Happiness Among Urban Poor Filipino Families

Kathleen Dianne K. Dy, University of the Philippines, Philippines
Consuelo T. Chua, University of the Philippines, Philippines
Email: cielo3chua@gmail.com
Published: December 12, 2020

Citation: Dy, K. D. K., & Chua, C. T. (2020). Happiness Among Urban Poor Filipino Families. IAFOR Journal of Psychology & the Behavioral Sciences, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpbs.6.1.01


Filipinos are generally observed to display happiness despite the experience of poverty. However, limited researches have been done to support or explain such observation. The purpose of the study was to examine the level of happiness among selected Filipino families who were living below the poverty line. The study also identified the families’ sources of happiness and the actions they take to experience happiness. A qualitative research design was used. Twenty urban poor two-parent families were the subjects of the study. The Family Subjective Happiness Scale was administered to the families to determine their level of happiness. In depth-interviews were used to examine the families' sources of happiness and the actions they take to be happy. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The results showed that most of the poor families were either happy or very happy. The primary sources of happiness of the families include good family relationship, family togetherness, having children, faith in God, and good health. On the other hand, learning to be content, finding ways to solve their problems, engaging in leisure activities, and developing optimism were the things that the families do to achieve or experience happiness. Despite being poor, the families were happy mainly because they have close family relationships and are contented with their lives. The study provided valuable contribution to understanding why Filipino families show happiness despite poverty.


family, family well-being, subjective happiness, Filipino families