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

Karl Peltzer1, Supa Pengpid2
1HIV/AIDS/SIT/and TB (HAST), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa, University of Limpopo, and Madidol University, South Africa
2Department of Psychology and ASEAN Institute for Health Development, University of Limpopo and Madidol University, South Africa
Cite this article:  Peltzer, K., & Pengpid, S. (2013). Subjective happiness and health behavior among a sample of university students in India. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41, 1045-1056.

Volume 41 Issue 6 | e3130 | Published: July 2013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2013.41.6.1045

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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.

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