Subjective happiness and health behavior among a sample of university students in India

SOURCE: Social Behavior and Personality
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2013
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, S.Pengpid
KEYWORDS: HAPPINESS, HEALTH, INDIA, RISK BEHAVIOUR, UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
DEPARTMENT: Social Aspects of Public Health (SAPH)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8112

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Abstract

The aim in this study was to establish the associations between health behaviors and happiness in an Asian (Indian) population. In a cross-sectional survey we assessed happiness and health behavior among a sample of 800 randomly selected university students taking nonhealth (mainly engineering and sciences) undergraduate courses at Gitam University, Visakhapatnam in India. The students were 541 (67.6%) males and 259 (32.4%) females in the age range of 17 to 20 years (M age 18.2 years, SD = 1.0). We performed multivariate analysis and found that better social support, better personal mastery, normal sleep duration, no current tobacco use, and eating breakfast daily or almost daily were associated with happiness. The findings partially confirmed the association between happiness and several health behaviors mediated by social factors. Our findings can be utilized in programs designed to improve overall well-being of university students in India.