Few studies have demonstrated an association on how the stress level of SST students, affect their grades and happiness level. For our research, the grades refer to the End-of-year grades. This review will define the meaning of happiness and stress for our studies and will also focus on the effects of happiness and stress on grades and the effect of happiness and stress on each other. This literature review will also include the methodologies available for our research.
What is the definition of happiness? According to Mogilner et al (2010), the meaning of happiness is associated with excitement by younger people. However, as the data was collected from blog posts, the findings may not be accurate. Seligman (2002) describes happiness in three parts: pleasure, engagement and meaning. Pleasure is to “feel good”, engagement is to live a good life of work, family, friends and hobbies, while meaning refers to using our strength to contribute to a larger purpose. These meanings of happiness have helped us to define happiness for our study, which is living a good life and having an overall satisfaction with life.
What is stress? The Canadian Mental Health Association (n.d.). state that our perception and thoughts about an event determine our stress level, whereas the Mental Health Foundation (n.d.). in the UK define stress as the way a person feels when he/she is under abnormal pressure. It can be argued that that the Mental Health Foundation’s definition of stress is a result of the perception of an event which can be considered stressful. Thus, our research defines stress level as the perception of a event.
According to most research articles, academic performance is affected by happiness. From their research, Quinn & Duckworth (n.d.) concluded that students with higher well-being, which is defined as happiness in the research, were more likely to earn higher final grades. This is supported by Gilman & Huebner (2006) who found that students of mean age 14.45 who reported higher happiness level were more likely to report higher grade point averages (GPAs) than students with lower life satisfaction. These conclusions support that happiness is a large factor in academic performance.
There have been many researches which indicate a relation between stress and grades. Talib & Zia-ur-Rehman (2012) reported that perceived stress had a negative effect on the academic performance of students. This is supported by a research by Malik & Balda (2006) which also found that academic achievement was significantly and negatively correlated with stress. The researches show that stress affects grades negatively and significantly.
Is there any relationship between stress and happiness? One research by Schiffrin et al (2008) received results which indicate that there is an inverse relation between stress and happiness in college students. Our hypothesis for this question is also similar: The stress level of an SST student has a negative correlation with his/her happiness level.
How can happiness and stress be measured reliably? Diener et al (1985) developed the Satisfaction With Life Scale (SWLS) which has been used by psychologists worldwide. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK conducted a happiness survey which asked UK households how satisfied they are with their lives. [Trotman, 2011] As these two surveys are about life satisfaction, they can be used in our survey to measure happiness. Cohen et al (1983) created the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), which is now the most widely used instrument for measuring the perception of stress. Thus, this can be used to measure stress in our research.