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Life satisfaction of professional and non professional students in India

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https://www.eduzhai.net International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 109-113 DOI: 10.5923/j.ijap.20130304.03 Life Satisfaction among Professional and Non-Professional Students in India Mahmoud Shirazi1, Matloob Ahmed Khan2,* 1Department of Psychology, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran 2Department of Psychiatry, Post Box-9086 Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Abstract The objective of the present study was to exa mine the relat ionship between life satisfaction and mental health among students. A total of 150 participants were randomly selected fro m Aligarh Muslim Un iversity, Aligarh, India. Life satisfaction was measured by life satisfaction scale. Independent t-test was used for analyzing the data. The independent t-test showed no significant difference at the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence, gender respectively. On the mean scores of nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction significant difference found with consideration of residence and gender. Keywords Life Satisfaction, Professional Student, Nonprofessional Student, Residence, Gender, and India 1. Introduction In recent years, the positive psychology movement has called fo r as much focus on strength, virtue and thriving as on disease, disorder and distress[1]. Researchers are increasingly recognizing the contribution of subjective well-being (SWB) – or happiness – to an individual’s mental and physical health. Traditional conceptualizations of mental health, wh ich focus only on the absence of disease or symptoms, do not provide a co mprehensive account of the quality of a person’s life[2,3]. Positive indicators such as life satisfaction should be included in any assessment to measure overall psychological well-being[4,5]. Subjective we ll-being as a multid imensional construct includes such cognitive and affective components as satisfaction with life, the frequent experience of positive emot ions and the infrequent experience of negative emotions[2]. Life satisfaction (LS), the cognitive co mponent of SWB, is an ind ividual’s subjective appraisal of the quality of his or her life as a whole[2]. 2. Literature Review Life satisfaction is often considered a desirable goal, in and of itself, stemming fro m the Aristotelian ethical model, eudai moni sm, (fro m eud ai mo nia , th e Greek wo rd fo r happiness) where correct actions lead to individual well being, with happ iness representing the supreme good[6]. * Corresponding author: drmatloobakhan@yahoo.com (Matloob Ahmed khan) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2013 Scientific & Academic Publishing. All Rights Reserved Moreover, life satisfaction is related to better physical[7] and mental health[8], longevity, and other outcomes that are considered positive in nature. Men and wo men are similar in their overall levels of life satisfaction[9] although women do report more positive and negative affect. Married people are more satisfied with their lives and those with life -long marriages appear to be the most satisfied[10]. Life satisfaction tends to be stable over time[11] suggesting a dispositional[12], and perhaps, even a genetic component [13]. Life satisfaction set-point (a re latively stable level that an individual will return to after facing vary ing life circu mstances) reporting that there are longitudinal changes in satisfaction levels for about one-quarter of their res p o nd en ts [14]. LS is related to other psychological constructs such as self-esteem but still d istinct. Different correlates are found for LS and self-esteem[15]. For example, academic competence is a strong predictor of self-esteem, whereas satisfaction with one’s family is mo re robustly associated with g lobal LS[16]. Gender d ifferences are often found for self-esteem (males are typically higher) but usually not for LS. Life satisfaction is an overall assessment of feelings and attitudes about one’s life at a part icular point in time ranging fro m negative to positive. It is one of three major indicators of well-being: life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect[17]. A lthough satisfaction with current life circu msta nces is often assessed in research studies,[9] also include the following under life satisfaction: desire to change one’s life; satisfaction with past; satisfaction with future; and significant other’s views of one’s life. Related terms in the literature include happiness (sometimes used interchangeabl y with life satisfaction), quality of life, and (subjective or 110 M ahmoud Shirazi et al.: Life Satisfaction among Professional and Non-Professional Students in India psychological) well-being (a broader term than life satisfaction). The research on life satisfaction and cognate concepts is extensive and theoretical debates over the nature and stability of life satisfaction continue. Life satisfaction is frequently included as an outcome or consequence variable in work-family research[18]. Much of the work-family literature, however, has emphasized a conflict perspective[19], although this is changing,[20] noting the potential for ro le incompatib ility and strain relat ing to negative outcomes. Life satisfaction is used to assess the impact of conflict levels on overall feelings about one’s life. Importantly, life satisfaction exhib its the strongest relationship with work-family conflict of all non-work variables studied[18]. Research has shown that, beyond direct relationships between work-family conflict and life satisfaction, how people deal with such conflicts is also important. Successful coping with work-fa mily conflict is also associated with higher levels of life satisfaction[21]. According to this view, even if conflict is a likely consequence of engaging in work and family ro les, how people deal with such conflict is a determinant of life satisfaction possibly because of self-efficacy perceptions generated by successful coping behavior. Despite extensive research with adults, there have been only a limited number of studies of LS in children and youth. Possible reasons for this neglect include a lack of well-validated, age-appropriate measures of children’s SWB[22]. It has been assumed that young children have difficulty in evaluating their global LS because they are unable to integrate evaluative informat ion fro m various life domains[23, 24]. Although studies of LS among US children and youth are increasingly common, investigations of the LS among child ren fro m Asian cu ltures remain scarce. Thegeneralizab ility of findings concerning the correlates, consequences and development of psychological well-being among Western youth should not be assumed, but rather should be explicit ly investigated among children and youth from different cultures. Of special interest would be studies of young people fro m collectiv istic cultures. The specific object ive of the present study was to investigate possible differences and similarit ies in LS of professional and non-professional students of India. LS of professional and non-professional Indian students were expected to change as they matured. These changes might be in the direction of increasing congruence with the values of a collectiv istic culture, but this is an empirical issue which the present research explicitly addressed.However, In the extensive literature on LS of professional and non professional Indian students little has been written. The importance of this study lies in its potential to add a key component to the past research on LS and in particu larly positive psychology. Insight gained fro m the proposed study will guide future research strategies. Hence,the research questions and hypothesis that this study intends to investigate are: 1. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence? H01 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence. 2. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender? H02 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender. 3. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence? H03 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence. 4. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender? H04 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender. 3. Method 3.1. Sample In social science research the sample size and its selection technique plays significant ro le. So met imes it becomes difficult to specify the samp le size because it varies fro m problem to problem of a proposed research. The researcher has to plan his research works by limiting its domain in his investigation. Samp ling is a process of selecting a small part of a population assuming that it should be representing the characteristics of the population of wh ich it is a part. The adequate sample size and the method of selecting sample size fro m the population enable an investigator to draw meaningful conclusion and helpful in making generalization about the population fro m which the samples were drawn. In p resent research, samples of 150 students (professional and non-professional) were drawn using stratified rando m sampling fro m d ifferent facult ies of Aligarh Muslim Un iversity, Aligarh. The sample co mprised of equal number of75 professional and 75 nonprofessional s tud en ts . 3.2. Tools 3.2.1. Personal Data Sheet (PDS) The PDS includes the information under the following ma jor headings: Age, gender, course and residence. 3.2.2. Life Sat isfaction Scale (LSS) A 10 items scale used to measure the satisfaction with salient features of daily life and activit ies of the respondents, International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 109-113 111 psychometric properties of the scale (test, retest reliability, split-half reliab ility, internal consistency, reliability and validity), were reported by author and others. Responses were rated on seven points scale fro m 1, referring to “I am extremely dissatisfied”, to 7, referring to “I am ext remely satisfied”. The possible range of scores could vary from 10-70. A h igh score indicated high satisfaction and vice-versa. Test-retest of this scale is also very high i.e. r= 0.87[25]. 3.3. Procedure Permission to conduct the research was received fro m the relevant faculty authority and participating students. The data were collected by the researchers in class groups. Two questionnaires namely Life Sat isfaction Scale and Personal Data Sheet (PDS) were ad ministered on students. Each respondent took almost 15-20 minutes in answering all the questionnaires. They were assured that their responses would be kept strictly confidential and would be used exclusively for research purpose. After the data collect ion scoring was done by the investigators. be run. The result is as follows: Table 2. Summary of t-test on professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender Life Sat isfact ion Gender N Mean 75 54.97 6.260 75 54.19 8.087 S.D df T .723 148 0.666 .934 As it is shown in tab le 2, the two group were co mpared with regard to score of professional students life satisfaction, because of (p=.506>0.01), there is not any significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. 3. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence? H03 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence. For responding of this question independent t-test should be run. The result is as follows: Table 3. Summary of t-test on non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence 4. Results As stated earlier, the main objective of this investigation was to study life satisfaction among professional and non-professional students. For the purpose, independent samples t-test were used. All the analysis has been done by SPSS. In this study the percentage of males-females was equal (75 or 50% respondents). Research questions and Hypothesis Testing 1. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence? H01 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence. For responding of this question independent t-test should be run. The result is as follows: Table 1. Summary of t-test nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence Residence N Life Rural 57 Satisfaction Urban 93 Mean S.D df T 54.30 8.445 148 0.373 54.75 6.394 As it is shown in tab le 1, the two group were co mpared with regard to score of professional students life satisfaction, because of (p=.710>0.01), there is not any significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. 2. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender? H02 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender. For responding of this question independent t-test should Residence N Life Rural 78 Satisfaction Urban 72 **p < 0.01 Mean S.D df T 41.90 52.18 10.253 148 7.171 7.063* * As it is shown in tab le 3, the two group were co mpared with regard to score of non-professional students life satisfaction, because of (p=.000<0.01), there is significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. 4. Is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender? H04 There is no significant difference between the mean scores of nonprofessional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender. For responding of this question independent t-test should be run. The result is as follows: Table 4. Summary of t-test on non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender Gender N Mean S.D df T Life Sat isfact ion Male Female 75 75 49.96 43.71 9.126 148 10.446 3.904* * **p < 0.01 As it is shown in tab le 4, the two group were co mpared with regard to score of non-professional students life satisfaction, because of (p=.000<0.01), there is significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. 5. Discussion The results of this study show important similarities and differences in life satisfaction of professional and 112 M ahmoud Shirazi et al.: Life Satisfaction among Professional and Non-Professional Students in India nonprofessional students in terms of residence and gender. These findings may be interpreted in terms of value differences in individualistic versus collectiv istic cultures, using the value as moderator of SWB model proposed[26]. The results of the study will be discussed in the light of the research questions as listed below: Based on research question 1 that, is there significant diffe rence between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence result shows that because of (p=.710>0.01), there is no significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. But result shows that urban students have higher mean scores (M=54.75) of life satisfaction in co mparison to rural students’ mean scores i.e. (M=54.30). Thus null hypothesis (H01) is accepted. Based on research question 2 that, is there significant diffe rence between the mean scores of professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender results shows that because of (p=.506>0.01), there is no significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. But result shows that male students have higher mean scores (M=54.97) of life satisfaction in co mparison to female students’ mean scores i.e. (M=54.19).Thus the null hypothesis (H02) is accepted. Based on research question 3 that, is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of residence results shows that because of (p=.000<.01), there is significant difference between t wo groups on life satisfaction. Result shows that urban students have higher mean scores (M=52.18) of life satisfaction in co mparison to rural students’ mean scores i.e. (M=41.90). Thus null hypothesis (H03) is rejected. Based on research question 4 that, is there significant difference between the mean scores of non-professional students’ life satisfaction with consideration of gender because of (p=.000<.01), there is significant difference between two groups on life satisfaction. Result shows that male students have higher mean scores (M=49.96) of life satisfaction in comparison to female students’ mean scores i.e. (M=43.71). This study shows that the urban students’ life satisfaction is higher than that of rural students. Urban students have stronger abilit ies than rural students in social communication as well as adaptive capability to environ ment because of the differences in economy and culture between urban and rural areas. In spite of the rapid development in its economy and culture in the recent years, India’s rural areas still lag behind the urban areas. Therefore, compared to urban students, who have stayed in a cultural environ ment quite similar to that of universities, rural students are faced with a totally contrastive environment when they come to university; hence, suffering fro m greater pressure in self-coordination and adaptation. With feminism on boom in this era though females are on fore front with their male counter parts, but here in India the load of domestic work is still binded with females be it cooking food or taking care of house hold etc. therefore female students may experience negative consequences from assuming more ro les and increasing life demands.[28] have suggested that female students may experience negative consequences from assuming more ro les and increasing life demands. They proposed a scarcity hypothesis that postulates adverse effect from increasing demands particularly for females who desire a more achievement oriented life style. Invariably, the adoption of mo re achievement oriented life style in females’ leads to an expansion of the number and types of role demands and energy resulting in a more stressful life.[29], however, found that reports of low life satisfaction were typical of females who had assured more trad itional ro les rather than more life active roles. This finding is supported by the findings of[30], he observed significant difference between males and females regarding life satisfaction and[27] found that Males have higher life satisfaction scores than females. Thus the null hypothesis (H04) is re jected. 6. Conclusions While Indian culture emphasize conformity, filial p iety, moderation and harmony with group members, the apparently increasing need for students to be satisfied with the ‘self’ creates potential conflicts with cu ltural conventions. In India, societal and familial pressure on academic achievement reaches its apex during college and university level. At the same t ime, the contribution of college satisfaction to global well-being decreases. Such a contradiction between students’ psychological needs and cultural expectations may contribute to stress among university students and show itself as depression or even suicide. In order to balance individual and cultural emphases, Indian educators and mental health professionals who work with Indian students might consider designing the educational curriculu m and various university activities to take into account the developing need for satisfaction with the self and individuation. Although the current study provides a better understanding of the LS among Indian students, it has limitat ions that should be acknowledged. First, the population fro m wh ich the research sample was drawn consisted of students from only one university. The results fro m this study, therefore, provide only a template on which to base further research and cannot be applied to the general populations of either students or faculty. The readers must remember that the makeup of the population of university students changes every year due to graduation, attrition and admission. In order for the recommendations based on the study to remain valid, the perceptions of this population must be re-evaluated after every few years to ensure that any changes within the population are reflected in appropriate changes in the interventions that are offered. If patterns within certain populations can be discovered through this continued International Journal of Applied Psychology 2013, 3(4): 109-113 113 evaluation, however, then it may be appropriate to establish general perceptions to provide a preliminary structure on which to frame future interventions. Scale’, Psychology in the Schools 31: 273–77. [16] Huebner, E. S., Gilman, R. and Laughlin, J. E. 1999, ‘A M ultimethod Investigation of the M ultidimensionality of Children’s Well-Being Reports: Discriminant Validity of Life Satisfaction and Self-Esteem’, Social Indicators Research 46: 1–2. REFERENCES [1] Seligman, M . E. 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