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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation

Experimental Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Scollon, Christie Napa

Second Advisor

Graham, James M., 1974-

Third Advisor

Lehman, Barbara J.


Past studies have demonstrated that Asian Americans typically report lower levels of subjective well-being. However, there is no single cited reason across the literature for this supposed trend of lower well-being for Asian Americans, resulting in mixed findings of Asian American happiness. The present study reviewed 36 studies that utilized the Satisfaction with Life Scale to measure life satisfaction in Asian Americans, and 18 studies that utilized the Satisfaction with Life Scale to assess Asian American and European American life satisfaction. We conducted a meta-analysis to identify their mean level of life satisfaction, and to determine the effect size of difference between Asian Americans’ life satisfaction and European Americans’ life satisfaction. Throughout all included studies, Asian Americans reported a mean life satisfaction score of 22.66. Asian Americans also reported moderately lower life satisfaction scores compared to European Americans (d = -0.51, 95% CI [-0.73, -0.30], p < .001). We also assessed a number of theoretically relevant variables to analyze if they significantly predicted Asian American life satisfaction, or significantly moderated the effect size of difference of Asian American and European American life satisfaction. We also reviewed and summarized the wide range of correlates associated with Asian American happiness across the included studies.




Asian American, subjective well-being, life satisfaction, meta-analysis


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Asian Americans; European Americans; Well-being--Measurement; Meta-analysis




masters theses




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