Life Satisfaction and Schooling

Authored by: E. Scott Huebner , Kimberly J. Hills , James Siddall , Rich Gilman

Handbook of Positive Psychology in Schools

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  February  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415621854
eBook ISBN: 9780203106525
Adobe ISBN: 9781136258398


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In the chapter on life satisfaction (LS) in the first edition of this handbook, Suldo, Huebner, Friedrich, and Gilman (2009) quoted Noddings’s (2003) contention that student happiness should be a central aim of education because “happiness and education are properly, intimated related” (p. 1). However, Noddings provided little empirical evidence to support her claim. In the previous edition, the authors summarized the scant literature available at the time. Since then, the research base has increased substantially (Proctor, Linley, & Maltby, 2009a). Based on current research, we critically evaluate the support for her notion that happiness, in the form of LS, is related to important educational processes and outcomes in school children. In doing so, we tentatively conclude that the relation is significant but complex, with happiness related more strongly to school behavior and academic self-perception variables than academic performance variables. Furthermore, based on the research, we provide recommendations for the promotion of positive LS in schoolchildren.

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