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

  • Mohsen Rezaee Student research committee, Fasa university of medical science, Fasa- Iran
  • Arvin Hedayati Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa-Iran
  • Mohammad Mehdi Naghizadeh Department of community medicine, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa-Iran
  • Mojtaba Farjam 4. Department of Medical Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa-Iran 5. Fasa Center for Longitudinal Research, Fasa cohort study, Non-communicable Diseases Research Center, Fasa University of Medical Sciences, Fasa-Iran
  • Hamid Reza Sabet
  • Majid Paknahad
Keywords: Happiness, Depression, beck, students


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]


Farzianpour F, Eshraghian M, Emami A, Hosseini S, Hosseini S, Farhud D .An Estimate of Happiness among Students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences: A Means for Policy Making In Management of Health System. Iran Red Crescent Med J 2011; 13 (11):841.

Hills P, Argyle M .Emotional stability as a major dimension of happiness. PERS INDIV DIFFERS 2001; 31 (8):1357-64.

Abdel-Khalek AM .Measuring happiness with a single-item scale. SOC BEHAV PERSONAL 2006; 34 (2):139-50.

Argyle M .Is happiness a cause of health? PSYCHOL HEALTH 1997;12 (6):769-81.

Blades M .Food and happiness. J Nutr Food Sci 2009;39 (4):449-54.

Wei M, Liao KYH, Ku TY, Shaffer PA .Attachment, self‐compassion, empathy, and subjective well‐being among college students and community adults. J Pers 2011;79 (1):191-21.

Argyle M, Crossland J .The dimensions of positive emotions. Br J Soc Psychol 1987;26 (2):127-37.

Hills P, Argyle M .The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: A compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. PERS INDIV DIFFER 2002;33 (7):1073-82.

Alipour A, Noorbala A .Introductory survey on validity and reliability of Oxford Happiness Inventory in Tehran universities. J Thou and Behav 1999;5:55-63.

Hadinezhad H, Zaree F .Reliability, validity, and normalization of the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire. Psychol Res 2009;12:62-77.

March J, Silva S, Petrycki S, Curry J, Wells K, Fairbank J, et al .Fluoxetine, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and their combination for adolescents with depression: Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study (TADS) randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2004; 292 (7):807-20.

Darabadi I , Firoozkohy M , Mazloom SR, Navidian A .The Survey of rate and prevalence of depression among student of Zabol University of Medical Sciences. Shahr- e- Kord Med Sch J 2004; 6:15-21. [ in Persian]

Hawthorne G, Goldney R, Taylor AW .Depression prevalence: is it really increasing? Australian and New Zealand J of psychiatry 2008;42 (7):606-16.

Mokhtaripoor M, Godarzi Z, Siadat A, Keywan Ara M .The relationship between demographical variables with anxiety and depression among Isfahan Medical Science Students. Behav Sci Res 2008; 2,107-10. [ in Persian]

Beck AT, Ward CH, Mendelson M, Mock J, Erbaugh J .An inventory for measuring depression. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1961; 4 (6):561-71.

Rajabi GhR, Attari YA, Haghighi J. Factor analysis of beck questionnaire on male students of shahid chamran university. J edu psychol 2001;3(4): 49-66.[Article in Persian].


Najafi M, Dehshiri GH, Dabiri S, Sheikhi M, Jafari N .Psychometric properties of Farsi version of the Oxford Happiness Inventory among students. J Edu Measur 2013; 10:55-73. [ in Persian]

Poursharifi H, Habibi M, Zarani F, Ashouri A, Hafezi M, Hajebi, A, et al .The role of depression, stress, happiness and social support in identifying thouths in students. IJPCP 2012;18:99-107. [ in Persian]

Bahrami S , Rajaeepour S , Rizi HA , Zahmatkesh M , Nematolahi Z .The relationship between students’ study habits, happiness and depression. Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res 2011;16, 217. [ in Persian]

Zohur A, Fekri A .Students freshness at the School of Management and Medical Information, Iran University of Medical Sciences. Asrar J Sabzevar Med Uni 2005; 1:47. [ in Persian]

Abedi MR, Jafari SE, Liaghatdar MJ .Normalization of oxford happiness inventory among students of Isfahan universities. IJCP 2007; 45:95-100.

Fararouei M, Brown I, Akbartabar Toori M, Estakhrian Haghighi R, Jafari J .Happiness and health behaviour in Iranian adolescent girls. J Adolesc 2013;36 (6):1187-92.

Sohail N .Stress and academic performance among medical students. J Coll Physicians Surg Pak 2013;23 (1):67-71.

Strobel M, Tumasjan A, Spörrle M .Be yourself, believe in yourself, and be happy: Self‐efficacy as a mediator between personality factors and subjective well‐being. Scand J Psychol 2011;52 (1):43-8.

Safari M, Sanaei Nasab H, Rashidi H, Poortaghi GH, Pakpoor A .Happiness, self-efficacy and achievement in students. J Med Edu 2014; 13:22-9. [ in Persian]

Liaghatdar MJ, Jafari E, Abedi MR, Samiee F .Reliability and validity of the Oxford Happiness Inventory among university students in Iran. Span J Psychol 2008;11 (01):310-13.

Francis LJ, Brown LB, Lester D, Philipchalk R .Happiness as stable extraversion: A cross-cultural examination of the reliability and validity of the Oxford Happiness Inventory among students in the UK, USA, Australia, and Canada. PERS INDIV DIFFER 1998; 24 (2):167-71.

How to Cite
Rezaee, M., Hedayati, A., Naghizadeh, M. M., Farjam, M., Sabet, H. R., & Paknahad, M. (2016). Correlation between Happiness and Depression According to Beck Depression and Oxford Happiness Inventory among University Students. Galen Medical Journal, 5(2), 75-81.
Original Article