The dimensions of happiness within the Oxford happiness questionnaire: developing a valid multidimensional measurement instrument for a portuguese sample

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Ana Galvão
Saúl Neves de Jesus
Marco Pinheiro
João Viseu


The evidence that individuals’ happiness and general well-being are closely related has made happiness a frequently studied topic in the last decades. Studies showed that happiness has several dimensions and that these are dependent, amongst others, of cultural, economic, and social factors. The aim of this study was to validate a measure that identifies possible dimensions of happiness having as a starting point the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. An online questionnaire with socio-professional items and the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was used. A sample of 1032 individuals from several Portuguese higher education establishments was collected, of which 581 (56.3%) were students, 257 (24.9%) were faculty members, and 194 (18.8%) were non-teaching  staff. The sample was divided into two subsamples: sample 1 (n=508) and sample 2 (n=524). A Principal Components Analysis (PCA) was performed on sample 1, followed by Covariance Based Structural Equation Modelling (CB-SEM) on sample 2. The PCA presented results, consistent with the existing theory, for a three-factor model. CB-SEM identified several items with significant correlations with more than one latent variable, which eliminated from the model. A valid model (CFI= .95; TLI= .94; AGFI= .95; RMSEA= .04) was obtained, with three dimensions: Joy (six items); Positivism (nine items); and Reliability (two items). We conclude that a threedimension model is valid for the population under study and should be applied to other populations to deepen the conclusions. These three dimensions may serve as a basis to better understand what influences our happiness and propose interventions to promote it.


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Biografía del autor/a

Ana Galvão, Universidad de Extremadura

Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia

Saúl Neves de Jesus, Universidade do Algarv

Universidade do Algarv

Marco Pinheiro, Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia Bragança

Instituto Politécnico de Bragança, Campus de Santa Apolónia

João Viseu, Universidade do Algarve

Universidade do Algarve


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