Research Articles

The fundamental psychological need for belongingness in the school setting is a crucial determinant of students’ school-based and overall functioning in life. This study aims to examine the effects of school belongingness on resilience (academic resilience and buoyancy), social support, psychological well-being, and distress in academically at-risk adolescents. The study participants comprised 257 academically at-risk adolescents attending a public secondary and high school in a city in Turkey. Students were 42% (n = 109) female and 58% (n = 148), ranging in age between 11 and 18 years (M = 13.825, SD = 1.673). Results revealed that a school-based sense of inclusion was significantly and positively related to academic resilience, academic buoyancy, social functioning, and psychological well-being, but negatively to psychological and emotional distress. These findings highlighted the crucial role of school belonging for academically high-risk adolescent groups' mental health and wellbeing. All findings were discussed under the related literature and suggestions were made for future research and practices.

Are men’s happiness and life satisfaction linked to why men die earlier than women? A panel study from 1981 to 2020 in 102 countries

Kayonda Hubert Ngamaba, Ngianga-Bakwin Kandala, Francois Batuyekula Ilenda, Perseverante Kawata Mupolo

Journal of Happiness and Health, Vol. 3 No. 1 (2023), 10 April 2023, Page 14-33

The motivation for happiness research rather than GDP is becoming important to the role of many governments across the globe. When people are asked to list the key characteristics of a good life, they are more likely to include happiness, health, living well and longer. This study investigates whether factors that predict men’s happiness and life satisfaction explain why men die earlier than women. The present research analyses data (N=426,452; 51.90% females) collected by the World Value Survey from 1981 to 2020 in 102 countries, and from six continents. A multilevel random-effects regression analysis was conducted in which individuals were nested by countries.  We investigated variations across nations, country-level of development, and geographical regions. Men were slightly less happy and less satisfied with their lives compared to women. State of health, household’s financial satisfaction, freedom of choice, family importance, and being married were positively associated with happiness/life satisfaction. In contrast, being men, being in a low-income household, or being unemployed were negatively associated with happiness/life satisfaction. Unemployed men and men who were living in Africa or the Middle East regions were less satisfied with their lives compared to women. The excess mortality burden on men is due to a mix of biological, behavioural, and social factors. Happy people may live longer because of underlying factors such as health status, household financial satisfaction, and social connections. Policies targeting men’s health and social connections are needed.

Examining staff and faculty work–life balance and well-being using the dual continua model of mental health during COVID-19

Lauren Kirby, Staci M. Zolkoski, Kyle O'Brien, Joseph Mathew, Bridget R. Kennedy, Sarah M. Sass

Journal of Happiness and Health, Vol. 3 No. 1 (2023), 10 April 2023, Page 34-48

The COVID-19 pandemic created work–life balance, mental health, and well-being challenges for higher education employees, both initially and years later. We investigated staff and faculty self-reported work–life balance and quality of life using the dual continua model of mental health at a medium-size university for 9 months during August 2021 to April 2022. The dual continua model of mental health states that high levels of well-being and psychological distress can co-occur, while a unidimensional model of mental health positions well-being and psychological distress on opposite ends of a unipolar continuum. The dual continua model overlaps with and is broader than the unidimensional model. Based on 299 responses, four groups of staff and faculty (high and low anxiety crossed with high and low life satisfaction) were formed. Consistent with the dual continua and inconsistent with the unidimensional model of mental health, high life satisfaction, regardless of anxiety level, was associated with higher levels of quality of life and work–life balance. Consistent with both the unidimensional and dual continua models, within faculty and staff reporting lower levels of life satisfaction, higher levels of anxiety were associated with lower quality of life and work-life balance. In addition, within the high or low anxious groups, higher life satisfaction was associated with lower levels of depression. Present data represent the only study that builds on previous literature in examining well-being and psychological distress using a dual continua model in staff and faculty at a mid-size university. Overall, present results suggest the dual continua model of mental health better characterizes the relationship of well-being and psychological distress in staff and faculty in a higher education setting than a unidimensional model

The Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) university student attainment gap shows little sign of improving in the official statistics. The research into engagement has been primarily quantitative, showing that attainment is strongly linked to engagement. However, there is relatively little qualitative research on how students experience engagement. This study therefore takes a qualitative approach, using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to bring to life and make sense of the multi-faceted “lived experiences” of positive engagement of six BAME students at a Business School in London. IPA analysis is based on the double hermeneutic, or meaning-making, of both the participant and the researcher and is built rigorously from the bottom up, focusing idiographically on each participant in turn. This includes a detailed examination of the use of language, before moving onto the development of whole-sample, super-ordinate themes. Six super-ordinate themes were identified in this study: “Thriving with the support of positive relationships”, “On a journey of personal growth”, “Feeling at ease in the environment”, “Investing in the university experience to get the most out of it”, “Enjoying the experience of intellectual stimulation and success” and “Driven by ambition and passion”. The study supports key dimensions in the literature around belonging, connectedness and positive affirmation, whilst making contributions to the literature regarding the importance of meaning, growth mindset and self-actualisation. By depicting and interpreting their “lived experiences”, this study helps us gain a better understanding of what engagement can look like for BAME university students and the factors that can help drive it.