Investigating meaningful happiness and wellbeing in college students through a 'curriculum of giving'

Thomas NIELSEN, Jennifer Ma

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As part of a two-week outdoor education expedition, 18 high school and college students (11 males and 7 females) were engaged in evidence-based wellbeing activities, such as journaling, three new gratitudes, and meditation. Using a mixed methods approach, the aim was to investigate the impact of these activities - conceptualised as a 'curriculum of giving.' Wellbeing was measured qualitatively via interviews and journals, and quantitatively using the Flourishing Scale (FS) across four time points. Qualitative data showed that the wellbeing activities facilitated students’ connection and gratitude towards nature, promoted self-reflection, and a shift in values and worldviews toward social concern. Together with the quantitative data which showed a statistically significant increase in FS scores from pre-trip to post-trip, the results of this in-depth case study support the growing body of literature showing that forms of altruism performed regularly are beneficial to wellbeing and meaningful happiness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Education Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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