Impact of Culture on Life Satisfaction of Students
Disclaimer: This dissertation has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional dissertation writers. You can view samples of our professional work here.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UK Essays.
Defining culture by reference to deeply situated societal values and beliefs, this study makes three contributions to the growing field of satisfaction research: first, it tries to uncover the relationship between international students' life satisfaction and cultural life satisfaction across different cultures; Second, it explores whether and to what extent a range of cultural values serve as important moderators of international students' life satisfaction; Finally, it explains the Life Satisfaction differences between international students across five nations (India, Africa, China, United Kingdom and Turkey). A total of 100 international students from the University of Northampton participated in this study. Analysis of the present study is based on data from two surveys. The first is the Diener's Satisfaction with Life Survey (SWL) to measure international students' overall satisfaction with life across nations. The second is the cultural satisfaction survey which includes the six determinants of cultural factors: satisfaction in general, job, social relationships, health services, authority services and public safety. Using both Pearson and Partial correlation coefficient, statistical analysis showed that except for the General Satisfaction section 'p' value is more than 0.05 (p>0.05) for each of the subsections. In addition, hypothesis one showed that there is not any correlation between Life Satisfaction and Cultural Satisfaction amongst International Students. Therefore, null hypothesis is accepted. One-Way between subjects ANOVAs enables us to partially accept hypothesis 2, which states there will be a difference in CS between International Students from different countries. Statistical results of one-way ANOVAs also accepted Hypothesis 3, which states there will be a difference in LS between International Students from different nationalities as well. According to these results, Hypothesis 2 is partially accepted because four out of the six subsections of the CS (General and Job Satisfaction) showed these differences. These results show the importance of the cultural determinants of the social relationship, health, authority and public safety satisfaction play a particularly prominent role on individuals' Life Satisfaction. Finally, based on the Diener's SWL (Diener et al, 1984) and cultural life satisfaction survey, the empirical results show that several cultural values are indeed very significant influences on individuals' assessment of their life satisfaction.
Psychological research during the past two decades has revealed cultural differences across a wide range of domains. These studies focus on several factors such as what are people's desires, wants, and needs, and which life domains are decisive in an overall evaluation of living conditions? Does the quality of a society in which a person lives play a significant role? As a result most psychologists are now keenly aware that the way people in different cultures think, feel, and act are, in varying degrees, different.
International students have in recent years come to constitute a large proportion of the world-wide student body in higher learning institutions. There are hardly any countries that are unaffected by the presence of international students in its institutions of higher learning, or the pressure to send some of its own students to study abroad (Paige, 1990). Current estimates suggest that up to 1 million students annually study in countries other than their own (Open Doors, 1996/97). One rationale behind the increasing number of international students is the assumption that students can serve both as cultural ambassadors and resources (Klineberg, 1970; Mestenhauser, 1983; Paige, 1990), and as links between cultures (Eide, 1970). It has also been assumed that these cultural links could help reduce inter-group tension, prejudice, hostility and discriminatory behaviour, and to help increase international understanding and co-operation (Amir, 1969; Baron and Bachman, 1987; Fulbright, 1976). These assumptions, however, have not always been supported. On the contrary mental health problems such as depression, psychosomatic complaints, anxiety and paranoid reactions (Jou and Fukada, 1997a and b; Sam and Eide, 1991; Ward, 1967; Ying and Liese, 1991) have been suggested to characterise international students. These are in addition to socio-cultural problems (e.g., language difficulties, difficulties in negotiating day-to-day social activities and, racial and ethnic discrimination) (Furnham and Bochner, 1982; Kagan and Cohen, 1990; Ward and Kennedy, 1993) and academic problems such as failure (Aich, 1963; Barker et al., 1991) have been documented as characterising international students' overseas sojourn.
Life Satisfacion (LS) has been defined as ''a global evaluation by the person of his or her life'' (Pavot et al., 1991, p. 150), and has been identified as a key aspect of quality of life and Subjective Well Being (SWB) (Mannel and Dupuis 1996). SWB is a way of defining a good life, and is often referred to as happiness. People who experience abundant SWB have many pleasures and few pains, and they feel satisfied with their lives (Diener, 2000). Satisfaction also refers to the cognitive/judgemental aspects of SWB (Neto, 1995). Diener and his colleagues (1999) argued that, SWB and happiness, has both an affective (i.e., emotional) and a cognitive (i.e., judgmental) component. The affective component consists of how frequently an individual reports experiencing positive and negative effects. In addition to this, previous research (Diener et al., 1999) has found college students consider happiness and LS to be extremely important, and there is evidence that increased LS impacts upon academic performance in college students (Rode et al., 2005). Research has shown that increased LS and happiness may be related to goal progression (Emmons, 1986), close social relationships (Myers, 2000), and being involved in flow activities (Csikszentmihalyi, 1997). Moreover, Veenhoven (1991) uses the definition of LS as "the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his life as a whole favourably." (1991: 10). This idea emphasises satisfaction with one's life, implies contentment with or acceptance of one's life circumstances, or the fulfilment of one's wants and needs for one's life as a whole.
Furthermore, the need satisfaction model (Maslow, 1970; McClelland, 1961) and the spill over (Diener, 1984;Wilensky, 1960) theories provide useful frameworks to conceptualise the processes that underlie happiness in a life domain. The basic premise of the need satisfaction model is that people have basic needs they seek to fulfil in each life domain. Individuals derive satisfaction in a particular life domain when events and experience related to that domain fulfil their needs. Therefore, this model seems to suggest that people who are successful in satisfying their needs are likely to enjoy greater SWB than those who are less successful. For example, a person reports high satisfaction of her health life domain based on positive experiences concerning health-related activities such as a healthy diet, regular exercise and attention to medical needs. Moreover, the spill over theories of quality of life are viewed as having two broad types; bottom-up and top-down theories. Firstly, bottom-up theories assume that LS is a summary evaluation of aspects of one's life. For example, one is satisfied with life because one has good social relationships, enough money, weight under control, and an interesting job (Choi et al., 2007; George and Landerman, 1984; Larsen, 1978). Secondly, top-down theories assume that LS is due to personality influences. For example, a neurotic individual is more dissatisfied in general with his or her job, social relationships, weight, and income in particular ( Shepard, 1974; Kremer and Harpaz, 1982).
Although there may be some agreement about the important qualities of the "good life," with considerations like health and successful relationships, each individual assigns different values to these factors (Diener et al., 1985). Each person has his or her own values, criteria, and basis for evaluation. Furthermore, considerable research effort has been devoted to the study of adult's perception of the quality of their lives, including LS judgements. LS research is supported by the variety of measures appropriate for adults, such as the Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener et al., 1985; Pavot and Diener, 1993), Quality of Life Inventory (Frisch et al., 1992), Life Satisfaction Index (Neugarten et al., 1961), and the Salamon-Conte LS in the Elderly Scale (Salamon and Conte, 1984).
Several studies have been carried out regarding LS and the results of these studies emphasise that LS is related to different factors. A great deal of psychological research has explored the sources of people's LS. Due to variation in the characteristics of the included samples such as age, gender or culture - questions which are commonly found in questionnaires - as well as included indicators, different factors have been found to be associated with LS. Campbell (1981) indicates that there are at least 12 domains involved in contributing to LS. These are health, finances, family relations, paid employment, friendships, housing, living partner, recreational activity, religion, self-esteem, transportation, and education (Campbell, 1981). Specific cultural and social factors also have been found to play an important role in determining LS and happiness (Triandis, 2000). LS is used worldwide in research including adults, young people, students, older people etc. (Baiyewu and Jegede 1992; Hilleras et al. 2001b,Neugarten et al. 1961; Vitterso et al. 2002; Wood et al. 1969) and is supposed to be a useful outcome variable in different countries.
Cultural context is an important element that influences an individual's cognitive evaluation of one's life. Culture affects people in a variety of basic psychological domains, including self-concept, attribution and reasoning, interpersonal communication, negotiation, intergroup relations, and psychological well-being (Brewer & Chen, 2007; Fiske et al., 1998; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Oyserman et al., 2002). Sociologists and social psychologists are interested in socio-demographic patterns that emerge when people evaluate their overall living conditions (Veenhoven 1984; Argyle 1999; Headey and Wearing 1992; Hagerty et al. 2000; Glatzer and Zapf 1984). However, socio-demographic factors account for less than 20% of the variance of SWB, a finding confirmed in several studies (Campbell et al. 1976; Andrews and Withey 1976; Diener and Suh 1997). Many efforts have been made to analyse determinants of LS and researchers from several disciplines illuminate this subject from different perspectives. The study revealed that the standard of living, access to employment, job satisfaction, marriage, social relationships, social networks, and health were the most decisive factors when explaining variations in LS within countries. Previous research also indicate that these factors have a positive impact on individuals LS (Diener et al. 1999) with results also showing that individuals with high LS have such benefits including physical health, mental health, good interpersonal relationships, and educational and vocational success (Frisch, 2000; Park, 2003, 2004; Veenhoven, 1989).
More recently, economists have shown an interest in explaining LS outcomes with respect to reported SWB as a proxy for individual utility. They primarily focus on cross-country comparisons, the question of marginal utility of income, and the relationship between absolute and relative levels of income on SWB (Frey and Stutzer 2002a, b; Oswald 1997; Layard 2005). Moreover, LS differs a great deal between individuals and between European countries. The previous study within the enlarged European Union shows average LS in 2003, measured on a scale from 1 (very dissatisfied) to 10 (very satisfied), ranged from 8.38 in Denmark to 4.41 in Bulgaria. In every country high income goes hand in hand with higher LS scores. However, poor people in Denmark are nevertheless more satisfied than rich people in Bulgaria. The large differences in the overall level of LS between old and new member states have so far been explained with reference to the level of economic prosperity in each country (Fahey and Smyth 2004). Moreover, several studies have pointed out that poorer countries tend to possess lower LS than richer ones. To support this idea, Leelakulthanit and Day (1993) compared the LS scores of Americans and Thai's. The results showed that Americans were more satisfied with their lives than Thai's. Similarly, Diener et al., (1995) investigated LS among American, Korean, and Chinese college students. The results of the study illustrated that American college students scored more highly on LS, positive feelings and influential factors (e.g., income and wealth of the countries) than both Chinese and Korean college students. The results of these studies emphasized that the countries with high qualities (such as income, wealth, education) have higher LS scores than the countries who have low quality of standards . Conversely, Heady et al. (2004) instead analysed household panel data for five countries and found the happiness measure to be considerably more affected by economic factors than found in most of the earlier literature. The economic factors in the study include wealth and consumption expenditures and among the findings are that wealth has a stronger impact on happiness than income and that non-durable consumption expenditures are as important for happiness as income. Recent cross-country studies have therefore returned to this issue, questioning the insignificance of economic factors, which led to a heated debate in Social Science Indicators between Richard Easterlin, who defended the standard conclusion that average income does not matter, and Michael Hagerty and Ruud Veenhoven, who opposed this and argued that positive happiness trends in most nations were caused by income growth (Hagerty and Veenhoven 2003; Easterlin 2005; Veenhoven and Hagerty 2006).
Moreover, a number of previous studies exposed evidence about health playing a critical role in overall LS. In fact, health has long been viewed as one of the major factors to LS as previous studies have found that health plays a crucial role on individuals' LS (Linn et al., 1988; Michalos, Zumbo, & Hubley, 2000; Okun et al., 1984; Parkerson, Broadhead, & Tse, 1990). Additionally, a number of previous studies have examined the relationship between LS and health factors such as obesity, alcohol use, suicidal thoughts, physical activity, stress, and academic performance in different populations. For example, the study of the Moum (1996) found that people who score high on LS measures are less likely to attempt suicide. Lewinsohn et al., (1991) also pointed out that people who score high on LS are less likely to become depressed in the future . Several researches have also examined that LS is related to healthy behaviours in a number of different populations (Kelly, 2004; Rudolf & Watts, 2002; Valois, Zullig, Huebner, & Drane, 2004b). To support this idea, Statistics Canada Web Site (2009), found that Canadians' LS was related to their health. The statistics showed that people who were satisfied with their lives reported that their health was excellent (62.5%) and only 8.4% of people who were satisfied with life reported poor health. Conversely, of those people who were not satisfied with their lives, 54.2% reported that their health was poor. As a result, this study found that weak levels of health are directly related to low levels of satisfaction with life, low levels of morality, and low levels of satisfaction. This study also stresses that public health provisions have an important role on the improvements of individuals' quality of life. For example, Life expectancy in France or Germany has risen sharply. However, this improvement is not due to high-technology. These countries attach importance to improve the quality of health in urban sanitation. The main aim here is relatively low-cost treatment (for example; antibiotics for childrens' ear infections) (Deaton, 2008).
From the past to the present, a great deal of psychological research has explored the sources of people's LS. These sources include one's overall wealth, whether one is single or married, male or female (Gold et al., 2002; Murtagh & Hubert, 2004), or young or old (Diener, 1984; Mercier et al., 1998; Prenda & Lachman, 2001) A few studies have investigated international undergraduate students' Satisfaction with Life (SWL) in the pattern of culture associates. Definition of the SWL emphasises the individual's own Quality of Life (QoL) based on their selected standards (Shin and Johnson, 1978). Each individual's decisions about their own particular criteria of their QoL can help them to judge and establish their own SWL (Diener et al., 1985). This shows that one's SWL is not a universally determined criteria of QoL, because each individual is judging their SWL by their own evaluation of the QoL. This is one of the important reasons to focus on people of diverse ethnic background and their different values and perceptions of what may characterise "the good life" (Diener et al., 1985).
Another important reason to study SWL and Culture across different nations is based on cultural factors (such as one's quality of life) that play an important role on individuals' happiness. Veenhoven (1991) found that living in an economically prosperous country where freedom and democracy are respected; political stability; being a part of a majority rather than a minority; being toward the top of the social ladder; being married and having good relationships with family and friends; being mentally and physically healthy; being active and open minded; feeling in control of one's life; having aspirations in social and moral matters rather than money-making and being politically conservative are significantly related with individuals' happiness rather than unhappiness.
Moreover, other researchers have established that individuals from different cultures have different levels of economic and social satisfactions with their Jobs. For example, people who have the same jobs but who live in different countries might have different levels of job satisfaction because of cultural influences (Cranny et al., 1992; Gallie & Russell, 1998). This signifies that both economic (money) and social (interest) satisfaction with work, such as individuals' quality of their working styles, experiences and achievements, is another very important component of individuals' overall SWL (Frijters et al., 2003; Kraft 2000).
Furthermore, health is a subjective phenomenon manifested as the experience of wellness/illness based on individuals' evaluations of how they are feeling and doing. There are variety of factors on an individual's health satisfaction which have been related to their LS such as weight (Ball et al., 2004), alcohol use (Murphy et al., 2005), stress (Schnohr et al., 2005), and physical activity (Valois, Zullig, Huebner, & Drane, 2004b) These have been shown to be related to life satisfaction in different populations. The relationship between LS and various aspects of perceived health has been investigated in different nations because in different cultures people have different health institutions and services which can affect both their QoL and SWL. Previous researchers found that there is a positive relationship between subjective health and LS (Arrindell et al., 1999; Lohr et al., 1988; Rapkin & Fischer, 1992; Willits & Crider, 1988).
The information above supports that to study both SWL and culture have been useful in illuminating how individuals differ in their SWL from different nations and the role of culture. A Number of studies emphasize that culture affects individuals from several basic psychological domains. For example, attribution and reasoning, intergroup relations, interpersonal communication, self-concept, negotiation, and psychological well-being (Brewer & Chen, 2007; Fiske et al., 1998; Lehman et al., 2004; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Oyserman et al., 2002).
From the theory and research presented in this review, it can be seen that cultural factors are the integrative parts of the LS. According to this, this study will focus on the Culture and LS amongst international students to see whether culture plays an important role on the undergraduate students LS from five different cultures. The specific aims of the study are three-fold. Firstly, it determines whether there is a relationship between international students' LS and CS amongst five different countries. Secondly, it specifies whether the international students have differences in CS in general factors (i.e. quality of services/ city/life etc.), social relationships, job satisfaction, health, authority and public safety across five different countries. Thirdly, it explores whether there is an LS difference between International Students from five different countries which are China, India, UK, Turkey and Nigeria. In this study, I will focus on more cross-cultural phenomenon of the students' satisfaction as well as its link with cross-cultural differences in the bases of LS (Schimmack et al., 2002; Suh et al., 1998) and provide tests of an empirically supported explanation for the differences. When people construct judgments about their overall LS, different cultural members place relative emphasis on different aspects of life.
Therefore the hypotheses for this study are:
- There will be correlation between LS and CS amongst International Students from five different countries .
- There will be a difference in CS between International Students from five different countries
- There will be a difference in LS between International Students from five different countries.
A total of 100 students from the University of Northampton (UCN) in Northampton participated in the study. The sample for the current study comprised of 100 students, with twenty participants from each of the five nations India, Africa, China, United Kingdom and Turkey. Participants were selected from these five countries because many students from these countries came across to study in the University of Northampton. All participants were more than 18 years of age. Both males and females between the ages of 18-25 were selected. Each participant was required to complete both Questionnaire Section A of Life Satisfaction and Section B of the Cultural Satisfaction (see Appendix 2). All student participation was voluntary.
The measures for the study were either taken directly or with modification from existing scales as described below. With the exception of the Satisfaction With Life Scale, all the items reported here were answered on a 5-point Likert Scale.
Life Satisfaction : Global life satisfaction was measured by the Satisfaction With Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985) to measure the life satisfaction of the international undergraduate students. The SWLS is a five-item inventory with a 7-point scale. The five items used to measure satisfaction with life are : (a) In most ways my life is close to ideal; (b) The conditions of my life are excellent; (c) I am satisfied with my life; (d) So far I have gotten the important things I want in life; and (e) If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing. Participants respond to each item on a 7-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree), yielding a possible total score ranging from 5 to 35 (see appendix 2).
Satisfaction With Culture: Participants' cultural life satisfaction was measured by questions both from Quality of Life Satisfaction Survey (2003) (QLS) (cited in Delhey, 2004) and the 2006 General User Satisfaction Survey (GUSS) (Torbay Council, 2006). Researcher also prepared some of the questions. The Satisfaction with Culture survey is a 70-item Likert scale designed to measure international students' cultural satisfaction within six cultural life domains: general, social relationships, job satisfaction, health perception, authority and public safety were considered important influences on individuals' life satisfaction. Participants respond to each item on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree) (see appendix 2).
General : The general questions about the cultural life satisfaction, which consists of twenty-three out of the 70 items, was added to the beginning of the Cultural life satisfaction scale in order to measure general life satisfaction about the cultural factors. The researcher also prepared the questions from 1 to 19. However, questions 20 to 23 from the general section were obtained from QLS. Students were expected to respond to each item based on a five-point Likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Examples of items are 'It is a good place to live, overall quality of life in the city, water quality, noise etc." However, nine items were measured on an ordinal scale that assessed satisfaction with current state of general services (e.g. health services, public transport, education system etc.). Participants again respond to each item on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (poor) to 5 (very high). Higher values indicate higher LS.
Social Relationships : To achieve a high level of joy and happiness in life, people must be socially involved with people. This involves getting along well with others, having friends and companions, and offering help to those who need it. This part evaluates international students social relationships in their home countries through sixteen items. However, five questions about the tensions between different groups were obtained from QLS. Scoring goes from 1 to 5, where 1 corresponds to the answer ''Very many tensions" and 5 to ''No tension at all". Moreover, eleven questions consisted of general problems about parents, children, teenagers etc. These eleven questions were also prepared by the Researcher. Statements such as "parents not taking responsibility for the behaviour of their children", "noisy neighbours or loud parties" and "people being attacked because of their skin colour, ethnic origin or religion" etc. The items were also based on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1 (a very big problem) to 5 (not a problem at all).
Job Satisfaction: In this section questions asked students to evaluate their overall Job satisfaction and financial situation. Questions in the Job Satisfaction section were adapted from QLS. A list of seven items was constructed to measure the job satisfaction variable. Items were presented on a 5- point Likert scale ranging from ''strongly agree'' to ''strongly disagree''. Items included '' My work is dull and boring" , " I am well paid", and "My job offers good prospects for career advancement" etc.
Health Perception : The health perception variable was measured on a Likert scale that assessed satisfaction with current state of health services in international students' countries. This section consisted of eight items. Questions 1 to 4 from the health section were obtained from QLS. However, questions from 5 to 8 were obtained from GUSS. Items were presented on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from ''very satisfied'' to ''very dissatisfied" where 1 corresponds to the answer ''very dissatisfied" and 5 to ''very satisfied", and included statements such as "waiting time to see doctor on day of appointment", "Quality of Hospitals" and "Deal with patients" etc.
Authority: The authority section consists of seven items. Question 1 and 7 from the authority section were adapted from GUSS . Also, questions 2 to 6 were prepared by the researcher . The items were rated on a 5-point Likert scale, and included statements such as "how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with each of the following services provided or supported by your country City Council such as; Sports/leisure facilities and events, libraries, museum, galleries, theatre etc". Scoring goes from 1 to 5, where 1 corresponds to the answer ''strongly disagree'' and 5 to ''strongly agree''.
Public Safety: Public safety questions about the cultural life satisfaction, which consists of nine items. Questions in the Public Safety section were prepared by the researcher. Questions include "how safe do you feel walking in your neighbourhood during the day?" and "how safe do you feel walking in your neighbourhood after dark?" etc. The responses were based on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from very unsafe to very safe, and 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).
Before the experiment participants were asked to read the standardised instructions (see appendix 3 ) and to give their consent verbally. According to the standardised instructions, participants were fully informed what the study was going to investigate. The standard instructions informed the students of the purpose of the study; that participation was voluntary and the responses were going to be treated confidentially. Also, it explained the details of what participants would have to do and were allowed to ask any questions. Experimenters informed the participants that the aim of the study was to investigate whether there is a relation between participants' general life satisfaction and cultural life satisfaction. By giving their consent to taking part in the study, they were agreeing to be involved in this study and were then asked to sign the consent form (see appendix 4) and read the brief (see appendix 4). After that, participants were asked to fill in the questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of two sections; section A and section B. Section A was about the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS; Diener et al., 1985) to measure life satisfaction. The scale comprises of five-items and the responses were made on a 7-point agree-disagree Likert scale (Diener et al., 1985). On the other hand, section B was about cultural life satisfaction (Questions were obtained from QoL). The Satisfaction with Culture survey is a 70-item Likert scale and was designed to measure international students' cultural satisfaction. The scale provides scores for six dimensions namely for the participants satisfaction with their nations. The six sections of the cultural satisfaction are: general, social relationships, job satisfaction, health perception, authority and public safety considered important on individuals cultural life satisfaction. According to participants' responses, negative scores indicate dissatisfaction, whereas positive scores indicate satisfaction of the specific domain for the individual's life satisfaction. In this experiment, participants were not timed. Therefore, all the participants had the same life satisfaction and cultural satisfaction scale. Participants were also aware that they were allowed to withdraw at anytime without giving reason. After the experiment, the experimenter gave the participants a cue sheet which consisted of a brief explanation of what the study was about and the experimenter's e-mail address (see appendix 5). Also, each Life satisfaction scale had the participant number recorded on the top of the paper so, if the participants' changed their minds and wanted to retract their results from the study, they could email the experimenter and give their paper number by 01-01-2010. Also, participants were allowed to ask any questions. There was no deception of the participants in this study. Finally, no personal data was requested. As a result, the participants were anonymous . Questionnaires will be kept confidential and securely kept in the locked answers cupboard.
This study was performed to determine the relation between culture and life satisfaction. The dependent variable of the study was the life satisfaction and the independent variable was culture. In this experiment, participants were sampled around the university campus and each participant received only one questionnaire. All experimenters rated using the same grading criteria. In this experiment, participants used to conduct this study were divided into five groups. These groups were formed according to the student's nations which were China, India, UK, Turkey and Nigeria (Africa).
A standard ethics form was completed prior to the study (see appendix 1) and approved by the ethical committee of the University of Northampton. The participants were asked for their consent prior to taking part in the study. Once they had read the standardised instructions (see appendix 3) and the participants were also given the chance to ask any questions. After this, participants were asked to sign their consent (see appendix 4). By giving their consent to taking part in the study, they were agreeing to be involved and to follow the instructions from the study. There was no deception to the participants in this study. They were fully informed of what the study was investigating and what they would have to do. The participants were also given the chance to withdraw at any point while they were taking part. They could also have their data removed. This is essential as the participants need to feel at ease and should not be held against their will. They were informed of this on the standardised instructions (see appendix 3 and 4). To ensure that the participants were comfortable and understood the study that they were taking part in, they were debriefed. This was done both verbally after the study had concluded to give the participant a chance to ask any questions and given a handout which they could keep for reference. This also included a contact email address (see appendix 5). The questionnaires that were completed by the participants involved them answering some questions that, unless they were assured of confidentiality, they may not have wanted to answer. In this study, this is done by there being no personal data requested that could link the participant to the data and researcher keeping the data safe. By taking part in a psychological experiment, some people may be affected and this is why there was a contact email on the debrief for the participants (see appendix 5). There had also been no personal data requested; therefore, the participants could not be contacted or found even if there was a leak in confidentiality.
Descriptive Statistics were used to summarize the main features of a collection of this study's data in quantitative terms to see the differences between International Students Life Satisfaction (LS) scores from five different nations (India, China, UK, Turkey and Nigeria). A Pearson's 'r' product moment correlation coefficient test was carried out to test if the correlation between Life Satisfaction and the six subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction (General, Social Relationship, Job, Health, Authority and Public Safety Satisfaction) were statistically significant or not with data at interval/ratio level. Partial correlation also used for International Students from five different nations to describe the association between LS and the six subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction (CS) whilst taking away the effects of nationality on this relationship. An analysis of One-Way between subjects ANOVA was also used to see whether international students from five different nations differed in any six subsections of the CS. A Post-Hoc Tukey test, which is generally used in conjunction with an ANOVA, was also carried out to see whether each nation's mean differences between the six aspects of the CS were significantly different from one another.
In this study, descriptive statistics are used to describe the main features of a collection of data in quantitative such as mean, median, standard deviation that summarize and interpret some of the properties of a set of data. The participant's score from the Life Satisfaction (LS) questions on the LS survey, were collected and entered into SPSS. (see appendix 6). Descriptive statistics were calculated for each of the five nations to obtain the mean scores of Life Satisfaction. Descriptive statistics for five countries are presented in Table 1 below.
The descriptive statistics showed that Turkish (Mean= 5.70, SD=0.92) and UK (Mean=5.15, SD= 1.46) students reported the highest life satisfaction scores, and these groups in turn reported higher mean life satisfaction scores than Indian students (Mean=4.40, SD=1.18), Chinese students (Mean=4.75, SD=1.11) and Nigerian students (Mean=4.85, SD=1.22). Indian (Mean= 4.40) and Chinese (Mean=4.75) students were the least satisfied with life. Descriptive statistics also show that Indian students reported the lowest mean scores; these students were less satisfied with their life satisfaction than students from the other four countries. Moreover, it is obvious that Turkish students were the most satisfied with their life satisfaction than the other four countries.
Pearson's (r) product moment correlation coeffient
In order to test the hypothesis 1, that there will be correlation between Life Satisfaction (LS) and Cultural Satisfaction (CS) amongst International Students from five different countries, a Pearson's (r) product moment correlation coefficient tests (calculations obtained from the SPSS program is shown in Appendix 6) was used to find strength of the correlation between Life Satisfaction and the six aspects of the cultural satisfaction with data at interval/ratio level (see Table 2).
Pearson's correlation coefficients results showed that there was no statistically significant correlations between Life Satisfaction and any other subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction because 'P' value is more than 0.05 (p<0.05) for each of the subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction.
Partial correlation was also used for International Students from five different nations to describe the association between LS and the six subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction (CS) whilst taking away the effects of nationality on this relationship. The Pearson correlation failed to find any significant results for the hypothesis 1, which is there will be correlation between Life Satisfaction (LS) and Cultural Satisfaction (CS) amongst international students from five different countries. In addition to this, partial correlation (again calculations obtained from the SPSS program is shown in Appendix 6) was used to find the relationship between LS and CS aspects of the each subsections whilst holding constant the effects of nationality on this relationship (see Table 3).
The results from the Partial Correlation Coefficient between LS and the six aspects of the CS indicate that only General Satisfaction is influenced by nationality. The Partial Correlation Coefficient between LS and General Satisfaction (GS) aspects of the CS is 0.182 (df=98, two tailed, p=0.070). However, the correlation coefficient between LS and GS controlling for nationality increases to 0.259, which is significant (two-tailed, p=0.010).
Consequently, Partial correlation results emphasized that there is only a significant relationship between LS and the GS when nationality is controlled. This indicates that nationality influences the relationship between LS and GS. However, there is not any significant relationship between LS and other subsections of the CS (SR, JS, HS, AS, PS) when nationality is controlled. Except for the GS, section 'p' value is more than 0.05 (p>0.05) for each of the subsections. Results from both Pearson's and Partial correlation coefficient indicates that we accept the null hypothesis which is there is not any correlation between LS and CS amongst International Students.
One-way between subjects ANOVA test
An analysis of the data using One-way between subjects ANOVA was carried out to see whether there were differences in any subsections of the cultural satisfaction (CS) across the five nations (see appendix 6 for calculations). Seven one-way ANOVAs were conducted between the international students from five nationalities (India, China, UK, Turkey, and Nigeria) and subsections (general, social relationships, job, health, authority and public safety satisfaction) of the CS domains. Results can be seen in table 4.
A one-way between subjects ANOVA was conducted to compare the international students scores from five different nations (India, China, Turkey, UK, Nigeria) to see whether there were differences in Life Satisfaction (LS) and each of the cultural satisfaction variables, which are general satisfaction, social relationship satisfaction, job satisfaction, health satisfaction, authority satisfaction and public safety satisfaction. One-way ANOVA found a statistically significant difference in the level of LS in relation to the four aspects of social relationship satisfaction (F(4,95)= 2.89, p<0.05), health satisfaction (F(4,95)= 9.67, p<0.05), authority satisfaction (F(4,95)= =7.17, p<0.05) and public safety satisfaction, (F(4,95)= =5.78, p<0.05). These results indicate that students from five different countries differ in their level on four of the subsections of cultural satisfaction.
Conversely, one-way ANOVA failed to find significant results for both General Satisfaction (F(4,95)= 2.04, p=.094) and Job Satisfaction (F(4,95)=0.76, p= .548.). However, undergraduate students scores demonstrates that both General Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction subsections of the CS did not show any differences across five nations.
Furthermore, one-way ANOVA also found statistically significant differences in the LS (F(4,95)=3.12, p=0.018 ) of the students from five different countries.
This shows that statistical analysis from One- Way ANOVA enables us to partially accept both hypothesis 2, which states there will be a difference in CS between International Students from different countries, and Hypothesis 3, which states there will be a difference in LS between International Students from different nationalities. According to these results, Hypothesis 2 partially accepted because four out of the six subsections of the CS (General and Job Satisfaction) showed these differences.
Post Hoc Tests Tukey
According to the significant results from the One-way ANOVA between the cultural satisfaction aspects of social relationships, health, authority, and public safety, a post hoc test was computed in order to see the mean differences between the subsections of the Cultural Satisfaction (CS) and the nations. Whilst the F-tests indicate statistically significant differences between the level of satisfaction of students from different countries, a post hoc test is also needed to determine where those differences between countries lay (appendix 6). As a result, Turkey post hoc test was selected because this test is designed to compare each of the conditions to every other condition. This shows that this test will compare all five countries and the four subsections of the CS domains (social relationship, health, authority, and public safety). This test was not carried out for general satisfaction and job satisfaction sections because the results of the Tukey post hoc must be reported if one finds a significant effect for the overall ANOVA. However, statistical analysis did not find significant results for these two subsections.
Employing the Post-Hoc test for Social Relationships, significant differences were found between UK and Turkey (p=0.022). Mean differences between Turkey and UK show that students from Turkey (Mean=57.80) have higher social relationship satisfaction scores than the students from UK (46.35).
Moreover, employing the Turkey post-hoc test for Health satisfaction, significant differences were found between China and Turkey (p=0.040), between the China and Nigeria (p=0.000), between India and Nigeria (p=0.000), UK and Nigeria (p=0.003), and between Turkey and Nigeria (p=0.046). Results also show that Chinese (Mean=34.0) students scored higher health satisfaction than Turkish (Mean=57.8) and Nigerian students (Mean=23.5). However, students from Nigeria (Mean=23.5) scored lower health satisfaction than Indian (Mean=32.4), British (Mean=30.4) and Turkish (Mean=28.7) students.
Post hoc comparisons using the Tukey HSD test for Authority Satisfaction indicated significant differences between China and Turkey (p=0.004), between India and Turkey (p=0.000), between India and Nigeria (p=0.006), and between Turkey and UK (p=0.011). Moreover, mean scores of the students from both UK (Mean=24.2) and China (Mean=24.6) scored higher on Authority Satisfaction than Turkish (M=19.4) students. Indian (M=25.7) students also scored higher authority satisfaction than both Turkish (19.4) and Nigerian (20.7) students.
Finally, the Tukey Post-Hoc test for Public Safety Satisfaction shows that there was a statistically significant difference between China and UK (p=0.008), and between China and Nigeria (p=0.000). Mean differences indicate that students from China (M=32.2) have higher public safety satisfaction than students from both UK (M=26.8) and Nigeria (M=25.1).
The aim of the study was to determine whether culture plays a crucial role on international students' Life Satisfaction (LS) from five different nations. This study concentrated on three hypotheses and two were partially confirmed . The three hypothesis were: 1) There will be correlation between LS and Cultural Satisfaction (CS) amongst International Students from five different countries 2) There will be a difference in CS between International Students from five different countries 3) There will be a difference in LS between International Students from five different countries.
Initially, it was expected that culture would have a strong relationship on the Life Satisfaction of the International Students. Results from the One-Way between subjects ANOVAs revealed that International Students from five different nations showed differences in both their LS and CS scores. According to this statistical analysis, this study accepted both Hypothesis 2 and 3. On the other hand, a Pearson' s (r) product moment correlation coefficient and Partial Correlation test failed to find significant results for hypothesis 1 because out of the six cultural satisfaction, only one aspect (general satisfaction) showed that there is a correlation between international students Life Satisfaction within five nations. This shows that the null hypothesis is accepted for hypothesis 1, which states there was no significant correlation between LS and CS amongst International Students from five different countries. The following section will discuss the three hypothesis pertaining to the current study.
Based on the hypothesis one, general satisfaction section aimed to measure international students' satisfaction with their community services amongst five nations. From past to nowadays, cross-cultural studies indicate that the relationship between individuals' LS and government satisfaction can vary. Past research has shown that satisfaction with community services plays an important role in life satisfaction (e.g., Andrews & Withey, 1976;Campbell et al., 1976; Morris & Winter, 1978; Sirgy, et al., 2000; Sirgy & Cornwell, 2001). Andrews and Withey (1976) found that individuals from U.S.A can be satisfied with their personal lives and at the same time be dissatisfied with their government and political institutions. Conversely, individuals from Nigeria and Cuba reported that national satisfaction and personal life satisfaction was correlated. Results from these studies demonstrates that the relationship between individuals' personal satisfaction and government satisfaction can change. For example, in countries where political freedom is less established and standard of living is lower, citizens' personal satisfaction is much more strongly attached to community and government services. Present study concurs with the Andrews and Withey results which supports that the quality of a government has impact on international students' personal life satisfaction. However, this study did not include any questions about political freedom. In addition to this, recommendations for future studies might be to take the political freedom into consideration.
This study failed to show correlation between international students Life Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction within five nations. However, there is much evidence that economic factors clearly affect peoples' lives and should thus be important determinants of individual life satisfaction across nations. Veenhoven's (1991) study indicates that LS of individuals' from poor nations is based more their income satisfaction than the rich nations. Conversely, results of the present study about the relationship between life satisfaction and job satisfaction of the international students within five nations matches with Diener and Diener (1995) study who examined the correlation between financial satisfaction and life satisfaction among college students from 31 nations and found that the correlation was negatively correlated with the income per person of the nation (rs = -.36 for women, -.32 for men). The results of this study emphasise that individuals LS from poor nations based on more financial satisfaction than did people in wealthier nations. Moreover, Peiro´ (2002) examined 15 countries and found that unemployment and income is also strongly associated with satisfaction. Similarly, other researches show that higher unemployment rates decreases individual life satisfaction. However, the present study did not separate the poor, rich and the unemployment rates of the countries. Future studies that focus on these factors might show better results than this study showed.
Furthermore, satisfaction with authority and public safety refers to inhabitants evaluations of the quality of various authority services, including race relations, crime and safety, recreational and entertainment activities, religious activities, the appearance of the conspicuous places within the community such as commercial and business areas and certain residential areas, the street conditions, traffic conditions, the climate, parks, job opportunities available in the area, property taxes, and so on. A number of researchers found that satisfaction with community services such as government, business, and non-profit services as well as community conditions (physical, social, and economic aspects of the community) predict a significant portion of the variance in community satisfaction, which is also associated with individuals overall life satisfaction (Sirgy et al. 2000; and Sirgy and Cornwell 2001). These studies shows that satisfaction with individual community services (e.g., police, fire and rescue services, e.t.c), and community conditions (e.g., race relations, crime rate e.t.c) associated with individuals overall satisfaction. Satisfaction with Public Safety and Authority in the past studies generally measured together with the government services. However, in this study international students satisfaction with public safety and authority is measured separately and did not show correlation between international students Life Satisfaction within five nations. According to these results, recommendation for future studies might be to link these sections with the community satisfaction section.
Moreover, individuals with positive mental health and positive affect which contains constant and trait-like emotions such as happiness, joy, excitement, enthusiasm and contentment (Pressman & Cohen, 2005) and infrequent negative affect show higher levels of satisfaction with life. A number of researchers illustrates that both for young and old populations positive affect is characterized as a preventive factor against poor health populations (Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998; Fredrickson, 2001; Ostir et al., 2000; Ostir et al., 2001; Ostir et al., 2002; Ostir et al., 2006; Scheier & Carver, 1992). This shows that individuals with high positive affect have higher Life Satisfaction scores and better lives than the individuals with low positive affect levels. To support this idea, Ostir et al. (2000; 2002) argued that individuals with high positive affect levels have more healthier and happier life conditions. Two to seven years later the results of this study revealed that adults with low positive affect have higher risks than the older adults with high positive affect. Adults with low positive affect acquired more often risks of death, restrictions in mobility, or functional status such as in controlling their functional physical status and lifestyle indicators (e.g., smoking, drinking). These results also shows that LS is positively correlated with health and negatively with health problems such as depression and loneliness. According to this, Viren et al. (2007) examined the relationships between LS, loneliness, general health and depression. The results showed that LS is positively correlated with health and negatively with depression, suicidal attitudes and loneliness. Results of this study showed that even though less satisfied, and particularly lonelier, individuals are more likely to report higher levels of depression, this is only the case because both higher loneliness and life dissatisfaction are associated with poorer health. All the studies above indicate that there is a strong relationship between individuals health and satisfaction with life. The present study did not find correlation between international students Life satisfaction and services within nations. However, this study only focussed on the satisfaction with health services. It can be seen that positive affect has an important role on individuals' health and overall satisfaction with their life. One of the important advice for the future studies to get better results is to take into consideration the positive affect and emotions of individuals in nations while measuring the individuals' satisfaction with health services within countries.
Furthermore, several sociologists and social psychologists and sociologists are interested in social relations, and social networks have a positive impact on life satisfaction (Diener et al. 1999). Social support contributes significantly to making people feel satisfied and happy. However, the present study failed to find correlation between international students social relationship and Life satisfaction within nations. Moreover, social integration, which has been measured in the report by the frequency of social contacts, family integration and the availability of support, has a key role to play in determining subjective well-being. A number of studies revealed that individuals who have a strong, supportive social network has been associated with lower levels of stress, increased longevity, and greater levels of happiness (Scott, 2010 ). This idea indicates that happy individuals more often develop and get social relationship and support with their friends, family, children etc. Happy people also prefer to develop social relationship and support with other happy individuals. Thus, studies found that there is a evidence that friendship with happy people can improve a individual's happiness levels about 9% (Fowler et al., 2008). Moreover, Fiori et al. (2006) argued that each individual can develop different social network and social supports, and that each of these social networks and supports has a different effect on individuals health. These researchers believed that individuals who develop better social relations can also have increased mental health because they also found that people who have more restricted networks were most likely to exhibit signs of depression. According to the studies above, it is clear that social network of family and friends can promote emotional support, increase happiness level, satisfaction with life and better relationship with other people. However, satisfaction with social relationship section in the present study did not include much questions about international students relationship with their family, friends and the levels of the social support they received. As for the better results for future studies, researchers might focus on the individuals social relationships and social support with other people because people have different roles such as parent, child, co-worker, churchgoer which introduce them to different networks that help them to feel socially connected and improve their sense of well-being.
As for the second hypothesis, statistical analysis has been shown that four subsections (Social Relationship, Health, Authority and Public Safety) of the Cultural Satisfaction are significant. Accordingly, hypothesis one is partially accepted. However, One-way ANOVA failed to find significant results only two subsections of the CS which were General Satisfaction and Job Satisfaction.
In past years, researchers focussed on the QoL to see the how people's perceptions and feeling of their quality of life conditions and the experiences within the space they live have an impact on their happiness, well-being, and LS. Many cultural, social, economical, environmental and personal factors found that have an effect on the QoL. For example, community services, economic vitality, feeling of space, activities, good quality housing stock, easy access to services like health, sports, education, shopping, child-care, social organizations, need for forming a sustainable environment, security and privacy. These factors appear as the objective indicators and the most important aim in estimating these factors is to measure how they are perceived by the population because they can change from one culture to another and from one country to another. Cultural Satisfaction aspects of the general satisfaction section in the present study focused on how International students satisfaction with particular community services (e.g., transportation, living conditions, government services) differ in their community services across five nations.
Community services contain government services such as police, fire/rescue, library, etc., business services such as banking/savings, insurance, department stores, and non-profit services such as alcohol/drug abuse services, crisis intervention, and religious services. This emphasizes that individual's Satisfaction with community services is based on their evaluations of the quality of various government services, business, non-profit service in their countries. Past research has also shown that satisfaction with community services has crucial role on individual's life satisfaction, QoL, happiness, or subjective well being (Andrews and Withey 1976; Campbell et al. 1976; Morris and Winter 1975; Sirgy et al. 2000; Sirgy and Cornwell 2001) and in community well-being (such as global satisfaction with one's community, perception of community quality of life or perceived community quality of life) (Bruin and Cook 1997; Lansing et al. 1970; Sirgy et al. 2000; Sirgy and Cornwell 2001; Vrbka and Combs 1993).
The impact of the overall quality of a society, institutional conditions and government performance have not been studied comprehensively. There are only a few studies which systematically define the differences between LS or SWB and several characteristics of the society. A good example is Wang (2008) who compared the Citizens' Satisfaction with Government Performance in Six Asian-Pacific Giants (Australia, China, India, Japan, Russia, and the US). Results showed that on average, Australians are the most satisfied, followed by the Chinese and Japanese seem the least happy with how their government performs, with the Americans and Russians not showing much difference. Indians also seem to be in the middle. This study indicates that individuals from different nations have different evaluations about their community services. These studies do not match with the present study because the results of the previous studies emphasise that different cultural backgrounds and community services across nations can differ.
Moreover, general section of the cultural satisfaction survey contains questions about the living conditions of the International students from five different countries to see the impact of the culture on the living conditions. Statistical analyses failed to show that culture did not have affect on the quality of the living conditions across the five nations. However, social psychologists and sociologists also concerned examine the relationship between the individuals Life Satisfaction and living conditions overall (Veenhoven 1984; Argyle 1999; Headey and Wearing 1992; Hagerty et al. 2002; Glatzer and Zapf 1984). Results of these studies illustrate that standards of living is one of the decisive factors when explaining variations in life satisfaction within countries. Most recently, Haller and Hadler (2006) studied the impact of individual living conditions on the Life Satisfaction. The results conclude that LS is associated with the individual characteristics, aspirations and macro social relations and structures. The main important associations between individuals LS and Living conditions based on the GDP and economic growth, welfare state expenditures and political freedom. Similarly, Kapteyn et al., (2008) studied the determinants of global life satisfaction in two countries (The Netherlands and the U.S). Results show that more Americans were very satisfied as well as very dissatisfied with the social aspects of their lives compared to the individuals from Dutch. Results of this study again illustrates that individuals from different cultures have different cultural, economical and political factors which affects their QoL standards. The five nations that international student were from in the present study did not take into the account the economic growth, welfare state expenditures and political freedom of the countries. So these factors might have affected the present study results. To take into account these factors is one of the important recommendations for future studies.
Furthermore, another Cultural Satisfaction aspect of both Public Safety and Authority Satisfaction are partially related with satisfaction of the Community services of the Government services. In the present study One-way ANOVAs found statistically significant cultural differences for both International students Public Safety and Authority Satisfaction sections. This shows that different cultural backgrounds affects individuals evaluations about both on their Public Safety and Authority Satisfaction differently. This can conclude with that culture has a role on both Authority and Public Safety services of International students across five nations.
Almost in every country, public satisfaction, perceived government apathy and perceived corruption significantly affect an individual's satisfaction with government. In the present study satisfaction with Public Safety asked international students to evaluate how their government provides them safety life conditions. Personal safety is one of the important factor for individuals QoL. It is very important for each government to develop safety environments for residents because individuals from safety environments are more satisfied with their countries community services. Each government has an aim to reduce the incidence of crimes rates so citizens of the country can enjoy their life much better than in a society where criminal offences are high and very common. Maller et al. (2006) argues that contact with nature and a healthy environment increases health and well-being of the population. According to this it is important to incorporate measurements of the environmental quality into indicators of social welfare (safety) and development. Satisfaction with the safety services can differ from one nation to another because each country develops their own services because individuals from another cultures or countries evaluate the quality of the environmental (safety, protection) and development factors differently .
There is evidence which supports that seven important topics, such as, welfare, health, productivity, privacy, security, population, and emotional welfare have influence the individuals QoL satisfaction (Cummin, 1999). Kamp et al. (2003) also demonstrate that urban QoL is associated with several components like personal and communal development, health, se
Cite This Dissertation
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below: