The determinants or domains of life satisfaction must be adjusted when considering different age groups. However, the determination of precisely which domains to include for undergraduate college students has yet to be fully explored. The broad purpose of this study was to determine if college students' perceptions are represented on published life satisfaction measurement scales. Participants in this study (n=22) were full-time undergraduates attending a rural Midwestern university. The study addressed the following research questions: 1) What domains are used to measure life satisfaction on published measurement scales? 2) What do undergraduate college students report as being their major determinants of life satisfaction? and 3) Into what order of importance do undergraduate students rank the determinants of life satisfaction? During a series of audio-recorded focus group sessions, students generated 440 determinants of life satisfaction forming 15 thematic clusters. The temporal aspects of satisfaction judgments as well as developmental trends were revealed when evaluating student responses. In order of ranked importance, domains include: 1) Financial Security/Stability; 2) Achievement; 3) Family (of Origin); 4) Spirituality; 5) Self-Image/Values/Doing/Being; 6) Friends & Social Life; 7) Leisure Time; 8) Health; 9) Helping Others; 10) Independence/Ownership; 11) Acceptance/Belonging; 12) Rest; 13) Living Environment/Civics; 14) Romance/Special Relationships; and 15) Parenting. Two domains received over 50% consensus in terms of frequency of selection and importance ranking: Spirituality and Family. Asking the students to generate, rank, and discuss the determinants of life satisfaction produced intriguing information that otherwise may have been overlooked and provided insights pertaining to domains and perspectives which have changed over time. The determinants and insight generated may be highly useful for the refinement of life satisfaction measures for the college age population.
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/04, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||College students, Life satisfaction|
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