Subjective well-being of Indonesian and Swedish college students: A cross-cultural study on happiness

 2019 IJRSP – Volume 8 Issue 2


A’yuninnisa, Rizqi Nur’aini*
Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia (

Adrianson, Lillemor
University of Borås, Sweden (


This study aimed to explore and compare levels of subjective well-being and contributing factors that promote happiness in two countries, Indonesia and Sweden. A total of 104 Swedish and 112 Indonesian college students participated in this study. The instruments used were Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), Satisfaction with Life Scale (Diener, Emmons, Larsen, & Griffin, 1985), and an open-ended question, “What are the three most important things in your life that make you happy?” Data analyses were conducted in two phases for qualitative and quantitative data. Two major themes, interdependent and dependent factors of happiness, emerged from the qualitative data. Results showed that respondents from both countries reported interdependent factors as their main happiness contributor. The quantitative result demonstrated no significant effects on subjective well-being for culture and its interaction with the happiness factor. Instead, only the happiness factor had a significant effect on subjective well-being. People with interdependent happiness were happier than those who pursue independent happiness factors. This study observed no difference in the level of subjective well-being and happiness factors across the cultures.

Keywords: happiness; subjective well-being; interdependent happiness; Indonesia; Sweden



*Corresponding Author