Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 279–302 | Cite as

The contribution of temperament, popularity, and physical appearance to children’s happiness

  • Mark D. HolderEmail author
  • Ben Coleman
Research Paper


The relation between the happiness of 9–12 year old children and their temperament, popularity, and physical appearance was examined. Participants included 432 children and their parents and teachers. Happiness in children was assessed using a self-rating scale, parents’ ratings, teachers’ ratings, and the Happiness and Satisfaction Subscale of the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale 2 (Piers-Harris 2) [Piers, E. V., & Herzberg, D. S. (2002). Manual for the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale, 2nd ed. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services]. Estimates of children’s temperament, popularity, and physical appearance included parents’ ratings, individual items on the Piers-Harris 2, and three domain scales from the Piers-Harris 2: the Freedom From Anxiety Subscale, Popularity Subscale, and Physical Appearance and Attributes Subscale. Children’s happiness was correlated with and predicted by ratings of their temperament, popularity, and appearance. Demographic variables did not account for appreciable variance in children’s happiness. The results parallel the common finding that internal factors (e.g., personality), but not external factors (e.g., demographics), predict adults’ happiness.


Happiness Children Temperament Popularity Attractiveness Appearance Anxiety Satisfaction 



Preparation of this article was supported, in part, by a grant from the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research awarded to Mark Holder. We are grateful for Andrea Welder and Andrea Klassen for reading and commenting on an earlier version of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British Columbia, OkanaganKelownaCanada
  2. 2.Okanagan CollegeVernonCanada

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