The Impact of an Online Happiness Course on Subjective Happiness Among College Students

Casey Murdoch Rodowicz, Laura Morris, Cara L. Sidman, Kelsey Beyer


Background: This research examined the subjective happiness of students enrolled in either a 5-week happiness or a 5-week recreational course, both administered online. Studies have shown improvements in college students’ well-being after teaching them behavior modification strategies, in a face-to-face setting, similar to those implemented in the present study. In addition, the past three decades of research on positive psychology has provided extensive evidence of the beneficial impact of happiness, or positive psychological interventions (PPIs), on various aspects of well-being. These include emotional variables related to stress.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of an evidence-based online happiness course on subjective happiness among college students. 
Methods: Participants (N = 74) were self-selected based on course enrollment. The population of interest was college students (18 – 22 years of age). An online survey methodology was utilized for data collection of pretest/posttest measures of subjective happiness.
Results: Participants in both the happiness and recreational courses reported increased measures of subjective happiness, although there was no significant difference between group means
Conclusion: Future research investigating university-based happiness courses and other interventions, using a variety of delivery formats, is recommended to determine the most effective ways to improve overall happiness in student populations.


college student happiness; wellness; online; intervention; stress

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Beginning with Volume 1, Issue No. 2 (2017), Building Healthy Academic Communities Journal is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated.

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ISSN: 2573-7643