t-value
Optimism 20-24 30 16.66 3.99 .72 58 1.33 NS
25-28 30 15.33 3.75 .68
Happiness 20-24 30 87.46 18.67 3.40 58 .703 NS
25-28 30 83.86 20.92 3.82
Self Esteem 20-24 30 18.93 4.93 .90 58 .157 NS
25-28 30 18.73 4.94 .90
** Significant at the 0.01 level
Table 2: Age wise mean, S.D, SEM, and t- value of optimism, happiness, and self-esteem
scores of university students
Graph 2: Showing age wise mean scores of optimism,
happiness and self esteem
Gender Optimism Happiness Self Esteem
Gender 1 -.689** -.460** -.652**
Optimism -.689** 1 .532** .566**
Happiness -.460** .532** 1 .436**
Self Esteem -.652** .566** .436** 1
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
Table 3: Correlation between gender, optimism, happiness, and self-esteem
Age Optimism Happiness Self esteem
Age 1 -.172 -.092 -.021
Optimism -.172 1 .532** .566**
Happiness -.092 .532** 1 .436**
Self Esteem -.021 .566** .436** 1
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed)
Table 4: Correlation between age, optimism, happiness, and self-esteem
Indian Journal of Positive Psychology 2017, 8(3), 275-279 277
students in respect to their optimism, happiness, and self esteem.
Discussion Results also affirmed that there is positive significant correlation
This study clearly demonstrated that male and 20-24 years old between optimism, happiness, and self esteem. Further, gender
students have high level of optimism, happiness, and self esteem than shows negative significant correlation with optimism, happiness,
female and 25-28 years old students. The obtained mean scores of and self esteem. Whereas age was found negatively insignificant
male students in optimism, happiness, and self esteem are more than correlated with optimism, happiness, and self esteem respectively.
female students. The mean, S.D, and SEM of male students was
found [(optimism, M = 18.66, S.D = 3.11, SEM = .56), (happiness, References
M= 94.66, S.D = 16.24, SEM = 2.96) and (self esteem, M = 22.00,
S.D = 3.65, SEM = .66)]. Respectively the mean, S.D, and SEM of
female students was found [(optimism, M = 13.33, S.D = 2.56, SEM
= .46), (happiness, M= 76.66, S.D = 19.02, SEM = 3.47) and (self
esteem, M = 15.66, S.D = 3.83, SEM = .70)]. The obtained t-value's
of optimism, happiness, and self esteem of the same group was found
(4.24), (3.94) and (6.54) respectively with df 58, all these values are
more than tabulation value at 0.01 level of significance, hence first
hypothesis is accepted. Therefore, it can be said that there is
significant difference between optimism, happiness, and self esteem
among male and female university students. Studies by Wani et al.
(2016); Nupur and Mahapatr (2016); Parmar (2014); Nupur and
Agarwal (2013); Saleem and Rafique (2012); Bcahman et al. (2012)
and Moksnes and Espnes (2012); and Sherina et al. (2008) also found
Results confirmed that there is insignificant difference found
between optimism, happiness, and self esteem among 20-24 years
and 25-28 years old university students, as obtained t-value's of all
three variables [(optimism = 1.33), (happiness = .703) and (self
esteem =.157)] are found insignificant at 0.05 level in t-table.
Therefore, second hypothesis is rejected. The mean, S.D, and SEM
of optimism, happiness, and self esteem scores of 20-24 years old
students was found [(optimism, M = 16.66, S.D = 3.99, SEM = .72),
(happiness, M= 87.46, S.D = 18.67, SEM = 3.40) and (self esteem, M
= 18.93, S.D = 4.93, SEM = .90)]. The mean, S.D, and SEM of 25-28
years old university students was found [(optimism, M = 15.33, S.D
= 3.75, SEM = .68), (happiness, M= 83.86, S.D = 20.92, SEM = 3.82)
and (self esteem, M = 18.73, S.D = 4.94, SEM = .90)] respectively.
Further findings divulge that there is positive significant
correlation between optimism, happiness, and self esteem as the
obtained values .532, .566, and .436 were found significant at 0.01
level. Simultaneously, gender was also significantly negative
correlated with optimism, happiness, and self esteem, the obtained
values of these three variables -.689,-.460, and -.625 were also found
significant at 0.01 level. Therefore, third and fourth hypotheses are
accepted. These findings are consistent with the results proposed by
Baumeister, Jennifer, Joachim, and Kathleen (2003) Bastianello,
Pacico, and Hutz (2014); Hills and Argyle (2001); and Gorsy and
Panwar (2016). Whereas age was found insignificantly correlated
with optimism, happiness, and self esteem as the obtained values (-
.172, -.092, & -.021) were found less than tabulation value at 0.05
level respectively. Moreover, the fifth hypothesis is rejected. Hence,
it can be stated that age is negatively insignificantly correlated with
optimism, happiness, and self esteem.
On the basis of the findings of the present study, it can be concluded
that there is significant difference between the mean scores of male
and female students in respect to their optimism, happiness, and self
esteem respectively. Whereas insignificant difference was found
between the mean scores of 20-24 years old and 25-28 years old
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