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 Table of Contents  
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 171-178

Investigating the relationship between religious beliefs and elementary teacher's happiness in the working environment


1 Department of Education, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran
2 Department of Education, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication27-Feb-2015

Correspondence Address:
Fatemeh Bahri Najafi
Islamic Azad University of Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.152253

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  Abstract 

Aim: This study was aimed at investigating the relationship between religious beliefs and elementary teacher's happiness in the working environment. This was a descriptive-correlation study. Methods: The population under study was consisted of all the elementary teachers of district 2 of ministry of education and training during the academic year of 2013-2014. Using Cochrane's volume sampling, a number of 250 elementary teachers was chosen from the population of teachers (a number of 690 teachers). Two types of questionnaires were used to elicit data, the questionnaire of vision assessment (by Serajzadeh), and Oxford happiness (by Argyle). SPSS 19 was used for the both levels of descriptive (such as frequency, mean, percentage, and standard deviation) and inferential (such as Pearson correlation, multiple regression, and MANOVA) statistics. Result: The results of the study showed that there is a significant relationship between elementary teacher's happiness and their religious beliefs (r = 0.241, P < 0.001). There also existed a significant relationship between faith (one of the aspects of religious beliefs) and happiness (r = 0.01, P < 0.05). The other significant relationships of the aspects of religious belief and happiness were for the outcome aspect (r = 0.034, P < 0.005), rite aspect (r = 0.01, P < 0.05), and the experimental aspect of religious beliefs (r = 0.017, P < 0.05). Conclusion: Result showed that there is no significant relationship between the rite aspect of religious belief and happiness based on gender, working experience, educational background/level, and type of school. In contrast, there is a significant relationship between religious beliefs and age.

Keywords: Happiness, religious beliefs, the working environment of elementary teachers


How to cite this article:
Najafi FB, Jafari EM. Investigating the relationship between religious beliefs and elementary teacher's happiness in the working environment. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2015;1:171-8

How to cite this URL:
Najafi FB, Jafari EM. Investigating the relationship between religious beliefs and elementary teacher's happiness in the working environment. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 Oct 15];1:171-8. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2015/1/2/171/152253


  Introduction Top


Nowadays, many human societies are tackling many difficulties and disasters either in their social or their individual life. On the other hand, different human schools could not yet find any solution to such problems. As a result, confusion and uselessness have been brought into human's life. Undoubtedly, religious beliefs are beneficial in getting rid of such situations and problems. They can also move human beings into the real improvement. [1] Religion is the oldest comrade and the most serious obsession for human beings. Religious beliefs are the most important types of beliefs which human beings have always thoroughly thought in the type of beliefs which are elicited from religion. Religion is one of the concepts which have always been used in human beings' daily life. [2] Muhammad Hussain Tabatabaei defines religion as the following: Religion is the especial way in human beings' life which demonstrates the goodness of the world as it can be in agreement with heavenly perfection and eternal life. There must be laws in religion which depicts the way of living as it is needed. [3]

Religious beliefs endow peace to human beings. It guarantees people's security. Religion empowers ethical, emotional, and spiritual gaps in societies and individuals. Religion also creates secure bases for human beings so that they can stand against their problems and life deprivations. [4] Religion is regarded as one of the effective factors on behavior and cognition. [5] It is believed that religion helps human beings to understand the real meaning of life's incidents; especially the incidents which are stressful and painful. In this way, those will be endowed with a feeling of reliance and satisfaction. [6] In religious doctrines, the status and role of happiness in human beings' life have been taken care of. [7] Islam takes care of all the vital aspects of human beings life, and it has offered plans based on the real needs of human beings. Islam recommends and introduces plans which are regarded as the prerequisites of a happy, band blessed life. Actually, Islam is a religion of nature, and it takes care of all of the human being needs. [8] Lyubomirsky et al. believe that any person has a model for happiness and sadness, and based on these models, the person interprets the incidents and experiences in the way which they will lead to his happiness. [9] Generally speaking, happy people respond to circumstances in a happier and better way. They have a lower level of stress and are stronger people when being compared with sad people. Happiness is a great gift which must be searched for. Happiness must be valued and be transmitted to other people. Happiness and bless are one of the important and effective issues in the dynamicity of our lives. Happiness has a major role in becoming a creative person. The status and role of happiness have taken care of in religious doctrines. [8]

The most comprehensive definition of happiness was offered by Vynhun. He believed happiness is the degree of goodness and satisfaction that a person sets for his life. In other words, happiness is the degree that a person loves his life. [10] Argyle et al. defined happiness as the combination of positive emotion, satisfaction, and lack of negative emotions (stress and depression). Based on their opinion, positive and negative emotions of happiness and satisfaction are regarded as the cognitive aspect of happiness. [11]

One of the reasons of happiness is religious faith. As Hills and Argyel mentioned, a faithful person regards his god as his supporter. [12] In this way, he does not feel alone, vague, or bored. Myers also believed that one of the reasons of happiness is having faith over religion; the type of faith which brings a person support, goal, acceptance, and hope. There are many definitions for happiness. [13] Religion's view point toward happiness is a purposeful way of investigating. Based on verses and sayings, happiness is important for god. This is because of this real and eternal happiness that human beings can move toward bless and prosperity. Real happiness means getting closer toward the great goal of creation and knowing about human and divine characteristics. [14]

Rafaat et al. in their study showed that there exists a positive and meaningful relationship between students' religious view point and happiness. [15] Golzari also concluded that participation in student lesser pilgrimage is the reason for happiness. He also concluded that the lesser pilgrimage experience decreased mental problems, stress, and depression. [16] Sahraiyan et al. also found out that there exists a meaningful relationship between happiness and religious view point. The researchers also concluded that age also is an effective factor for happiness and religious view point. [17] Showed there is a significant relationship between doing religious activities and sexual satisfaction between couples. He believed the more faith over religious aspects, the happier people will be. [18] Concluded that there is a positive relationship between religious faith, and positive emotions (such as behaving appropriately, being happy, being kind and self-confident, attention, and relief). [19] Had a research study named as: Religious perspective, religious collation, and happiness among adults. [20] They concluded that there is a positive relationship between religious perspectives and happiness. They also concluded that there is a significant difference between male and female's religious perspective and happiness. The results of this study showed that the religion can protect people against stressful situations.

Barron investigated the relationship between religiosity, happiness, health, and stress in a 941-people sample. The sample was consisted of 408 boys and 533 girls (at a high school level) from different districts of Kuwait. Based on the results of the study, it was found that there is a negative relationship between religiosity and stress. They also concluded that there is a positive relationship between religiosity, mental health, physical health, and happiness. [21]

Akbarpourbani found out the relationship between religious perspectives and happiness. They found that there is a positive relationship between internal perspectives and happiness. [22]

Inner religion can have positive effects on people's personality. It can be regarded as a tool which protects us from difficulties and problems. Generally speaking, having faith over God, saying prays, and reading religious texts can create hope among human beings. It can also encourage us to feel that positive view point will bring inner peace. Having faith over God (who controls the situations and watches the prayers), decreases situational related stress. [22] Faithful people can control uncontrollable situations by having faith on God. Abedi et al. showed that there is a positive and significant relationship between religiosity aspects (experimental, emotional, ceremonial, and other aspects) and happiness. It was also concluded that all of the aspects are happiness predicators. Participation in religious ceremonies (and generally speaking having faith over religion and its doctrines) at the time stress and saddening incidents can create a feeling of security and trust. [23]

Elin investigated the relationship between religion and happiness. The results showed that the existence of religion has more effects on the creation of happiness than happiness on the religion. [24] Erich and Matthias had a research study titled as: Religiosity as the effective factor for happiness. He found the experimental relationship between happiness and religion based on the main practical theory. The experimental results showed: (1) There is a positive correlation between happiness and religiosity, (2) positive correlation between happiness and wealth, (3) and the negative correlation between religiosity and wealth. [25] Bidrami found out the relationship between religiosity (with the focus of Islam) and family performance in predicting happiness. He found that there is a positive relationship between morals, opinions, ceremonies, and happiness. There was more inclination toward Islam and powerful commitments with students' happiness. It was found that the presence in religious places expands relationships and supports, it also adds to the friendship and love that exists among couples. [26] Moghadam and Honarmand in his study showed that there is a positive relationship between religious perspectives and happiness. Religion encourages a model for growth which benefits society and is expanded through our life. Continuation of faith and religion shows benefit and adaptability. [27] One of the main problems in education and training is not taking care of Islam's comprehensiveness. In this way, one of the aspects of the educational system must be Islam's comprehensiveness and planning for the purpose of all human aspects. Happiness is a necessity for human beings. With happiness life will gain meaning. With happiness, negative feelings will lose their power. It is with happiness help that human beings can reach good behaviors. It is with the help of happiness that human beings can show their role in political, cultural, and economical aspects.

Happiness is important in the way that Henry Murray (the famous psychologist of the 20 th century) says: One of the most shown aspects of negligence among psychologists is the topic of happiness; The internal feeling which was regarded as the best gained tool through doing different activities (said by Plato, Aristotle and nearly all thoughtful people). [28] Based on what was stated the main purpose of the present study was to find out the relationship between religious beliefs and happiness among teachers. It was also aimed at finding the relative proportion of each of the religious beliefs in determining and predicting happiness.

  • Is there any relationship between the faith aspect of religious beliefs and happiness in teachers' working environment?
  • Is there any relationship between religious doctrines and happiness in teachers' working environment?
  • Is there any relationship between the experimental aspect of religious beliefs and happiness in teachers' working environment?
  • Is there any relationship between the religious consequences and happiness in teachers' working environment?
  • Can religious beliefs' aspects predict the amount of happiness?



  Methods Top


This was a correlation study. The study was a multi-variant case which sought the relationship between religious faiths and happiness among elementary teachers. Population, sample and sampling method: The population was consisted of all the elementary teachers of district two of the ministry of education and training during the academic year of 2013-2014. The total number of teachers were equal to 690. Using Cochrane's volume sampling, a number of 250 elementary teachers was chosen from the population of teachers (a number of 690 teachers). Two types of questionnaires were used to elicit data the questionnaire of visional assessment and Oxford happiness. [11],[29]

Research tools

  • The questionnaire of visional assessment based on Clark and Stark model. [29] He has made a comparison between Islam (especially Shiite). The questionnaire had 26 questions. It investigates 4 dimensions of religiosity. The 4 dimensions are: Religious belief (7 questions), ceremonial dimension (7 questions), experimental dimension or religious emotions (6 questions), and the consequential dimension (6 questions). The questionnaire was a 5° likert scale. (1) Showed totally disagrees, (2) showed disagree, (3) showed half ways between both, (4) showed agree, and (5) showed totally agree
  • In investigating the reliability of the questionnaire Serajzadeh reported, the correlation index from 41% to 61%. Alpha cronbachs' method of R (reported by Serajzadeh) also was reported as 87-92% (related to religiosity). Oxford Happiness questionnaire: The 29 - question questionnaire which was scored. The sum of the scores made the scale score of the questionnaire. This scale was made in 1990 by Argayle and Lou. They reported the reliability coefficient of this questionnaire as 0.78. The reliability coefficient of this scale was computed as 0.52 (The correlation coefficient between Oxford happiness and depression number one's scale). Serajzadeh et al. reported the reliability of this questionnaire as 0.93 which was computed by alpha Cronback. The researcher consulted with 10 experts in the field to investigate the face and content validity of the questionnaire. They all reported the capability of the questionnaire with regards to its happiness prediction ability. To measure the reliability of the questionnaire alpha 0 Cronback's method of investigation was used. The reliability coefficient of the questionnaire was reported as 0.91 (religious beliefs) and 0.80 (happiness). This is a proof for the high reliability of this measurement tool. The most important types of validity are: Content and face validity. The face validity of the questionnaire was also confirmed by the experts' opinions.


Methods of data analysis

Using  SPSS 19 (IBM Company), at two levels of inferential and descriptive statistics, the data were analyzed. At the descriptive level: Frequencies, percentage, mean, and standard deviation was used. At the inferential level: Multiple regression, Pearson correlation, and variance analyze tests were used.

Pearson correlation

This index was used for the purpose of investigating the degree of correlation between religious beliefs and happiness.

Multiple-regression (step wise)

This method is used when the researcher wants to predict the dependent variable by means of one or more independent variables. Hence, this was used to predict about happiness by means of religious beliefs variables.

Multi-way ANOVA

For the test of significant differences between some means, this test is used. It means: The moment that the independent variable is >2 levels multi-way ANOVA will be used.


  Result Top


The results of [Table 1] show that the mean for religious beliefs and happiness was 96.06 and 46.07 accordingly.
Table 1: Mean and SD of the scores of religious beliefs and happiness

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Results of [Table 2] show the mean for the different variables of religious beliefs was 27.58, 27.97, 19.55, and 20.94 accordingly.
Table 2: Mean and SD for the variables of religious belief

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Inferential results of the study

In this section, the inferential findings of the study are shown.

The main question: Is there any relationship between religious beliefs and happiness?

The findings of the [Table 3] show that the correlation coefficient between religious beliefs and happiness was meaningful. It means there is a significant relationship between happiness (r = 0.241) and religious beliefs. Based on this, the computed r2 was 5.8%, and the variance of religious beliefs and happiness had in common with each other. Hence, the main question is already confirmed.
Table 3: Correlation index between religious beliefs and happiness

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The first question: Is there any relationship between belief and happiness?

The findings showed the correlation between belief and happiness is meaningful. It means there is a significant relationship between belief and happiness (r = 0.145). Based on r2 , 2.1% of the variance of belief is in common with happiness. The first research question (stated above) is already confirmed.

The second question: Is there any relationship between ceremonial and happiness?

[Table 4] shows that the correlation coefficient between the ceremonial aspects of religion to happiness is significant. In other words, the relationship between religious beliefs and happiness (229/0 = r) is significant. The coefficient of determination (2 r) 2.5% of the variance of the ceremonial aspects of religious belief was shared with happiness. The second question that the ceremonial aspect of religion is related to happiness is confirmed.
Table 4: Correlation index between ceremonial and happiness

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The third question: Is there any relationship between the experimental dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness?

[Table 5] shows the correlation coefficients between dimensions of religious experience and happiness is meaningful. In other words, the relationship between religious beliefs and happiness (130/0 = r) is significant. The coefficient of determination (2 r) 7/1% of the variance in the case of religious belief was shared with happiness. The third question that the experiential dimension of religious belief is related to happiness is confirmed.
Table 5: Correlation index between experimental and happiness

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The fourth question: Is there any relationship between consequential dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness.

[Table 6] shows the correlation coefficients between the consequential aspect of the religious beliefs and happiness is meaningful. In other words, the relationship between religious beliefs and happiness (184.0 = r) is significant. The coefficient of determination (2 r) 4.3% of the variance in the outcome of religious belief was shared with happiness. The fourth question of the consequences of religious beliefs that are related to happiness is confirmed.
Table 6: Correlation index between consequential and happiness

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The fifth question: Can religious beliefs' aspects predict happiness?

The results of [Table 7] show the variables in the regression. The best predictor of happiness was ceremonial in the first step. Stepwise regression analysis showed significant correlations between the ceremonial and happiness. The first step is a factor in 11.6% of the variance in happiness explained the ceremonial. Observed F in the 01/0 > P was significant. Therefore, the regression can be generalizable to the target population.
Table 7: Multiple correlation index between religious beliefs and happiness

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Results in [Table 8] indicate that an increase in the beta coefficient will lead to 0.229 unit increase in ceremonial and happiness.
Table 8: Beta table in predicting different dimensions of religious beliefs and happiness

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The fifth question of the predictive equation is presented as follows:



The relationship between belief, experimental, and consequential dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness was not significant.


  Discussion and Conclusion Top


Main question: Is there any relationship between religious beliefs and happiness?

Results of [Table 3] show that the correlation coefficient between the religious beliefs and happiness is significant. The results of the study are in agreement with Abedi et al., Moghadam and Honarmand, Rafaat et al., Akbarpourbani and Bidrami, Religion creates a comprehensive belief which helps people to have hope for their future life. The systems of religious beliefs help people to stay against the life problems and difficulties. Yung defined religion as the observation of invisible issues which human beings are only capable of such observations. In the religious society of Iran, teachers have got stronger role models when religion is concerned. [15],[17],[22],[23],[26],[27]

The first question: Is there any relationship between faithfulness dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness?

The findings of [Table 9] show that the correlation between the belief dimension and happiness is meaningful (r = 0.145).
Table 9: Correlation index between belief and happiness

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The results of the present study are in agreement with Abedi et al., Moghadam and Honarmand, Rafaat et al., Akbarpourbani,   and Bidrami, having faith in God and his never lasting power, having faith on the centrality of laws, and having faith over the issue of instability m of the world and also the resurrection day, having faith on the fact that everything is on the God's permission and the case that he is our reliable friend, all these make us to have more faith on God and this will bring us happiness and bless. Knowledge, belief, and religious behavior of people will guide them toward the real bless and happiness. Those teachers who have established the real religiosity based on religious issues and doctrines thoroughly understand religion, and this will lead bring them with happiness. [15],[17],[22],[23],[26],[27]

The second question: Is there any relationship between the rite dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness?

The findings of [Table 4] show that the correlation between the ceremonial dimension and happiness was meaningful (P = 0.01, r = 0.229).

The results are in agreement with Golzar; the results of his study showed that lesser pilgrimage has endowed the students with happiness, and this was because of its spiritual nature. Badl found that religious ceremonies and orders can bring happiness and health for the people of the society if they are to be done correctly. The researcher found that religious deeds are a kind of tool which forces people to be in a wholesome society with other people of the society. The person who stands with the religious ceremonies is calmer and more blessed. In this way, he can stick to his duties in the society. Such people can symbolically have relationship with supernatural forces. [16]

The third question: Is there any relationship between the experimental dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness?

The findings of [Table 5] show that the correlation between the experimental dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness is significant (r = 0.130).

The researcher concluded that the way of thinking that a religious person chooses will determine his way of thinking and behaving toward the world. It controls his behaviors. This will have an impact on his life strategies and his ways of tacking with problems and difficulties.

The experience of religion will create a feeling of a social relationship with god. This is a kind of relationship similar to the one existing among human beings. Religious beliefs and doctrines can lead people to bless and happiness. As a result, more happiness will be achieved. Those who have reached a heartfelt belief on the religious issues are more successful in accepting a responsibility. Such people are more flexible and are more successful in such issues.

The fourth question: Is there any relationship between the consequential dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness?

The findings of [Table 6] show that the correlation between consequential dimension of the religious beliefs and happiness is meaningful (r = 0.184).

The results of the study are in agreement with Abedi et al.[23] The consequential dimension is the dimension which takes its roots from beliefs, emotions and religious deeds. It is the fruit of human's faith and his reactions towards faith. Gelark and Stark mentioned that the consequential aspect cannot be analyzed separate from other aspects. Religious behaviors can show religiosity when the consequential aspect is concerned. This will bring stability and perseverance in religion. This dimension is a mixture of ethical principles (in the form of orders for the daily life), and decision-making (when confronting with some situations; those situations are: Honestly and faith in goods exchange, how to truly behave with other people,). When a teacher respects his right and others right, it will change him to a committed teacher. He can move to the path of success and development for his society. It will bring him inner happiness and bless. The happy teacher is endowed with creativity and a logical thinking style. The person who has reliance on god is happy and blessed. He enjoys his life, and his personality is regarded as a valuable personality by others. In conclusion, happiness is the reason of a successful life and a successful life will bring us happiness, too. Golzari said: It is impossible to be sad and pretend as a religious person. This is because religiosity is enriched with happiness. [16] The message of religion is happiness. Relationship with god is the source of all types of happiness.

The fifth question: Can religious beliefs' dimension predict happiness?

The results of [Table 7] show that the best happiness predictor in the first step was the ceremonial dimension. The findings of [Table 8] depict that the beta value increases happiness (for 0.229 units) if the ceremonial aspect be increased to one unit. The predictive equation of the 5 th research question is as the following:



The findings of [Table 10] show that the relationship between belief, experimental, and consequential was not meaningful when happiness was concerned.
Table 10: The outer variables of the equation in regression to predict happiness and the dimensions of religious belief

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The results of the study showed that the only happiness predictive dimension was the ceremonial dimension. In contrast, in Abedi's et al. research, all the dimensions were found to be predictive of happiness. This difference can be represented in terms of the difference between population and the cultural difference that existed between the research cases (Because in Abedi's et al. case the sample were 3 rd grade high school students).

The ceremonial dimension is consisted of religious deeds such as praying, fasting, and participation in religious rituals. The teachers who are activists in the social activities are given with a reliable social network. Teachers can feel the behavioral dependency of a society when they participate in religious rituals and ceremonies. Ethical and social emotions will be empowered from this way. It will create bounds among people and society members. They will get closer and friendlier toward each other. As a result, the feeling of happiness will be increased, too.

As the final conclusion of this study, it is better to talk about the limitations of the study rather than suggestions. The sample was only elementary teachers of district two of the ministry of education and training which is a limitation for being generalized to other levels. As a practical suggestion: In order to increase teachers' happiness, it is recommended to empower religious values, and this should be offered in the form of useful and practical plans. Although religious beliefs are emphasized in different shapes and models, it is recommended to emphasize on such cases more seriously. Behaving in this way, the way toward teachers happiness will be reached (teacher's happiness is the effective variable in schools, and it is necessary to be thoroughly planned for).


  Acknowledgment Top


Here, I am to say thank you to all the participants of the study and those who replied to the questionnaire of the study. Thank you all.

 
  References Top

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    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10]


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[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

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