Does money buy happiness? A look at Gen Y college student beliefs

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Deborah A. Abowitz


This paper examines whal college sludents today aspire to achieve after graduation and what goals and job characteristics they believe are associated with happiness. A random sample of 154 undergraduates from a mid-Atlantic liberal arts university voluntarily completed a confidential 140-item questionnaire, including a ranking of post-gmdualion life goals and preferred job characteristics. Analyses revealed thai college students overall do not associate financial security, material things. or a job with high salary and benefits with happiness. Instead. having an "interesting" or "challenging" job is positively related 10 being happy. Significant differences by gender and between members of fraternities/sororities and "independents" are noted. Conclusions and implications of Ihese data are discussed.

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