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Module 8 Assessment Paper
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Part 1: Happiness and Well-Being
Happiness can be perceived and understood in di!erent ways based on various factors
of cultural in&uence. A renowned scholar, Veenhoven, de*ned happiness as a state in which an
individual appreciates his life as a whole(Veenhoven, 2010, p. 2 para. 3). Another scholar,
Oishi(2018), also de*nes the state of happiness as a kind of good fortune, and goes on to state
that happiness could result from either correct behaviours or from doing something good. The
diverse descrip2ons of happiness all over the world lead our minds to perceive happiness in
di!erent ways. The three primary in&uen2al aspects which cross-culturally impact the well-
being and happiness of people in the new na2on depend on the state of the community
regarding the living condi2ons, laws, marriage or rela2onships, and collec2vist vs. Individualist
Law and order in any society are usually built on restric2on and allowance of behaviours
that only func2on for the greater good. However, these laws also can determine whether or not
the residents of that community are happy, this is because these regula2ons could either
infringe on or hinder the growth of the society by limi2ng their freedom or could boost and
promote growth(Suh & Koo, 2009). In addi2on, it is also important to consider whether the
laws put in place are in line with the cultural beliefs and values since this could also in&uence
happiness either posi2vely or nega2vely (Veenhoven, 2010). Human beings all over the
universe have the urge to feel in power or control of their life and this can only be achieved
through having the freedom to choose alongside other rights and freedoms, which is the reason
why happiness is closely related to perceived freedom(Veenhoven, 2010). The availability of
resources or the living condi2ons of the new na2on also ma8er. This is because these
condi2ons dictate whether individuals can reach their personal life goals or support their
families thus in&uencing their happiness(Veenhoven, 2010).
Happiness can also be greatly in&uenced by the close rela2onships that people
experience or marriage. Whenever people hang around people they truly love and care for, for
instance, their family and friends, they tend to become more happier and sa2s*ed with their
life(Veenhoven, 2010). Veenhoven(2010) adds that grown-up people tend to express more
sa2sfac2on and happiness with life when they have a spouse of their own or are married while
those that are single and staying alone o;en do not express happiness and contentment.
Indeed, most adults across di!erent cultures try to *nd some sort of companion regardless of
di!erent views when it comes to marriage. It is not correct to state that marriage shall always
be a source of happiness but it must be noted that having a spouse and someone you can trust
as a life partner brings about some feelings of happiness when compared to living alone.
Thirdly, another factor that in&uences happiness is the area or community in which
individual lives and also the nature of cultural views which might either be individualis2c or
collec2vis2c(Colby, 2009). Certain cultures such as that of the Chinese portray a collec2vist
culture and thus tend to concentrate more on *nding happiness o;en through a balanced
lifestyle away from their personal or private spectrum into their community and families (Oishi,
2018). It must be noted that a collec2vist culture tends to foster social harmony which helps in
promo2ng tranquil existence and long-las2ng peace unlike the individualis2c culture(Suh &
Koo, 2009). Cultures that are mainly individualis2c for instance that of the United States tend to
concentrate more on personal desires, wants, and needs to generate feelings of happiness and
sa2sfac2on(Suh & Koo, 2009). Individualis2c cultures o;en are characterized by self-serving
mo2ves which seek to gain momentary happiness via individual gain.
Happiness could therefore be changed and in&uenced by the general state of the society
in terms of people’s living condi2ons and the laws put in place, as well as their marriages or
rela2onships, and collec2vist vs. Individualist cultures. The three described in&uences are very
essen2al and signi*cant for a na2on’s happiness and well-being since with the above
knowledge, we can enlighten other people and establish a happier na2on. In addi2on, this
informa2on can help us to be8er serve and cater for the needs of people from di!erent
backgrounds but living within the new na2on since we shall understand them in greater detail.
The na2on could therefore incorporate laws that promote freedom and individual growth and
thus encourage feelings of happiness given that people will have an opportunity to make their
own choices and be in control of their lives.
Part 2: Psychological Distress and Disorder
Accultura2ve stressors have long been a major in&uence on psychological disorders and
distress. These stressors could include being separated from family, diBcul2es with
communica2on, pressures to assimilate and adapt to a di!erent culture, and con&icts emerging
from mul2-family households. Most of these stressors are commonly experienced by
immigrants(Hwang, et al., 2008). Having to learn and blend into a di!erent culture could cause
serious physical and mental health risks. For instance, research currently completed shows that
La2nos who have been born in the USA experience various physical and mental illnesses unlike
those that are born in their na2ve state(Hwang, et al., 2008). Making people aware of such
stressors among immigrants could help individuals to become more welcoming, helpful, and
compassionate towards such vic2ms which allows the immigrants to happily brace their original
culture and the new one (Hwang, et al., 2008).
Discrimina2on as well as racism can also be a serious in&uen2al aspect of people’s
mental health. This stressor is o;en experienced by minority groups since they are at risk of
being exposed to such (Hwang, et al., 2008). Discrimina2on whether racial or any kind could
nega2vely impact a person’s health no ma8er whether the discrimina2on was not inten2onal,
or not openly perceived or displayed (Hwang, et al., 2008). Discrimina2on a!ects minority
groups in various ways regarding cultural, social, and economic wealth inheritance(Hwang, et
al., 2008). In addi2on, a person’s socioeconomic status can nega2vely or posi2vely impact his or
her overall health. Research has for instance discovered that depression is o;en caused by low
socioeconomic status. Being able to comprehend the e!ects brought about by white privilege,
as well as discrimina2on and racism helps raise awareness of social di!erences and calls for
social reforms (Hwang, et al., 2008).
Soma2za2on is yet another important topic that must be men2oned. This refers to
expressing distress using physical symptoms. Soma2za2on tends to vary across di!erent
cultural groups given that distress could impact di!erent parts of the body and showcase
dis2nct social signi*cance or relevance(Hwang, et al., 2008). For instance, the majority of Asian
cultures have been observed to portray aroma2c symptoms as a result of being socially
discouraged which they express either emo2onally or verbally. Being able to learn and
understand cultural soma2za2on assists prac22oners to be8er help and o!er viable treatment
for those pa2ents from diverse cultures. Being able to approach one another with a clear and
open mindset when it comes to understanding symptoms and what they could mean for an
individual rather than what the symptoms mean in our percep2on shall be more helpful and
e!ec2ve to the na2on and society as a whole(Mathews, 2009)
Part 3: Policy Recommendaon
Psychological distress can be reduced through di!erent recommenda2ons. Three of
which have been presumed to be the best include 1. Schools shall delve into teaching culture
and world history in every grade. 2. Racial and any kind of discrimina2on shall be punished
severely andthe culprit shall face dire consequences. 3. Crea2on of cultural awareness seminars
or mee2ngs open to every person. It would be a great move for schools to start teaching
culture and world history as a means of promo2ng awareness and knowledge concerning how
people’s places of origin could a!ect their beliefs and percep2ons. The school curriculum only
teaches about one religion or culture or a speci*c group of people thus limi2ng the thinking
scope of our students thereby crea2ng a disadvantage for them in future whenever they are in
a mul2-cultured na2on. It is my sugges2on that all kinds of discrimina2on be accorded
addi2onal consequences which shall help in elimina2ng such behaviours, thus enabling people
to experience decreased depressive and anxiety disorders linked with the e!ects of
discrimina2on(Lomas, 2016).
It is also important for cultural awareness groups to be created in society since this
provides individuals with an opportunity to gain knowledge and informa2on from real-life
encounters (Hwang, et al., 2008). The group shall consist of individuals from diverse cultural
groups who are willing to share individual experiences and how they a!ected their lives. The
mee2ngs shall be guided by mental health personnel with exper2se in leading the
conversa2ons since they surround diBcult topics. Enlightening individuals that are ignorant of
the impacts of discrimina2on and di!erent cultural factors shall help in crea2ng a society that
cares about other people thus decreasing psychological distress across the na2on.
Therefore, the chosen three recommenda2ons that I would develop to promote
happiness and psychological well-being include: 1. Crea2ng and looking over laws previously
created to ensure that the laws encourage freedom and individual growth. 2. Crea2ng various
social groups for community members to engage in. 3. Educa2on the na2on in di!erent ways of
enhancing their well-being and increasing happiness that touch every culture. Addi2onally, I
would suggest encouragement and promo2on of laws that foster freedom and growth since
people in control of their lives tend to express more happiness(Veenhoven, 2010). The crea2on
of social groups is also a good sugges2on since it provides people with a place to visit and relate
with others without being separated by ethnicity, culture, or religion. This step shall help in
promo2ng rela2onships and friendship as well which also promotes the well-being and
happiness of the people(Veenhoven, 2010). Finally, I could suggest that the ci2zens of the
na2on be educated about well-being and happiness since Jan beings naturally yearn to do good
for their communi2es and themselves as well, and therefore making them gain a be8er
understanding would enable them to approach others compassionately and become self-
Colby, B. (2009). Is a measure of cultural well-being possible or desirable? In G. Mathews & C.
Izquierdo (Eds.), Pursuits of happiness: Well-being in anthropological perspective
(pp.245–64). New York, NY: Berghahn Books.22
2Credit Line: Pursuits of Happiness: Well-being in Anthropological Perspective,2by Mathews, G.;
Izquierdo, C.2Copyright22009 by Berghahn Books. Reprinted by permission of2Berghahn
Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.2
Lomas, T. (2016). Towards positive cross-cultural lexicography: Enriching our emotional
landscape through 216 ‘untranslatable’ words about well-being. Journal of Positive
Psychology, 11(5), 546–588.
Oishi, S. (2018). Culture and subjective well-being: Conceptual and measurement issues. In E.
Diener, S. Oishi, & L. Tay (Eds.), Handbook of well-being. Salt Lake City, UT: DEF
Publishers. DOI: nobascholar.com Retrieved from
Suh, E. M., & Koo, J. (2009). Comparing subjective well-being across cultures and nations: The
“what” and “why” questions. In M. Eid & R. J. Larsen (Eds.), The science of subjective
well-being (pp. 414–427). New York, NY: Guilford Press.22Credit Line: The Science of
Subjective Well-Being2by Eid, M.; Larson, R. J. (Eds).2 Copyright22009 by Guilford
Publications. Reprinted by permission of2Guilford Publications via the Copyright
Clearance Center.2
Veenhoven, R. (2010). How universal is happiness? In E. Diener, J. F. Helliwell, & D.
Kahneman (Eds.), International differences in well-being (pp.2328–350). New York, NY:
Oxford University Press.22Credit Line: International Differences in Well-Being,2by
Diener, J.; Helliwell, J.; Kahneman, D.2Copyright22010 by Oxford University Press.
Reprinted by permission of2Oxford University Press via the Copyright Clearance Center.2
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