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A STUDY OF THE COMPONENTS OF HAPPINESS AND THE ROLE OF DEMOGRAPHIC VARIABLES AMONG THE STUDENTS AT KERMANSHAH UNIVERSITY OF MEDICAL SCIENCES.

Byline: Parvin Abbasi, Mehnoosh Timareh, Arash Ziapour and Neda Kianipour

ABSTRACT

Objective: To investigate the components of happiness and the role of demographic variables among the students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences.

Methodology: This was a descriptive study. The study population consisted of 350 students of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacology Schools at Kerman-shah University of Medical Sciences in 2016. Sampling was done through simple random sampling. For data collection, a demographic questionnaire and the Argyle's revised Oxford happiness questionnaire (OHQ) were utilized. The data were analyzed through the descriptive (frequency, percentage frequency, mean, and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (ANOVA and t-test) in the statistics software, SPSS version 21.0.

Results: Out of 350 subjects, the male population accounted for 170 (48.6%) subjects. The mean age of subjects was 23.14 +-4.70 years. A large proportion of the population, (n=315, 90%) were single, 306 (87.4%) subjects were from the urban areas and 129 (36.9%) of the subjects were residing in dormitories. Academically, 157 subjects (44.9%) were majoring in Medicine and 67 (19.1%) were in their second term. Self-esteem had the highest mean score (3.77 +-0.19) as opposed to subjective well-being with the lowest mean score (1.73 +-0.26). The mean score of students' happiness was 3.68 +-0.13. There were significant relationships between the total score of happiness and each of the demographic variables (gender, age, place of birth, marital status, mode of residence, academic term, and field of study) with p value 20 years. A large proportion of the population, (n=315, 90%) were single, 306 (87.4%) subjects were from the urban areas and 129 (36.9%) of the subjects were residing in dormitories. Regarding field of study, 157 subjects (44.9%) were majoring in Medicine and 67 (19.1%) subjects were in their second term. Baseline demographic variables are shown in Table 1. Our results revealed that self-esteem had the highest mean score (3.77 +-0.19) as opposed to subjective well-being with the lowest mean score (1.73+-0.26).

Moreover, the results demonstrated that the mean score of students' happiness was 3.68 +-0.13 (Table 2). There were significant relationships between the total score of happiness and each of the demographic variables (gender, age, place of birth, marital status, mode of residence, academic term, and field of study) with p value <0.05, as shown in Table 3.

DISCUSSION

In the present study the mean score of students' happiness was 3.68 +-0.13. This finding was consistent with the results of studies conducted by Tavan et al 15, Purtaghi et al 16, Pourmirza et al 21 and Ebadi et al 22. In terms of the mean score of happiness, the results of studies conducted by Sharifi et al 23 and Robbins et al 24 on university students demonstrated that the measured mean score of happiness was high, which was concurrent with the results of the present study. The results of the present study revealed that happiness correlated with gender, age, place of birth, marital status, mode of residence, academic term and field of study. Tavan et al 15 showed that university students' happiness did not correlate with their age, gender, mode of residence, marital status, and field of study.

Similarly, Purtaghi et al 16, demonstrated that happiness significantly correlated with variables such as age, education and field of study. However, their marital status and gender were not significantly different. In addition, Nosrtinezhad et al 25, showed that there were significant relationships between happiness and age as well as marital status, while no relationship was found between happiness and each of gender and education. The results of a study conducted by Khosravi et al 11 indicated that marital status and field of study could affect happiness, while age and gender could not. Rafiei et al 26 showed that age, gender, place of residence and field of study did not significantly correlate with students' happiness. Sheikhmoonesi et al 27 showed that happiness was not related to gender, marital status, mode of residence and education.

Similarly, Sharifi et al 23 found out that there were no significant relationships between happiness and each ofthe mode of residence, age, marital status, education and faculty. Furthermore, Mehrdadi et al 27 showed that there were no significant relationships between happiness and each of gender, marital status and education. The results of the present study revealed that there was a significant relationship between happiness and marriage, which was consistent with the results of studies conducted by Abedi et al 14 and Mastekaasa 29. It was reported that the married students had higher levels of happiness compared to the single ones. In addition, the results of the present study showed that the level of happiness was higher among older and married students compared to younger and single students.

Age has been mentioned in many studies as one of the factors related to happiness 30,31. The results of a study performed by Walton et al 32 demonstrated that students with higher happiness levels had better status in terms of health and academic achievement comapred to others. Success and progress in education can lead to the satisfaction and happiness of university students. On the other hand, a student with suitable levels of happiness and peace of mind is better able to progress in education 33,34.

Table 1: Baseline characteristics of the study samples (n=350).

Variables###Groups###Frequency(%)

Gender###Male###170(48.6)

###Female###180(51.4)

Marital Status###Single###315(90)

###Married###35(10)

Place of Birth###City###306(87.4)

###Countryside###44(12.6)

Age (in years)###20 <###140(40)

###20###210(60)

Mode of Residence###Dormitory###129(36.9)

###Rental###93(26.6)

###Personal###128(36.6)

Academic Term###1st###27(7.7)

###2nd###67(19.1)

###3rd###48(13.7)

###4th###62(17.7)

###5th###61(17.4)

###6th###50(14.3)

###7th###35(10)

Field of Study###Medicine###157(44.9)

###Dentistry###96(27.4)

###Pharmacology###97(27.7)

Table 2: Mean scores of various dimensions of happiness among the students.

Dimensions of Happiness###SD+- Mean

Self-esteem###3.77 +- 0.19

Satisfaction###3.73 +- 0.32

Satisfaction with Life###3.70 +- 0.23

Positive Mood###3.68 +- 0.33

Subjective Well-being###3.54 +- 0.36

Total Score of Happiness###3.68 +- 0.13

Table 3: Comaprison of Students' Happiness and demographic variables.

###Demographic Variables###SD +- Mean###Significance(2-tailed)

Gender###Male###3.67 +-0.14###P=0.000

###Female###3.69 +-0.13

Marital Status###Single###3.68(0.14)###P=0.000

###Married###3.70(0.12)

Place of Birth###City###3.69(0.13)###P=0.000

###Countryside###3.65(0.15)

Age (in years)###20 <###3.68(0.14)###P=0.000

###20###3.69(0.13)

Mode of Residence###Dormitory###3.68(0.14)###P=0.000

###Rental###3.68(0.13)

###Personal###3.69(0.13)

Academic Term###1st###3.62(0.16)###P=0.000

###2nd###3.64(0.13)

###3rd###3.67(0.11)

###4th###3.69(0.13)

###5th###3.71(0.13)

###6th###3.73(0.14)

###7th###3.69(0.14)

Field of Study###Medicine###3.68(0.13)###P=0.000

###Dentistry###3.68(0.14)

###Pharmacology###3.69(0.13)

CONCLUSION

The students' happiness at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences correlated with gender, age, place of birth, marital status, mode of residence, academic term and field of study. Careful planning regarding development of a vibrant environment to enhance the university students' happiness is suggested.

LIMITATIONS

The present study had several limitations. Firstly, the data were collected through the self-reporting methods, possibly affecting the accuracy of the results. Secondly, because of the individual differences of the research samples, the generalizability of the results may be affected. Further studies need to be carried out in this regard.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The present article was based on the findings of the research project (No. IR.KUMS. REC. 1396.720), supported by the Vice Chancellery for Research and Technology of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. In the end, our grateful thanks go to Imam Khomeini and Mohammad Kermanshahi Clinical Research and Development Departments and all students for their kind support and cooperation.

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Publication:Journal of Postgraduate Medical Institute
Date:Jun 30, 2018
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