Volume 2 - Issue 1

January 2014

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Happiness strategies among Arab university students in the United Arab Emirates

Louise Lambert D’raven Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi
Pages: 1-15

Research in positive psychology has recently shown that not only do conceptualizations of happiness vary by culture, but the ways in which individuals attain happiness also reflect how cultures are organized. Paralleling the dimensions of individualism and collectivism, recent research in positive psychology interventions (PPIs), activities undertaken by individuals to increase their level of happiness, has recently delineated between approaches that are ‘self’ and ‘other’ oriented. The goal of this study was to determine how members of collective societies pursued happiness and if these strategies were indeed “other” oriented. University students (N = 109) from over 12 Middle Eastern countries, considered collectivist, participated. Participants predominately used ‘other’ oriented strategies to attain happiness, but not exclusively. They reported activities such as engaging in good deeds, being of service to others and gaining social acceptability as a result reflecting a collective orientation. Religion and stable political settings were also noted as contributing factors to happiness. They also pursued happiness through goal setting and reaching accomplishments, enjoying pleasures, and asserting greater control over their personal affairs reflecting an individualist approach. A balance of self and other approaches to happiness was eviden

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Dispositional factors, perceived social support and happiness among prison inmates in Nigeria: A new look

Anthony G. Balogun
Pages: 16-33

This study contributed to happiness literature by exploring the extent to which the big five personality (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness to experience), emotional intelligence, and social support predict happiness among less explored sample such as prison inmates in Nigeria. The study also investigated whether perceived social support will predict happiness beyond and above dispositional factors after demographic variables such as age, gender, and religion were controlled for. Two hundred and fifty one (251) prison inmates randomly selected from 3 prisons in three South-western States in Nigeria participated in the study. Data were collected by Oxford happiness questionnaires, Big Five Personality Inventory, Self-report Emotional Intelligence Test, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and were analysed using hierarchical multiple regression analysis. Results showed that extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness, emotional intelligence, and perceived social support collectively and relatively contributed to prison inmates’ level of happiness. Moreover, social support predicted happiness above and beyond big five personality and emotional intelligence. The results were discussed in line with past findings. Practical implications of the findings were also highlighted.

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Structural equation models for prediction of subjective well-being: Modeling negative affect as a separate outcome

Rebecca M. Warner Danney Rasco
Pages: 34-50

Diener’s recommendation that researchers assess well-being by combining scores on Satisfaction with Life (SWLS), positive affect (PA), and negative affect (NA) has been nearly universally adopted. Latent variables that represent subjective well-being (SWB) in structural equation models often include SWLS, PA and NA as multiple indicators. However, Diener and his colleagues have also pointed out that PA and NA have different predictors. In order to compare structural models in which NA is combined with other indicators of well-being with models in which NA is treated as a separate outcome, we collected data on SWB, neuroticism, extraversion, and global social support for college students (N = 847). Structural Equation Model 1, in which NA was one of several indicators of SWB, was compared with three other models that represented NA as a separate outcome. Better model fit was obtained when NA was represented as a separate outcome variable, rather than as one of several indicators of SWB. This type of model also yields more information about the different predictors for positive and negative components of well-being. In future research, data analysts may consider representing NA and other negative emotional outcomes as separate dependent variables, instead of treating them as (reverse scored) indicators of SWB.

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The effect of emotional awareness education, based on emotion focused therapy, on young adults’ levels of optimism1

Cem Gençoğlu Müge Yılmaz
Pages: 51-62

The aim of this research was to study the effects of an Emotional Awareness Training Programme, based on Emotion-Focused Therapy, on the optimism levels of young adults. The experimental and control groups of this research consisted of twenty four young adults. In the study, an Optimism Scale was used in order to determine the optimism levels of these young adults. Both the experimental and control groups were given the scale as a pre-test and a post-test. A set of activities, generated by the principles and techniques of Emotion-Focused Therapy, were applied to the experimental group for ten weeks. There were no studies conducted within the control group. The Mann-Whitney U Test and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test were used to find out if there were any differences between the Optimism Scale pre and post-test scores, which were applied to the experimental and control groups at the end of the sessions. At the end of the statistical analysis, it was observed that Emotional Awareness Training created a significant difference in the young adults' levels of optimism. According to this finding, it has been concluded that an Emotional Awareness Training Programme, based on Emotion-Focused Therapy, raises the optimism levels of young adults.

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The study of spirituality, work value and career decision-making between Christian and Non-Christian college students

Huiling Peng Mei-Shu Chen
Pages: 63-74

An analysis indicated that for 248 Christian college students and 356 non-Christian college students in Taiwan, there are significant relationships between the total score of spirituality and the scores of career decision making (career certainty/career indecision). Also, for both Christian and non-Christian college students, a significant relationship exists between the total score of spirituality and the total score of work value. In addition, for Christian college students, “Purpose and Meaning in Life” and “Innerness or Inner Resources” jointly predict career indecision, with explained variance of 16.6%. For non-Christian college students, “Purpose and Meaning in Life” and “Spirituality” also jointly predict their condition of career indecision, with the explained variance of 15.0%. Implications and suggestions for career counseling are also discussed. Emotion-Focused Therapy, on the optimism levels of young adults. The experimental and control groups of this research consisted of twenty four young adults. In the study, an Optimism Scale was used in order to determine the optimism levels of these young adults. Both the experimental and control groups were given the scale as a pre-test and a post-test. A set of activities, generated by the principles and techniques of Emotion-Focused Therapy, were applied to the experimental group for ten weeks. There were no studies conducted within the control group. The Mann-Whitney U Test and Wilcoxon Signed Ranks Test were used to find out if there were any differences between the Optimism Scale pre and post-test scores, which were applied to the experimental and control groups at the end of the sessions. At the end of the statistical analysis, it was observed that Emotional Awareness Training created a significant difference in the young adults' levels of optimism. According to this finding, it has been concluded that an Emotional Awareness Training Programme, based on Emotion-Focused Therapy, raises the optimism levels of young adults.

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The use of well-being therapy in clinical settings

Chiara Ruini
Pages: 75-84

The concept of psychological well-being and its clinical implications are discussed. A specific psychotherapeutic strategy for increasing psychological well-being, Well-being therapy (WBT), is presented, with a focus on the promotion of an individualized and balanced path to achieve optimal human functioning. The polarities in positive psychological dimensions and their clinical implications are particularly described .WBT has been developed and tested in a number of randomized controlled trials. Recently, international validation studies have replicated the Italian results. The findings indicate that optimal human functioning can be promoted by specific techniques , leading to a positive evaluation of one’s self, a sense of continued growth and development, the belief that life is purposeful and meaningful, the possession of quality relations with others, the capacity to manage effectively one’s life, and a sense of self-determination.

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