Dispositional happiness and college student GPA: Unpacking a null relation

Morris A. Okun, Roy Levy, Paul Karoly, Linda Ruehlman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


We examined the mechanisms that underlie the null relation between dispositional happiness and college grade point average (GPA) by testing the hypothesis that dispositional happiness has positive and negative indirect links to GPA that offset each other. The sample consisted of 317 first-year students. Using structural equation modeling, we found that dispositional happiness exerted a positive indirect effect on cumulative GPA via commitment to college (p < .01) and a negative indirect effect on cumulative GPA via satisfaction with peer (student) relationships (p < .05). As predicted, the sum of its indirect effects on cumulative GPA was not significant (p = .22).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-715
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2009



  • Commitment to college goal striving
  • GPA
  • Happiness
  • Mediation
  • Null effects
  • Positive arousal
  • Social integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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