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Depression and happiness of high school students: the dual mediating effects of suicidal ideation and gratitude

Introduction. The happiness of adolescents in Korea is the lowest among OECD countries. In particular, high school students is behind the happiness due to college entrance-oriented education. Academic interest in happiness of high school students is needed. This study examined whether depression significantly affects happiness by way of suicidal ideation and gratitude of high school students in South Korea, and suggests ways to increase happiness through gratitude.

Materials and methods. 4 high schools in S city in Korea were selected as study area for survey and from them 435 participants were purposively selected. Participants was 50.6% for males and 49.4% for females. Grade distribution was 28.7% in 2nd grade and 71.3% in 3rd grade. The statistical methods used in this study were frequency, reliability, correlation, and dual mediating effect analysis using SPSS PC+ Win. Ver. 25 and PROCESS macro Ver. 3.5.

Results. Firstly, depression had a positive association with suicidal ideation (r=.703, p<.001), but had a negative association with gratitude (r=-.305, p<.001), and happiness (r=-.656, p<.001), with the highest correlation coefficient between depression and suicidal ideation (r=.703, p<.001). Secondly, the simple mediation effect of gratitude in the link between depression and happiness was observed (-.0918, -.1532 ~ -.0322). Thirdly, the dual mediating effect of suicidal ideation and gratitude in the link between depression and happiness was verified (-.0382, -.0801 ~ -.0225).

Conclusion. This research could contribute to solving the negative relationship between depression and happiness through the two mediators, suicidal ideation and gratitude. This study provided the basis for a further research to enhance happiness by utilizing gratitude for adolescents with severe depression and high suicidal ideation.

Keywords: depression, suicidal ideation, gratitude, happiness, high school student, dual mediating effect

For Reference: Shin, E. M., & Lee, Ch. S. (2020). Depression and happiness of high school students: the dual mediating effects of suicidal ideation and gratitude. Perspektivy nauki i obrazovania – Perspectives of Science and Education, 48 (6), 324-333. doi: 10.32744/pse.2020.6.25

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Information about the authors:

Eun Mi Shin (South Korea, Seosan city) - Doctor of Counseling, Academic and Research Professor. Department of Child and Adolescent Counseling and Psychology. Hanseo University. E-mail: smslovess@naver.com. ORCID ID: 0000-0003-0526-0920. Scopus ID: smslovess@naver.com. Reseacher ID: smslovess@naver.com

Chang Seek Lee (South Korea, Seosan city) - Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Department of Health, Counseling and Welfare. Hanseo University. E-mail: lee1246@hanmail.net. ORCID ID: 0000-0002-9222-1953. Scopus ID: lee1246@hanmail.net. Reseacher ID: lee1246@hanmail.net

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