Happiness in high school students: autonomy, relatedness, competence and meaning in life

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Nur Demirbas Celik


The present study examines the roles of the satisfaction of basic psychological needs and meaning in life on adolescents’ happiness. The study group of this research is composed of 348 high school students (209 male, 139 female) who receive education in İstanbul, Turkey.  The students are between the age of 15 and 18 and the age average is 16.4 (SD = 9.31). In the study, The Basic Psychological Needs Scale (BPNS), Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MIL), The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) SWLS and The Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) were used as instruments. Happiness or subjective well-being (SWB) contains three components: Life satisfaction, positive effect and negative effect. The data were analyzed through the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient technique and multiple linear regression analysis. According to results, autonomy, competence, relatedness and MIL predict SWB significantly. These three variables explain 56% of total variance. SWB is explained by relatedness, autonomy, and competence for females, respectively. SWB for males are competence, MIL, and relatedness, respectively. The results were further examined in light of recent research and implications for counseling with adolescent subjects are discussed.

Keywords: subjective well-being, happiness, basic psychological needs, meaning in life, gender


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