Title: Finding the skeleton key to happiness: evaluating model invariance of subjective well-being in a comparison of large urban centres worldwide

Authors: Kenneth M. Cramer; Rebecca Pschibul

Addresses: Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Avenue, Windsor, ON, N9B 3P4, Canada ' Western University, 1151 Richmond Street, N6A 3K7, London, ON, Canada

Abstract: How well we can we predict a citizen's happiness? Numerous antecedent factors - including higher creativity, optimism, longevity; and lower hostility and self-centredness - have been identified as important. The present study compared the antecedents that contribute to personal happiness from several large urban centres around the world, testing the hypothesis of model invariance that supposes any given model may be applied globally. Data from an archival dataset (Lee, 2006) included various elements of city life: economy, culture and education, income, safety, living conditions, city administration, health, city pride, and current level of happiness. Results showed each urban centre required a unique profile of antecedents, offering little evidence to support the invariance assumption. Overall, health was the most common predictor of happiness (especially for males), followed by city pride and household income. Lower explained variance was typical among the samples, suggesting that additional factors are required to capture the scope of urban quality of life. Future research directions are discussed.

Keywords: quality of urban life; happiness; well-being; worldwide; factor analysis.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHD.2019.103402

International Journal of Happiness and Development, 2019 Vol.5 No.3, pp.257 - 278

Received: 10 Dec 2018
Accepted: 19 Jun 2019

Published online: 05 Nov 2019 *

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