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Correlation between Happiness and Depression According to Beck Depression and Oxford Happiness Inventory among University Students

Mohsen Rezaee, Arvin Hedayati, Mohammad Mehdi Naghizadeh, Mojtaba Farjam, Hamid Reza Sabet, Majid Paknahad

Background: Happiness is a subjective emotional state associated with a wide number of personal and socio-economic factors evaluated with Oxford Happiness Inventory (OHI). Depression is a syndrome diagnosed by psychiatric criteria and measured by Beck depression questionnaire. The goal of this study was to evaluate the correlation between happiness and depression, measured by OHI and Beck questionnaire, respectively in a population of university students.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 at Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fars province, Iran. OHI, Beck questionnaire and demographic information sheet were filled by 216 students between 18 to 30 years old. Analyses were done to test the correlation between depression and happiness scores as well as happiness and several demographic factors. Results: Two hundred and sixteen students, 142(65.7%) females and 74 (34.3%) males with mean ages of 20.67±1.52 years old participated. There was a significant reverse correlation between happiness and depression scores (P<0.001) with correlation coefficient of -0.757. Coefficient for determination was 0.57 for this correlation. Significant negative relationship existed between happiness and addiction in the family (P=0.001). Positive correlation was found between happiness and marriage (P=0.036). Conclusion: This study reports when happiness score increases, the depression score decreases; however, the coefficient for determination of this correlation shows that only a little more than half of happiness changes are described and assessed with depression score. It seems that the two psychometric tools do not completely stand against each other. Hence, happiness cannot be translated to lack of happiness. For further evaluation of this relationship, case-control and cohort studies are needed in different populations. [GMJ.2016;5(2):75-81]

Happiness, Depression, beck, students

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