India is a major player in the global knowledge economy. However, there is an underemphasis on the happiness promotion of Indian college students. Their alarming mental health statistics, and India’s consistent decline in the world happiness ranking heightens the need for an increased research focus on their happiness. Consequently, the present study aimed at understanding their perceived happiness determinants as well as their areas of perceived need for future interventions.
It was conducted in a convenience sample of 392 college students (MAge=19.26 years; Females=91, Males=301). Using an inductive content analysis approach, three broad categories of happiness facilitators and inhibitors were derived, with twenty and twenty-six sub-categories respectively. The happiness facilitators were happiness derived from and through others (48.91%), self-related happiness enhancing factors (30.61%), and extrinsic happiness enhancing factors (20.48%). The happiness inhibitors included self-related inhibitors (48.83%), interpersonal inhibitors (26.87%), and extrinsic inhibitors (24.29%). Further, social issues and inequalities, negative thinking, emotions and emotional regulation, mental health issues, healthy interpersonal relationships, happiness and happiness strategies, good health and lifestyle, good work ethics and study habits, and motivation and goal achievement emerged as their areas of perceived need for future intervention programs.
The present findings provide a culture-specific understanding of the subjective happiness determinants of Indian college students and also an impetus for future intervention studies in the college student population.
Keywords: Happiness, happiness determinants, college students, future intervention programs, India