Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 239–252

‘Peace in a Thatched Hut—that is Happiness’: Subjective Wellbeing Among Peasants in Rural China

Research Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10902-007-9078-x

Cite this article as:
Davey, G., Chen, Z. & Lau, A. J Happiness Stud (2009) 10: 239. doi:10.1007/s10902-007-9078-x


Existing research about subjective wellbeing (SWB) in China is confined to student and urban samples, even though 60% of the population reside in rural areas. It is reasonable to predict that there could be a rural-urban difference in SWB as there is a marked difference in objective (socio-economic) measures of wellbeing. The present study measured SWB within a sample of Chinese peasants living in a remote farming village. The results show that despite their relatively low socioeconomic conditions, the rural residents’ satisfaction levels were within the normative range for the Chinese population, and generally did not differ significantly from a previously published study in an affluent Chinese region (Hong Kong). In-depth interviews with participants revealed that the lower living conditions in the rural area are not adverse to drive SWB below the normative range.


China Personal wellbeing index Subjective wellbeing 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of ChesterChesterUK
  2. 2.Psychology DepartmentBeijing Normal UniversityZhuhai CampusChina
  3. 3.Department of Rehabilitation SciencesHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina

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