Happiness and migration

Happiness among Portuguese and Indian adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal

Félix Neto & Maria da Conceição Pinto Universidade do Porto, Portugal

Running head: Happiness and migration

Address correspondence relating to this paper to Félix Neto, Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educacão, Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Manuel Pereira da Silva, 4200-392 Porto; email: fneto@fpce.up.pt. This work was supported by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation, Grant Nº PTDC/PSI/69887/2006. The authors are grateful to one anonymous reviewer for the thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.


Happiness and migration

Happiness among Portuguese and Indian adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal

Abstract This study examined the level of happiness among adolescents whose families are from India, in comparison to Portuguese adolescents who did not go through an acculturation process. It examined also if happiness can be predicted by demographic and mental health factors. There were 542 adolescent participants. Three hundred and sixty six were Portuguese and 175 belonged to families coming from India. The participants completed the Oxford Happiness Inventory, the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale, the Satisfaction With Life Scale, and a short biographical form. The hypotheses were partially supported. Indian adolescents from an immigrant background living in Portugal showed more happiness than Portuguese adolescents. Psychological constructs (self-esteem, satisfaction with life, and loneliness) were more important in the prediction of happiness than the sociodemographic variables. With immigrant youth showing good psychological adaptation, our study lends further support to several studies from the United States, suggesting that immigrant children generally adapt well and in some cases better than their national peers. KEY-WORDS: adolescents, happiness, ethnocultural groups, mental health, migration.


Happiness and migration

Happiness among Portuguese and Indian adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal

Migration has often been viewed as a highly stressful process and a number of studies have explored its psychological impact by focusing on the prevalence of mental illness in different immigrant groups (e.g., Cochrane, 1977; Rack, 1988). However, such studies tend to define mental ill health in terms of admissions to psychiatric hospitals, thus limiting the area of study to the more severe forms of psychological distress. Happiness, or subjective well-being, includes people’s evaluations of positive affect, lack of negative affect and life satisfaction (Diener, Oishi, & Lucas, 2003). The present study compares happiness of Indian adolescents from an immigrant background living in Portugal and young Portuguese living in the same country without migratory experience.

Happiness It was not until comparatively recently that psychologists looked at the correlates, definitions and predictors of happiness (Argyle, 2001; Eysenck, 1990). From a theoretical perspective, Argyle and Crossland (1987) suggest that happiness comprises three components: the frequency and degree of positive affect or joy; the average level of satisfaction over a period; and the absence of negative feelings, such as depression and anxiety. Working from this definition, they developed the Oxford Happiness Inventory. The validation study (Argyle, Martin, & Crossland, 1989) of the Oxford Happiness Inventory reported an internal reliability of 0.90 and a seven-week test/re-test reliability of 0.78. Validity was established against happiness ratings by friends and by correlations with measures of positive affect, negative affect and life satisfaction.


Happiness and migration

A series of studies employing the Oxford Happiness Inventory has begun to map the correlates of the operational definition of happiness (Argyle, Martin, & Lu, 1995). For example, positive predictors of happiness have been identified as social competence (Argyle & Lu, 1990), social skills and cooperativeness (Lu & Argyle, 1992) and engagement in a serious leisure activity (Lu & Argyle, 1994). Lu and Argyle (1992) found an inverse relationship between happiness and the total time spent watching television. Other studies have reported significant relationships between happiness and self-esteem (Lu & Argyle, 1991), coping styles (Rim, 1993) and religiosity (Robbins & Francis, 1996). Further evidence of the construct validity of the Oxford Happiness Inventory has been provided by a cross-cultural study conducted in U.K., U.S.A, Australia and Canada (Francis, Brown, Lester & Phillipchalk, 1998). This study has demonstrated that happiness is correlated positively with extraversion, correlated negatively with neuroticism, and uncorrelated with psychoticism. In another cross-cultural study, extraversion is a positive correlate of happiness in Britain, China, and Japan (Furnham & Cheng, 1999). In China and Britain, but not in Japan, neuroticism is a negative predictor of happiness, while in Britain, psychoticism too plays a small part, being negatively correlated with happiness. Whereas a series of studies have already been conducted about the psychological correlates of happiness (Argyle, 2001), the examination of the influence an immigrant family background and the happiness of immigrants has been relatively neglected. When immigrants are considering themselves members of different cultures and recognizing the fact that the minorities can be targets of prejudice, certain questions can emerge: can happiness fluctuate depending on the culture and the belonging to a particular minority group? What characteristics promote happiness in the members of


Happiness and migration

diverse cultures? In this article we will examine some answers to these questions comparing the level of happiness of adolescents from Indian families with immigrant background in Portugal to that of young Portuguese.

Indians in Portugal At present Portugal is simultaneously an emigration and immigration country (Neto & Mullet, 1998; Neto, 2008). If emigration in this country has an old tradition, Portugal has recently become an immigration country. In 1498 Vasco da Gama arrived in India. The Portuguese remained in India until 1961. After the integration of Goa, Damao and Diu in the Indian Union, many Indians came to Portugal. A new wave from Mozambique came immediately after decolonization (1974-75), but it was in the 80s that thousands of immigrants from India established themselves in Portugal, mostly originating from regions which were former Portuguese territories. There are no current statistics on the number of people from India living in Portugal. The Embassy of India in Portugal estimates the ethnic Indian community and Indians in Portugal together would number approximately around 70, 000, including seven thousand with Indian passports. According to the Center of the Department of Immigration, Control and Tutors Documentary supplied by the Foreign Service (SEF), there are currently 15 thousand Indians awaiting citizenship. Data for 2005 from Central records, estimates that there are only 1623 Indian citizens authorized to reside and work in Portugal, and 3353 with authorization to stay until 2010 as people who can live in the country and pursue a work of subordinates, but do not have the freedom to travel in the European Union. These are mostly concentrated in the Lisbon area. There are four distinct communities (Hindus, Muslins, Ismaeliens, and Roman Catholics of Goa). They differ not only in religion, but also by education: Goans have


Happiness and migration

high educational and occupational standing compared with other groups. The Indian community in Portugal specialize their activities (usually with a family) in retail trade of products imported from the East, as well restaurants and other services marked by ethnic origin. This community is well integrated in the country and has a low rate of child delinquency and school failure (Pinto, 2004).

The Present Work The purpose of this investigation was two-fold. The first objective was to examine whether migration has an effect on happiness, thus in the present study we aimed to compare happiness of young Indians living in Portugal to that of young Portuguese living in the same country. One basic question about bicultural individuals is whether they are confused outsiders or special individuals with a broader understanding (Bhugra & Jones, 2001; Berry, Phinney, Sam, & Vedder, 2006). Until recently, the dominant western view of the multiethnic person was portrayed as troubled and anxious outsider who lacked a clear identity (e.g., Nakashima, 1992). However, the results of recent empirical research have indicated that multiethnic individuals are at no psychological disadvantage in comparison to monoethnic individuals. Researchers have consistently found no differences between self-esteem of multiethnic and monoethnic groups (Phinney & Alipuria, 1996). Two studies have shown that young Portuguese living in France did not differ on loneliness and satisfaction with life from young Portuguese who had never migrated and were living in Portugal (Neto, 1995, 1999). The same could also be found among children of Angolan, Cape-Verdean, and Indian immigrants who reside in Portugal concerning satisfaction with life (Neto, 2001b). Thus, the previously negative picture has been replaced by a more optimistic one. Specifically, the contention is that whereas immigration and acculturation may

Happiness and migration

inherently be risky and exacerbate one’s vulnerability to symptoms of maladaptation, risks are in themselves not a destiny (Beiser et al., 1988). The immigrant group of interest in this study are adolescents of second generation (born in receiving country, or arriving before the age of 7). Focusing on adolescents instead of young children is warranted because adolescents are in a better position to report on their own adaptation. With younger children, mainly teacher or parent reports may have to be used. In this paper, we compared the psychological adaptation of Indian adolescents with immigrant background in Portugal with their host peers. We examined whether happiness, as an indicator of psychological adaptation, of the second generation immigrants “converges” toward that of the nationals. We do not expect to find significant differences between the level of happiness of Indian adolescents with immigrant background families to that of Portuguese adolescents. The second aim was to examine if happiness can be predicted by demographic and psychological variables. In this vein we examined whether there were differences in happiness according to certain background characteristics, such as gender, religious involvement, and being currently in love. Although female teenagers report more negative affects, they also seem to have experienced greater joys, so that little difference in global happiness is usually found between the genders (Diener, 1984; Neto, 2001a). We therefore did not expect to find gender differences. Religion and religious participation can be regarded as one of the domains of happiness. Most studies on church attendance and participation in religious groups show positive relations to well-being (Argyle, 2001). Argyle (2001) reported that religion produces positive effects on subjective well-being, especially on existential well-being, but also on general happiness, mental and physical health. Thus we expected to find that religious involvement will show a positive influence on happiness.


Happiness and migration

Several studies have found that relationships characterized by love are experienced as being more happy (Argyle, 2001; Neto, 2005). Falling in love is for most people a very positive experience. Thus we expect to find that participants being in love feel happier than those not being currently in love. Sociodemographic factors account for a small percentage of variance in happiness (Diener et al., 1999). For example, Andrews & Withey (1976) gave a figure of less than 10% of the variance in subjective well-being accounted for by demographic factors. Thus it is important to examine other factors related to happiness, and we will consider also the link between happiness and other mental health constructs: self-esteem, satisfaction with life, and loneliness. Self-esteem refers to the affective valence attributed to the self. In Western cultures self-esteem is a factor associated with high levels of subjective well-being (Diener, Suh, Lucas, & Smith, 1999). Satisfaction with life refers to an overall assessment of an individual’s quality of life according to his chosen criteria. Judgments are based on a comparison with a standard which each subject sets for him/herself. Loneliness has been conceptualized as an individual’s dissatisfaction with social relationships accompanied by a negative psychological state (Peplau & Perlman, 1982). Unhappiness seems to be related to the quality of or social relationships. The research suggests that loneliness is associated with different affective states as being unhappy (Fischer & Philips, 1982; Neto, 2001a). These three variables are closely related to the three components of happiness: self-esteem is related to frequency and degree of positive affect; satisfaction with life is related to the level of satisfaction; and loneliness is related to the absence of negative feelings. These negative feelings are closely related to neuroticism which has been found to be correlated with happiness (Furnham & Cheng, 1999).


Happiness and migration

In summary, in this study we set out to explore both the level of happiness among adolescents with immigrant background and its predictors. Specifically, on the basis of theory and existing evidence, the following hypotheses were tested: Hypothesis 1 – We hypothesized that happiness scores of adolescents from Indian immigrant background living in Portugal will be similar those of the Portuguese adolescents living in the same country. Hypothesis 2 – It is expected that religious involvement and love status will influence the level of happiness, but gender will not influence it. Hypothesis 3- We hypothesized a positive correlation between scores for happiness and self-esteem and satisfaction with life, and a negative correlation between happiness and loneliness. Hypothesis 4 – It is expected that mental health factors including self-esteem, satisfaction with life and loneliness will account for the larger part of the explained variance in happiness than demographic factors.

METHOD Participants The participants were 541 students (257 males and 284 females), aged 16 to 19 (M age 17.6 yr., SD = 1.19), who were enrolled in high education school in the Lisbon area. Three hundred and sixty six (166 males and 200 females) were Portuguese and 175 (91 males and 84 females) were Indian from immigrant families (Table 1). The ethnocultural groups were not significantly associated with gender (X2=.15, df=1, p>.05). Insert Table 1 about here


Happiness and migration

Material All participants were administered the Portuguese versions of The Oxford Happiness Inventory (Argyle, Martin, & Crossland, 1989; Neto, 2001a), the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale (Russell, Peplau, & Cutrona, 1980; Neto, 1992) and the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) (Diener et al.,1985; Neto, 1993a, 2002). These three scales have been previously adapted for the Portuguese population. In designing these versions, the guidelines proposed in the literature on cross-cultural methodology were followed (Brislin, 1986): independent/blind/back translation, education translation, and small-scale pre-tests. After completion of the three scales, participants were requested to complete a short biographical form. Beyond asking the sex, age, religion, and ethnicity, other questions were asked such as, if the participants were currently in love. Also included was one item as a measure of self-esteem: "the way I feel about myself generally is " (Hendrick, & Hendrick, 1988; Neto, 1993b). This item had appropriately labelled 5response alternatives. Is this a validated measure of self-esteem?

Procedure Participants were asked to fill out the questionnaire in the school environment. It took about 30 min to complete. Authorization from administrative bodies and parents, and consent from the adolescents were obtained before the questionnaires were administered. The confidentiality was stressed and the response rate was above 95%.

RESULTS The internal consistency coefficient of the Oxford Happiness Inventory was .91 for the Indian sample and also .91 for the Portuguese sample. The internal consistency


Happiness and migration

coefficient of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale was .85 for the Indian sample and .83 for the Portuguese sample. The internal consistency coefficient of the Life Satisfaction Scale was .85 for the Indian sample and also .85 for the Portuguese sample. Thus the internal consistency of the scales seem adequate for both ethnocultural groups.

Background Variables and Happiness A number of specific questions pertaining to the participants’ background were included to assess in an orderly way some of the potential suppositions about how happiness functions. The approach used treated each background variable as an independent variable, using participants’ sum scores on happiness scale as dependent variable. One-way analyses of variance were performed on the data. The means and F ratio for OHI are shown in Table 2 for several background variables. The F ratio for each one-way analysis is shown at the top of the relevant column of means. Ethnocultural group. There were ethnocultural group differences on happiness F(1, 540)=5.95, p<.05, η2 =.01. Indian adolescents scored higher on happiness (M=41.7) than Portuguese adolescents who did not go through an acculturation process (M=38.8). These findings did not support our first hypothesis. Gender. There were gender differences on happiness, F(1, 540)=12.77, p<.001, η2=.02. Males scored higher on happiness (M=41.9) than females (M=37.9). Religious involvement. There were religious involvement differences on happiness (F(2, 536)=9.21, p<.001, η2=.03). The believers/regular attendees (M=41.8) and the believers/nonattendees (M=38.8) showed more happiness than the nonbelievers/nonattendees (M=35.6).


Happiness and migration

Currently in love. There was a significant effect of being in love now on happiness F(1, 537)=4.90, p<.05, η2=.01. Clearly, participants “in love now” were happier (M=40.6) than those “not in love now” (M=37.9).

Insert Table 2 about here

The Relationships between Happiness and Mental Health Variables As can be seen in Table 3 for both ethnocultural groups the correlations between happiness, and satisfaction with life and self-esteem were significant and positive, and the correlation between happiness, and loneliness was also significant in a negative direction. These findings are in line with hypothesis 3. Insert Table 3 about here To ascertain the contributions of demographic and psychological factors, sequential multiple regressions were performed, where demographic factors (gender, religious involvement, and love status) were first introduced in the model (in Step 1) and then the psychological characteristics (self-esteem, satisfaction with life, and loneliness) (in the Step 2). Because of differences in the degree of happiness among the ethnocultural groups, happiness was regressed separately for Indian and Portuguese participants. This was done in order to see whether there were differences in factors accounting for happiness among the different ethnocultural groups (Table 4). The combined explained variance following the introduction of the demographic factors was 4% for the Indian adolescents and 5% for the Portuguese adolescents. For the Indian adolescents only gender contributed significantly to the model and for the Portuguese adolescents religious involvement and gender contributed significantly to the model. On introducing the psychological factors, the explained variance increased to 41% for both


Happiness and migration

samples. For Indian adolescents there were two factors that contributed significantly to the model: self-esteem and satisfaction with life. For Portuguese adolescents there were five factors that contributed significantly to the model: satisfaction with life, selfesteem, loneliness, love status, and gender.

Insert Table 4 about here

DISCUSSION This study explored the degree of happiness among adolescents with Indian immigrant families in comparison to Portuguese adolescents who did not go through an acculturation process, and the factors that may be related to the level of happiness among them. Four hypotheses were put forward, and these were partially supported. Before presenting the findings, they should be interpreted cautiously since our conclusions are bound by several limitations in our data. First, the basic design of investigation consisted of cross-sectional sampling of the population. A different shortcoming concerns generalisations of these results to settings culturally different from ours; they should proceed cautiously. The roles of acculturation factors may vary in other contexts (Berry et al., 2006). However the results of this study replicate earlier findings and demonstrate some of the wide network of background and psychological variables in which happiness is embedded. Using national youth as our comparison group, our results indicated that Indian immigrant youth as a group were happier than their national peers. In other words, immigrant youth appeared to be better adapted psychologically. In agreement with some studies (e.g., Neto, 1995; 1999; 2002; Phinney and Alipuria, 1996) we found that multiethnic adolescents were not at a psychological disadvantage because of their ethnic

Happiness and migration

origin. Adolescents whose families were from India living in Portugal had not shown lower levels of happiness in relation to the young Portuguese who had always lived in the country. On the contrary, young Indians with immigrant background families were found to be happier than young Portuguese. Therefore, the notion that the geographic mobility of the parents is a basic cause of the psychological maladjustment in their children seems to be incorrect. These results are in agreement with the conclusion that the majority of immigrants adapt well in host societies, despite the difficulties that they may find in the cultural changes and the fact of living in the confluence of two or more cultures (Berry, 1997). A possible explanation for this finding may be related to a supportive network of relationships stressed by Indian culture. As Myers and Diener (1995) have noted: happy individuals not only have specific traits but also have strong relationships. Two aspects of social network family (relationships with parents) and school (peer relations and school performance) have been found by various studies to be important to young people’s mental well-being and social adjustment (Argyle, 2001). Many researchers like Herz and Gullone (1999) argue that the quality of the parent-child relationship has a significant impact on the long-term confidence, resilience and well-being of individuals. Our study lacked information on such family processes and in the absence of such information, we could not control their potential effects. Our second hypothesis was partially supported. It is unclear why we found a gender difference in happiness, namely that boys were happier than girls in both ethnocultural groups. This finding is not in line with previous studies among migrants’ second generation nor in accordance with findings among adults (Imamoglu et al., 1993; Warr and Payne, 1992). Although female teenagers reported more negative affects, they also seemed to have experienced greater joys, so that little difference in


Happiness and migration

global happiness or satisfaction was usually found between the genders. Diener (1984) reported only two studies where a modest interaction with age was found. However, it has previously been found that in Portugal male teenagers have higher mean scores on satisfaction with life than the female teenagers (Neto, 1993a). Future research must clarify the reasons of this gender difference in the Portuguese context. The relation expected to be found between religious involvement and happiness could be supported. The believers/regular attendees and the believers/nonattendees showed more happiness than the nonbelievers/nonattendees. Therefore it could be confirmed in accord with diverse research (Argyle, 2001) that religiosity was linked positively with happiness. People involved in religion may be happier than others for many reasons. Three factors have been given serious consideration within psychology (Argyle, 2000). First, religion provides a coherent belief system that allows people to find meaning in life and hope for the future. Religious belief systems allow people to make sense of the adversities, stresses and inevitable losses which occur over the course of the life cycle and to be optimistic about an afterlife in which these difficulties will be resolved. Second, involvement in routine attendance at religious services and being part of a religious community provides people with social support. Third, involvement in religion is often associated with a physically and psychologically healthier lifestyle characterized by prosocial altruistic behaviours (rather than criminality), moderation in eating and drinking, and a commitment to hard work. Participants who were in love at present were happier than were participants who were not in love. Lovers really do wear rose-coloured glasses (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1988; Neto & Pinto, 2003). Whether someone is in love or not appears to affect happiness among young people.


Happiness and migration

The data supported the expected relationship between happiness and mental health measures. A significant association has been found with the frequency and the degree of positive affect, such as self-esteem and the level of satisfaction over a period, such as satisfaction with life, and the absence of negative feelings, such as loneliness. The strongest predictors of happiness were self-esteem and satisfaction. The fourth hypothesis was also supported by the data. Our regression models indicated that about 41% of the explained variance of happiness could be accounted for by the combined demographic and psychological factors. Less than 6% of the explained variance could be attributed to demographic factors. Thus, the demographic variables, as could be expected, accounted for a small percentage of variance in happiness. In fact, Andrews and Withey (1976) gave a figure of less than 10% of the variance in subjective well-being accounted for by all the demographics they assessed. In this vein Diener (1984) concluded that taken together, demographic variables probably do not account for much more than 15% of the variance. Neto (1995, 2001b) and Sam (1998) also found that demographic factors were less relevant to the understanding of life satisfaction than personal factors. Thus, as far as happiness is concerned, it is rather more important to have an early intervention to improve one's happiness at psychological factors, which are more amenable to change, than at demographic factors, because many of them do not readily allow themselves for change. The strongest related factors of happiness when demographic factors were combined with mental health factors were self-esteem and satisfaction with life. The adaptation to a new cultural context can involve a lot of challenges. If one feels a sense of self-worth, one’s sense of happiness improves. The fact that persons with a high level of self-esteem have higher feelings of happiness is consistent with earlier studies (Neto, 1995; Sam, 1998). Many previous studies show that self-esteem is a major factor of


Happiness and migration

happiness, especially in an individualistic society (e.g. Diener et al., 1999). A practical consequence of this finding is that helping adolescents of immigrant background to develop a better sense of self-worth may improve the global assessment of happiness. With immigrant youth showing good psychological adaptation, our study lends further support to several studies from the United States, suggesting that immigrant children generally adapt well and in some cases better than their national peers (Fuligni, 1998).

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Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. S. (1988). Lovers wear rose colored glasses. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 161-183. Herz, L., & Gullone, E. (1999). The relationhip between self-esteem and parenting style. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 30, 742-763. Imamoglu, E.R., Kuller, V., Imamoglu, V., Kuller, M. (1993). The social psychological words of Swedes and Turks in and around retirement. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 24, 26-41. Lu, L, & Argyle, M. (1992) Receiving and giving support: effects on relationships and well-being. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 5, 123-133. Lu, L., & Argyle, M. (1991). Happiness and cooperation. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 1019-1030. Lu, L., & Argyle, M. (1994) Leisure satisfaction and happiness: a function of leisure activity. Kaohsiung Journal of Medical Sciences, 10, 89-96. Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995) Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6, 10-17. Nakashima, C. L. (1992). An invisible monster: The creation and denial of mixed-race people in America. In M. P. P. Root (Ed.), Racially mixed people in America (pp. 162-180). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Neto, F. (1992). Loneliness among Portuguese adolescents. Social Behavior and Personality, 20, 15-22. Neto, F. (1993a) Satisfaction with life scale: psychometric properties in an adolescent sample. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 22, 125-134. Neto, F. (1993b). Love styles and self-representations. Personality and Individual Differences, 14, 795-803. Neto, F. (1995). Predictors of satisfaction with life among second-generation migrants. Social Indicators Research, 35, 93-116. Neto, F. (1999). Loneliness among second generation migrants. In J.-C. Lasry, J. Adair, & K. Dion, Latest contributions to cross-cultural psychology (pp. 104-117). Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger. Neto, F. (2001a). Personality predictors of happiness. Psychological Reports, 88, 817824. Neto, F. (2001b). Satisfaction with life among adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 30, 1, 53-67. Neto, F. (2002). Lonelines and acculturation among adolescents from immigrant families in Portugal. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 3, 630-647.

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Neto, F. (2005). The satisfaction with love life scale. Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development, 38, 2-13. Neto, F. (2008) Estudos de Psicologia Intercultural: Nós e outros, 3ª ed. Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. Neto, F., & Mullet, E. (1998). Decision-making as regards migration: Wage differential, job opportunity, and the network effect. Acta Psychologica, 98, 57-66. Neto, F., & Pinto, M. C. (2003). The role of loneliness, gender and love status in adolescents’ love styles. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 11, 181191. Peplau, L., & Perlman, D. (Eds.) (1982). Loneliness: a sourcebook of current theory, research and therapy. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Phinney, J., & Alipuria, L. (1996). At the interface of cultures: Multiethnic/multiracial high school and college students. Journal of Social Psychology, 136, 139-158. Pinto, M. C. (2004). Intimidade em adolescentes de diferentes grupos étnicos. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta, PhD (unpublished). Rack, P. H. (1988). Psychiatric and social problems among immigrants. Acta Psychiatrica, Scandinavica Supplementum, 344, 167-173. Rim, Y. (1993) Happiness and coping styles. Personality and Individual Differences, 14, 617-618. Robbins, M., & Francis, L. J. (1996) Are religious people happier? A study among undergraduates. In L. J. Francis, W. K. Kay & W. S. Campbell (Eds.), Research in religious education (pp. 207-217). Leominster, U. K.: Gracewing. Russell, D., Peplau, L., & Cutrona, C. (1980) The revised UCLA Loneliness Scale: concurrent and discriminant validity evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 472-480. Sam, D. (1998). Predicting life satisfaction among adolescents from immigrant families in Norway. Ethnicity & Health, 3, ½, 5-18. Warr, P., & Payne, R. (1982). Experience of stain and pleasure among British adults. Social Science and Medicine, 16, 1691-7.


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Table 1 Description of the sample by ethnocultural group, age, and gender

Ethnocultural group

Total of the sample







India Portugal

175 366

91 166

84 200

17.57 17.58

1.24 1.17







Table 2 Means and F ratio for happiness as a function of selected background variables ______________________________________________________________________ Variable N Happiness ______________________________________________________________________ Ethnocultural group F=5.95* Indian 175 41.7a Portuguese 366 38.8b Gender Males Females 175 684 F=12.77*** 41.9a 37.9b F=9.21*** 41.8a 38.8a 35.6b

Religion involvement Believers/regular attendees 239 Believers/non attendees 187 Non believers/non attendees 115

Are you in love now? F=4.9* Yes 367 40.6a No 172 37.9b *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001. For each variable with means with no subscripts in common differed at the 0.05 level, either by F test directly for a pair of means or by Scheffe test for three means.


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Table 3 Correlations between mental health measures and happiness by ethnocultural group

Happiness Indian Loneliness Satisfaction with life Self-esteem *p<.05; **p<.01; ***p<.001. -.15* .43*** .57*** Portuguese -.29*** .53*** .52***

Table 4 Multiple Regression Analyses of Variables Predicting Happiness among Ethnocultural Groups Predictor Variables Indians Demographic predictors (Stepwise) 1. Gender R R2 Beta t





Demographic and psychological well-being predictors (Stepwise) 1. Self-esteem .57 .33 .57 2. Satisfaction with life .64 .41 .30 Portuguese Demographic predictors (Stepwise) 1. Religious involvement 2. Gender

.9.16*** 4.89***

.18 .22

.03 .05

-.18 -.14

-3.39** -2.72**

Demographic and psychological well-being predictors (Stepwise) 1. Satisfaction with life .53 .28 .53 11.88*** 2. Self-esteem .62 .38 .35 7.56*** 3. Loneliness .63 .39 -.12 -2.71** 4. Love status .63 .40 -.10 -2.39* 5. Gender .64 .41 -.10 -2.31* ____________________________________________________________________ *p<0.05; ** p<0.01; p<0.001. The beta and t values are for the step at which the variables entered.


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