Happiness, socioeconomic status, and family functioning in South African households: a structural equation modelling approach
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This paper examines how SES relates to individual happiness, while also controlling for family functioning; the latter measured by the Family Attachment and Changeability Index 8 (FACI8). An individual-, household-, and subjective SES index are developed via multiple correspondence analyses (MCA). Using data from the 2012
South African Social Attitudes Survey (SASAS), the paper employs structural equation modelling (SEM) to explore the relationship between happiness, SES, and family functioning. Multiple-group SEM (MGSEM) is employed to examine the association between happiness and family functioning across quartiles of the three SES indices. The results reveal that higher SES is significantly related to greater happiness, with the role of household- and subjective SES being stronger than individual SES. Furthermore, improved levels of family changeability are positively associated with happiness, whereas there is no relationship between happiness and family attachment. Overall,levels of family changeability and individual happiness are likely to benefit from
improvements in socioeconomic status.