On being happy in uncertain economic times

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Given the uncertain economic times over the past few years, the aim of this research was to investigate whether economic instability affected subjective well-being and if so how. The sample was 135 men and women from a stratified sample of adults living in metropolitan Western Australia. Using scores from the Satisfaction with Life Scale and the Short Happiness-Depression Inventory two happiness groups were formed: adults with high subjective well-being; and adults with lower subjective well-being. Group differences on homeownership, financial liquidity and stress, attitudes towards credit, pursuit of extrinsic goals were assessed. The results showed that income level per se did not make people happier, although not being able to make ends meet was associated with more unhappiness. Happier people were more likely to own their home, to pay off credit balances each month, pay rent/mortgage on time and could save even a small amount of money on a regular basis. Attitudes to credit, number of credit cards owned, and extrinsic life aspirations were not associated with levels of happiness. The results and applied implications of the study are discussed with an emphasis on promoting happiness and avoiding financial stress during times of economic uncertainty.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEconomic Growth in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationPerspectives, Role of Governmental Policies, Potential and Constraints
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherNova Science Publishers Inc
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781633215993
ISBN (Print)9781633215894
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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