Happiness of University Students in New Normal Malaysia: The Role of Mattering, Optimism, and Social Support

Ze Wai Foo, Kususanto Ditto Prihadi


Studies among students in higher education have established the sense of attering as one of the predictors of subjective well-being, which represents happiness. However, the transition from the quarantined period to the new normal lifestyle amidst the pandemic in Malaysia might have altered the way mattering predicts happiness. Some studies have reported that students tend to feel less socially supported during online studies, and not everyone of them showed high optimism or the belief that a better situation will come soon. We hypothesized that in the new normal, the association between mattering and happiness is fully mediated by perceived social support and optimism. In order to test the hypothesis, 400 university students between 18 to 30 years of age were recruited to respond to the Satisfaction with Life Scale, Revised Life Orientation Test, Mattering to Others Questionnaire, and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Analyses with Bootstrap method with 5000 sampling and 95% confidence interval using PROCESS Macro Model 4 yielded results, which suggested that mattering is still a robust predictor of happiness and that both perceived social support and optimism only partially mediated the association. Limitations and suggestions for future studies are discussed.


Mattering; Happiness; Optimism; Perceived Social Support


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DOI: http://doi.org/10.11591/ijere.v10i2.21138
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