Happiness and Wellbeing: New Frontiers for an Advancement of Interdisciplinary Research

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 April 2020) | Viewed by 80659

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
Interests: Relationship between the influence of neurotism and depression, in the clinical setting, in sports and in the general population; Study on the psychoeducational approach with cognitive behavioral orientation as a tool to grow, adherence to therapy and treatment processes, in patients with schizophrenia; Studies of fMRI, EEG and TSM, a clinical purpose, as tools for assessing the difference in cortical excitability, in the clinical setting, in sports and in the general population; Clinical effects of a cognitive behavioral therapy with caregivers on cancer patients

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Individuals conceive and seek well-being and happiness in different ways: Adopting shortcuts through drugs, alcohol, and further addictive behaviors, striving for material success, using spiritual practices, doing pleasure activities (travel, sport, physical exercise, hobbies, etc.) or simply being satisfied with their own work, family life, etc. Conversely, there are people who experience a sort of endless cycle of desire without ever finding a lasting satisfaction. In this context, happiness and wellbeing should play a central role. It is just this role that needs—now more than ever—the attention of a wide range of behavioral disciplines sharing a common understanding on how the states that make life worth living can be enhanced. In light of these premises, this Special Issue aims at advancing the literature on happiness and wellbeing from interdisciplinary perspectives. We therefore welcome theoretical and/or empirical contributions that broaden knowledge on those factors and mechanisms leading to a healthy and happy living.

Prof. Dr. Lucia Lucia Monacis
Prof. Dr. Annamaria Petito
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Happiness
  • Wellbeing
  • Addictions and mental health
  • Quality of life
  • Nutrition
  • Food
  • Sport and physical acitiviy

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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11 pages, 436 KiB  
Article
The Evaluation of a Mind-Body Intervention (MBT-T) for Stress Reduction in Academic Settings: A Pilot Study
by Mauro Cozzolino, Deborah R. Vivo, Laura Girelli, Pierpaolo Limone and Giovanna Celia
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(8), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10080124 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4906
Abstract
This study is aimed at evaluating the outcomes of mind-body transformation therapy (MBT-T), previously known as the creative psychosocial genomic healing experience© (CPGHE). The intervention was aimed at reducing the perceived level of stress in two non-clinical groups of students with different educational [...] Read more.
This study is aimed at evaluating the outcomes of mind-body transformation therapy (MBT-T), previously known as the creative psychosocial genomic healing experience© (CPGHE). The intervention was aimed at reducing the perceived level of stress in two non-clinical groups of students with different educational levels and different expertise in the domain of well-being. Whereas participants from the first group were first-year university students, participants from the second group were students attending a post-graduate program in psychotherapy. All participants (n = 159) were exposed to a single session of MBT-T, each group in a separate session. The results of two paired-samples t-tests, conducted separately on the two samples, showed that there was a statistically significant reduction in the participants’ perceived level of stress between pre- and post-intervention states in both samples (t88 = 5.39, p < 0.001; t53 = 4.56, p < 0.001 respectively). The results, therefore, showed that a single session of MBT-T was beneficial in reducing the perceived level of stress in both first-year university students and students attending a post-graduate program in psychotherapy, regardless of educational level and expertise in the domain of well-being. Full article
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10 pages, 581 KiB  
Article
Orientations to Happiness between the Dark Triad Traits and Subjective Well-Being
by Pierpaolo Limone, Maria Sinatra and Lucia Monacis
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10050090 - 12 May 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5107
Abstract
Previous research investigated the linkage between the Dark Triad traits and subjective well-being, but the factors explaining individual differences in terms of cognitive strategies for achieving happiness remained poorly understood. This study (N = 460) examined the indirect effects of orientations to happiness [...] Read more.
Previous research investigated the linkage between the Dark Triad traits and subjective well-being, but the factors explaining individual differences in terms of cognitive strategies for achieving happiness remained poorly understood. This study (N = 460) examined the indirect effects of orientations to happiness in the link between dark personality traits and subjective well-being in terms of life satisfaction and positive emotion. Participants completed a questionnaire comprising the Dark Triad Questionnaire, the Orientations to Happiness scale, the Satisfaction with Life scale, and the PANAS. Descriptive statistics, bivariate and partial correlations, and structural equation model were applied to the data. Zero-order and partial correlations showed no significant associations of Machiavellianism and psychopathy with subjective well-being measures, and positive associations of narcissism with the three orientations to happiness and the two dimensions of subjective well-being. Indirect effects indicated that the bright side of narcissism sought the pursuit of the emotional component of SWB by adopting engaging activities. Further studies should replicate our findings. Full article
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12 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
Smoking Status and Well-Being of Underserved African American Older Adults
by Mohsen Bazargan, Sharon Cobb, Jessica Castro Sandoval and Shervin Assari
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10040078 - 15 Apr 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4337
Abstract
Purpose: This study investigated the association between current and past cigarette smoking, with four domains of well-being, namely, physical quality of life, mental quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health status (SRH), among older African American adults who lived in economically [...] Read more.
Purpose: This study investigated the association between current and past cigarette smoking, with four domains of well-being, namely, physical quality of life, mental quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health status (SRH), among older African American adults who lived in economically impoverished areas of South Los Angles. Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study included a convenience sample of economically-disadvantaged African Americans adults (n = 740) who were 55 years old and older residing in South Los Angeles. We conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews to collect data on the socioeconomic status (level of education and fiscal pressures), demographic factors (age and gender), physical health (number of chronic medical conditions), smoking (never smokers (reference group), past smokers, and current smokers), and well-being (quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health). Linear regressions were used to analyze the data. Results: Over 21% reported that they are current smokers, compared with 31% who identified as former smokers. Almost 40% perceived the quality of their health status to be fair or poor. Compared with non-smokers, current cigarette smokers reported a worse physical quality of life, depressive symptoms, and self-rated health. Current smokers also reported a marginally worse mental quality of life. Past smoker status was inconsistently associated with worse well-being in some, but not all, indicators. The association between smoking status and worse well-being was independent of gender, socioeconomic status, and physical health status. Conclusion: Current smoking is associated with worse well-being of older African American adults in economically constrained urban settings. As the same pattern could not be found for former smokers, quitting smoking may be a strategy for economically-disadvantaged African American individuals to enhance their well-being. This provides additional support for programs that help African American individuals who are smokers to quit smoking, particularly in economically-disadvantaged urban areas. Full article
10 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Sport Activity as Risk or Protective Factor in Feeding and Eating Disorder
by Salvatore Iuso, Antonello Bellomo, Tiziana Pagano, Raffaella Carnevale, Antonio Ventriglio and Annamaria Petito
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9120143 - 06 Dec 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4232
Abstract
Emerging evidence suggests controversial results on the associations between sport activity and eating disorders (EDs). The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between sport activity in general, weight-dependent/independent sport activity particularly, and risk or protective factors in feeding and [...] Read more.
Emerging evidence suggests controversial results on the associations between sport activity and eating disorders (EDs). The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between sport activity in general, weight-dependent/independent sport activity particularly, and risk or protective factors in feeding and eating disorder (FED). The sample (n = 282, divided into two successive groups), included competitive athletes in the first analysis, non-competitive athletes, and sedentary peers; in the second analysis it has been divided into weight-dependent athletes, weight-independent athletes, non-competitive athletes, and sedentary peers. The participants were tested with Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Profile of Mood State (POMS) questionnaire, Body Shape Questionnaire (BSQ), Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), and Body Uneasiness Test (BUT). The results show higher levels of self-esteem among athletes in general and particularly in weight-independent athletes (p = 0.0210). We found higher levels of image and body dissatisfaction among sedentary peers and weight-dependent athletes (0.0005 < p < 0.0015). Sedentary peers also reported higher levels of tension/anxiety, depression/dejection, confusion/bewilderment and fatigue/inertia (0.0001 < p < 0.0331). Dieting and oral control were found to be higher among weight-dependent athletes (0.0337 < p < 0.0400). The findings suggest that sedentary condition is associated with higher levels of body-image discomfort and higher level of psychological distress, whereas weight-dependent athletes may report dietary issues and bodily concerns. Sport activity should be promoted and specific trainings on diet and body-consciousness encouraged among athletes. Full article
17 pages, 869 KiB  
Article
High-School Satisfaction Scale (H-Sat Scale): Evaluation of Contextual Satisfaction in Relation to High-School Students’ Life Satisfaction
by Ernesto Lodi, Diego Boerchi, Paola Magnano and Patrizia Patrizi
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9120125 - 23 Nov 2019
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 5436
Abstract
Recent literature on positive psychology underlines the crucial role of schools to create a psychologically healthy environment and to set programs and strategies fostering adolescents’ well-being. The aim of the present study is to validate a scale that measures scholastic satisfaction since a [...] Read more.
Recent literature on positive psychology underlines the crucial role of schools to create a psychologically healthy environment and to set programs and strategies fostering adolescents’ well-being. The aim of the present study is to validate a scale that measures scholastic satisfaction since a scientific evaluation and interventions on school satisfaction can help professionals to support adolescents’ positive development and school adjustment. We adapted the College Satisfaction Scale (CSS) and confirmed the previous five-dimensional structure also in a high school students’ sample (n = 792). The High-school Satisfaction Scale (H-Sat Scale) evaluates five dimensions of school satisfaction: appropriateness of choice (CH), quality of school services (SE), relationships with classmates (RE), effectiveness of study habits (ST) and usefulness for a future career (CA). The questionnaire consists of 20 items; it showed good psychometric features and, consistent with previous literature, confirmed its validity in relation to life satisfaction and quality of life of high school students. Compared with previous scales, the H-Sat evaluates two innovative areas of school satisfaction since it gives a measure of satisfaction in career path (appropriateness of choice and usefulness for future career) could help school counsellors to set interventions in this field. Full article
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9 pages, 450 KiB  
Article
The Relationships between Physical Activity, Self-Efficacy, and Quality of Life in People with Multiple Sclerosis
by Marco Guicciardi, Maria Carta, Massimiliano Pau and Eleonora Cocco
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(12), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9120121 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 5707
Abstract
Regular physical activity (PA) can enhance the physical and mental health of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) because of its impact on muscular strength, mobility, balance, walking, fatigue, pain and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies have hypothesized that the relationship between [...] Read more.
Regular physical activity (PA) can enhance the physical and mental health of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) because of its impact on muscular strength, mobility, balance, walking, fatigue, pain and health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Previous studies have hypothesized that the relationship between PA and HRQoL is mediated by self-efficacy. The aim of this research is to evaluate whether self-efficacy in goal setting and self-efficacy in the management of symptoms, mediate the relationship between PA and HRQoL, in a similar way to exercise self-efficacy. A sample of 28 participants with MS (18 females) and different levels of physical activity have been recruited and completed the following measures: (a) physical activity (GLTEQ); (b) health-related quality of life (SF-12); (c) self-efficacy in the management of Multiple Sclerosis (SEMS) and, (d) exercise self-efficacy (EXSE). The statistical analysis highlighted that self-efficacy in goal setting mediated the relationship between PA and mental health better than exercise self-efficacy. Our findings suggest that self-efficacy in goal setting can contribute to the adoption and maintenance of regular physical activity for long-lasting times, supporting and increasing the mental quality of life of people suffering from MS. Full article
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11 pages, 1705 KiB  
Article
Redesign Me: Virtual Reality Experience of the Line of Life and Its Connection to a Healthier Self
by Iva Georgieva and Georgi V. Georgiev
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(11), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9110111 - 05 Nov 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3758
Abstract
Virtual Reality is used in various ways for creating a storytelling experience. It gives us the opportunity to imagine one’s life events as a story, and in settings that are intended to aid the self, such as treatment of trauma, anxiety, phobia, etc. [...] Read more.
Virtual Reality is used in various ways for creating a storytelling experience. It gives us the opportunity to imagine one’s life events as a story, and in settings that are intended to aid the self, such as treatment of trauma, anxiety, phobia, etc. This paper discusses the ways that challenging experiences change the way people perceive their life narratives and form their memories. This paper suggests that virtual reality (VR) can be used for the exploration of alternative scenarios in order to see one’s overall line of life in a new and healthier way. Considering the theoretical background of the narrative self, this research proposes a novel view of VR immersion as a medium for constructing a new storyline and attitude to the past. The approach would also influence attitudes regarding the present and future, and thus better shape the narrative of the self, which can lead to healthier life experiences. Full article
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7 pages, 235 KiB  
Article
Psychological Barriers to Digital Living in Older Adults: Computer Anxiety as Predictive Mechanism for Technophobia
by Dina Di Giacomo, Jessica Ranieri, Meny D’Amico, Federica Guerra and Domenico Passafiume
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9090096 - 11 Sep 2019
Cited by 46 | Viewed by 8057
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the emotional impact of technology use in an Italian adult population and to detect technophobia. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 117 Italian participants (age range of 50–67 years). Measured variables were computer anxiety and technology use ability. [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the emotional impact of technology use in an Italian adult population and to detect technophobia. This cross-sectional study was conducted with 117 Italian participants (age range of 50–67 years). Measured variables were computer anxiety and technology use ability. The results revealed technophobia features in the Italian adult population related to inadequate management of technology. One-way analysis of variance and Bonferroni’s post-hoc analysis showed that non-autonomous (p < 0.01), low-frequency (p < 0.01), and feeling-a-need-for-help users (p < 0.01) had higher levels of computer anxiety. Based on our data, although lifelong learning is a powerful digital need, a considerable proportion of the adult population is not digitally skilled, enlarging the gap between young (native digital) and adult (digital and non-digital adults and seniors) populations. Adult inclusivity in digital living is inadequate and likely affects their quality of life. Thus, our findings highlight technophobia as a possible new risk factor for Italian adults because it can affect their daily life through low adherence to digital living; rather than aging successfully, they could develop fragile aging. Full article
10 pages, 213 KiB  
Article
Revisiting Happiness and Well-Being in Later Life from Interdisciplinary Age-Studies Perspectives
by Ieva Stončikaitė
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9090094 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3876
Abstract
Important demographic shifts and the so-called ‘longevity revolution’ have generated profound transformations in social interpretations of old age, an increased interest in age studies and new ideas on how to age well. The majority of current successful ageing models, however, represent rather a [...] Read more.
Important demographic shifts and the so-called ‘longevity revolution’ have generated profound transformations in social interpretations of old age, an increased interest in age studies and new ideas on how to age well. The majority of current successful ageing models, however, represent rather a prevailing construct in Western societies. Physical and psychosocial well-being and the ability to adjust to the ideals of successful ageing are often seen as an integral part of a good quality in life. Those who do not or cannot follow these lines are often regarded as morally irresponsible and seem to be doomed to have a lonely, unhealthy and unhappy later life. This paper questions the current discourses of successful ageing in terms of healthy and happy living and calls for a reconsideration of more global, integrated and holistic understandings of the process of growing old. Full article
8 pages, 225 KiB  
Article
Educational Attainment and Subjective Health and Well-Being; Diminished Returns of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals
by Shervin Assari and Mohsen Bazargan
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(9), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs9090090 - 22 Aug 2019
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4142
Abstract
Background: Educational attainment is one of the strongest determinants of subjective health and well-being. Minorities’ Diminished Returns, however, suggests that such an effect may be smaller for the members of racial/ethnic minorities such as Blacks and Hispanics relative to non-Hispanic Whites. Only one [...] Read more.
Background: Educational attainment is one of the strongest determinants of subjective health and well-being. Minorities’ Diminished Returns, however, suggests that such an effect may be smaller for the members of racial/ethnic minorities such as Blacks and Hispanics relative to non-Hispanic Whites. Only one study has previously shown that minorities’ diminished returns may also apply to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals; however, that study has focused on other outcomes (i.e., obesity). Aims: To compare LGB and non-LGB American adults for the effects of educational attainment on subjective health and well-being. Methods: This cross-sectional study used baseline data of 31,480 adults in the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH, 2013), a nationally representative study in the United States. The independent variable was educational attainment. The dependent variable was subjective health and well-being, measured using four items. Race, ethnicity, age, gender, poverty status, and employment were the covariates. LGB status was the moderator. Results: Overall, individuals with higher educational attainment had better subjective health and well-being. We found a significant interaction between LGB status and educational attainment which was suggestive of that the boosting effect of high educational attainment on better subjective health and well-being was systemically smaller for LGB than non-LGB individuals. Conclusions: In the United States, highly educated LGB adults experience poor subjective health and well-being, a status that is disproportionate to their educational attainment. Full article

Review

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13 pages, 380 KiB  
Review
Hidden Realities of Infant Feeding: Systematic Review of Qualitative Findings from Parents
by Anne M. Dattilo, Ryan S. Carvalho, Rubens Feferbaum, Stewart Forsyth and Ai Zhao
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(5), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10050083 - 27 Apr 2020
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 5816
Abstract
A growing, global conversation, regarding realities and challenges that parents experience today is ever-present. To understand recent parent’s attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions regarding infant feeding, we sought to systematically identify and synthesize original qualitative research findings. Following the Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the [...] Read more.
A growing, global conversation, regarding realities and challenges that parents experience today is ever-present. To understand recent parent’s attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions regarding infant feeding, we sought to systematically identify and synthesize original qualitative research findings. Following the Enhancing Transparency in Reporting the Synthesis of Qualitative Research (ENTREQ) framework, electronic databases were searched with a priori terms applied to title/abstract fields and limited to studies published in English from 2015 to 2019, inclusive. Study quality assessment was conducted using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist, and thematic analyses performed. Of 73 studies meeting inclusion criteria, four major themes emerged. (1) Breastfeeding is best for an infant; (2) Distinct attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions of mothers that breastfeed, and those that could not or chose not to breastfeed, are evident; (3) Infant feeding behaviors are influenced by the socio-cultural environment of the family, and (4) Parent’s expectations of education and support addressing personal infant feeding choices from health care providers are not always met. This systematic review, guided by constructs within behavioral models and theories, provides updated findings to help inform the development of nutrition education curricula and public policy programs. Results can be applied within scale-up nutrition and behavioral education interventions that support parents during infant feeding. Full article
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17 pages, 406 KiB  
Review
The Role of Family Relationships in Eating Disorders in Adolescents: A Narrative Review
by Michela Erriu, Silvia Cimino and Luca Cerniglia
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(4), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10040071 - 02 Apr 2020
Cited by 47 | Viewed by 24053
Abstract
Background: Adolescents’ eating disorders have been explored through various conceptual and empirical models. Only recently, scientific literature in this area has more specifically investigated the role of relationships, with particular attention to family functioning. Objective: This paper reviews family relationships aspects of eating [...] Read more.
Background: Adolescents’ eating disorders have been explored through various conceptual and empirical models. Only recently, scientific literature in this area has more specifically investigated the role of relationships, with particular attention to family functioning. Objective: This paper reviews family relationships aspects of eating disorders in adolescence. Methods: A narrative literature review of relational issues in adolescents’ eating disorders was performed. Results: Empirical evidence of family relationships in adolescents’ eating disorders confirms the relevance of relational aspects in the development and maintenance of the pathology. In particular, the contribution of the relational-systemic approach is wide, suggesting the need to refer to the family context for a better understanding of adolescents’ sufferance. Additionally, the empirical contributions from the conceptual model of Developmental Psychopathology, highlighting the importance of risk and protection factors in family relationships, provides knowledge about the phenomenon of adolescents’ eating disorders in terms of complexity. Conclusions: An integrated relational model aimed to explore adolescents’ eating disorders is worthy of investigation to accomplish specific program of intervention. Full article
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