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Causes and correlations of happiness and mental health among adolescents

Cheng, Helen L.; (2001) Causes and correlations of happiness and mental health among adolescents. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis concerns the causes and correlations of happiness and mental health in adolescents. It contains six independent but related studies. Chapter one is a review of the literature in the area. In study 1, personality, self-esteem, "aspects of life", affect, depression, and happiness were all measured and the data fully explored through using path analysis. Results revealed that although positive and negative affect were independent as found in the previous studies, general happiness and unhappiness which contain both cognitive judgements and affective responses are two extremes of one continuum and mirror each other to some extent though differ in relating to other variables. Study 2 set out to investigate the lay beliefs on the causes of happiness and its relation to other variables. A questionnaire was specially designed for the purpose of the study. Six clearly interpretable factors emerged from lay theory questionnaire, which were related to the other dimensions. Study 3 examined the relations between attributional style, personality, happiness, and mental health. It used two measures of attributional style. Results revealed that attributional style was a predictor of both happiness and mental health. Study 4 is a two-part study which set out to look at the perceived parental rearing styles and happiness in adolescents. The first part measured parental authority and the second part measured parental bonding. Results indicated that maternal authoritativeness and care were direct predictors of happiness whereas paternal authoritarian style and discouragement of behavioural freedom predicted happiness mediating through self-esteem. Study 5 looked at school setting, self-confidence, loneliness, and happiness. Results showed that friendship and self-confidence in academic performance but not actual grades were the predictors of adolescents' self-reported happiness whereas psychoticism and self-confidence in social interactions were predictors of loneliness. Study 6 is a comparison study between China, Japan, and Britain which measured personality, happiness, and mental health. A general pattern was obtained in terms of causes and correlations of happiness and mental health from all three samples.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Causes and correlations of happiness and mental health among adolescents
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Health and environmental sciences; Happiness
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099339
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