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Happiness index of Southeastern College students

Acegen Lacida, Evany Sonsona, Nova Austria, John Jerric Tamblingon, Maurice Dence Bacaling
Teacher Education Program, Southeastern College of Padada, Davao del Sur, Philippines

John Vianne Murcia
UM Digos College, Digos City, Philippines



College students’ happiness is one of the growing topics in social science today for multitudes of social and educational implications. This study aims to characterize the happiness of college students in the context of a college situated in a rural setting in Davao del Sur. The study utilized a mixed method type of research – qualitative research design was utilized by conducting three separate focus group discussions (n=40) of the possible sources of happiness of the students, yielding 146 discrete responses, followed by the use of the quantitative design, which employed the data reduction method in developing a measure of happiness. A total of n=416 students were randomly-chosen to respond on the survey and were asked on how happy they are on the pre-determined sources of happiness. Data reduction via factor analysis was employed to trim the 146 items down to 19 items, which loaded to five components or dimensions. It was revealed that the dimensions of happiness of college students include (1) outdoor activities, (2) within-the-generation activities, (3) romance, (4) self-indulgence, and (5) online gaming. It was further revealed that the top five sources of happiness are eating delicious food, vacation, having adventure, gifts, and hanging out with friends. As a whole, the extent of happiness of college students was high. The results can be a basis in the development of growth sessions, formation programs and classroom activities that can benefit college students. Likewise, it is recommended that the resulting happiness scale will be tested in other institutions of higher learning, or validated with existing measures to establish its psychometric properties.

Keywords: social science, happiness, college students, factor analysis, Philippines