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Happiness In The Hierarchy Of Needs And Biopsychosocial Models

3113 words - 12 pages

Well-being is slowly being recognized as a subjective concept. While others may view an individual’s situation as less than ideal, that person may still be perfectly satisfied with their situation. Taking this into account, researchers focusing on subjective well-being realize that any circumstance may be interpreted differently, depending upon one’s own goals and current life stage (Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology, 2004). Goals and life stages are interwoven in that the current position one stands will have a dramatic effect on current or upcoming goals and aspirations. Happiness has been linked to having purpose and goals in life, along with healthy social relationships, feelings of security, and a lack of major stressors (Diener & Tov, 2012). These factors were found to be among some of the most important in subjective well-being across different countries and are closely aligned with what one may see on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model. The stages in this model may be paralleled with the factors influencing the biopsychosocial model, which incorporates the impact of biology, one’s psychological frame of mind, and the social surroundings. Both Maslow’s hierarchical needs model and the biopsychosocial model act as an easy-to-understand framework for the health psychology field, as demonstrated through the factors most closely associated with happiness.
When considering happiness as a subjective field, one must not only consider the individuals current life stage and goals, but also his or her affect or temperament. Temperament, defined as one’s mental constitution or frame of mind (Webster’s New Basic Dictionary, 1997), will impact how one views any given situation. In a study done by Holder and Klassen (2010), 311 children aged 9-12 were assessed in temperament and happiness. The children’s parents reported on their children’s emotionality, sociability, and activity while the children reported on their happiness. Children who were rated as more social and active by parents were happier. Those who were shy or anxious reported being less happy (Holder & Klassen, 2010). These results also aligned with the well-established research for adults, where extraversion is positively associated with happiness but neuroticism is negatively associated with happiness (Holder & Klassen, 2010).
However, one’s predispositions will not always be the determinant in one’s happiness or well-being. Holder and Klassen (2010) did mention that it was only a 9 to 29% variance based on temperament. There are other factors to consider. Holder and Coleman (2009) concluded that social relationships were a strong predictor of happiness. In an assessment of 432 children and their parents, social relation factors taken into account included: if the children knew they were an important part of the family, if they were able to spend time with friends regularly, if the children felt left out of activities, and if they agreed they are often mean to others. ...

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