Psychological well-being of college students in The Royal University of Bhutan: a case study

Psychological well-being of college students in The Royal University of Bhutan: a case study

Kinley Seden* Royal University of Bhutan Bhutan
Deki, C. Gyamtso Paro College of Education Bhutan
Karma Gayphel Smatse College of Education Bhutan
Psychological well-being and mental health among higher education students are prevalent and increasing on university campuses. Evidence suggests that students are vulnerable to mental health problems which have generated increased public concern (Chao, 2012; Bewick et al., 2010). This study aims to explore the psychological well-being of students in one of the colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan. An explanatory two-phase mixed method design was employed. 210 students responded to the survey questionnaire and 10 students from six different programmes and four levels in the college participated in the interview. A convenient stratified and purposive sampling technique was applied. Ryff’s scales of psychological well-being (Ryff & Singer, 2008) were used to measure multiple facets of psychological wellbeing. The findings indicated that students involved in the study possessed mixed levels of overall psychological well-being as the participants were from six courses and five levels of varied ages. The quantitative results of this study showed a positive attitude toward Ryff’s six dimensions of psychological well-being across ages and programmes (M=4.70, M-4.92). However, the findings indicated that undergraduate students possessed higher levels of psychological well-being than the Master of Education students. Additionally, a strong positive correlation was observed amongst the six dimensions of psychological well-being. The qualitative findings highlighted environmental mastery and positive relations with others as critical in the promotion of the psychological well-being of the college students
psychological well-being
teacher education
college students

[1] Abbott, J. A., Klein, B., Hamilton, C., & Rosenthal, A. J. (2009). The impact of online resilience training for sales managers on well-being and performance. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain & Culture, 5(1), 89–95.

[2] Awang, M. M., Kutty, F. M., & Ahmad, A. R. (2014). Perceived Social Support and Well-Being: FirstYear Student Experience in University. International Education Studies, 7, 261-270. https://doi. org/10.5539/ies.v7n13p261

[3] Awartani, M., Whitman, C. V., & Gordon, J. (2008). Developing instruments to capture young people’s perceptions of how school as a learning environment affects their well-being: European journal of education. European Journal of Education, 43(1), 51–70. https://

[4] Bewick, B., Koutsopoulou, G., Miles, J., Slaa, E., & Barkham, M. (2010). Changes in undergraduate students’ psychological well-being as they progress through university. Studies in Higher Education, 35(6), 633– 645.

[5] Bücker, S., Nuraydin, S., Simonsmeier, B. A., Schneider, M., & Luhmann, M. (2018). Subjective well-being and academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 74, 83-94.

[6] Healthy Minds / Healthy Campuses. (2021). Healthy minds / healthy campuses. Retrieved May 24, 2022, from

[7] Carver, C. S., Scheier, M. F., & Segerstrom, S. C. (2010). Optimism. Clinical Psychology Review, 30(7), 879– 889.

[8] Chao, R. C.-L. (2012). Managing perceived stress among college students: The roles of social support and dysfunctional coping. Journal of College Counseling, 15(1), 5–21. 1882.2012.00002.x

[9] Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2018). Using thematic analysis in counselling and psychotherapy research: A critical reflection. Counselling and psychotherapy research, 18(2), 107-110.

[10] Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morrison, K. (2007). Research Methods in Education (6th Ed.). Routledge.

[11] Cohen, D., Rees, S., Palmer, P., Allen, J., Howells, S., Greene, G., & Rhydderch, M. (2013). Factors that impact on medical student well-being: perspectives of risks. Cardiff University

[12] Dodge, R., Daly, A. P., Huyton, J., & Sanders, L. D. (2012). The challenge of defining well-being. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(3), 222–235. https://doi. org/10.5502/ijw.v2.i3.4

[13] Dorji, L., Gyeltshen, S., Jamtsho, C, Minten, T., Dorjee, T., Namgay, P., Wangchuk, T. (2015). Crime and mental health issues among young Bhutanese people. Monograph Series, Number 8, National Bureau of Statistics.

[14] Elias, M. J., & Haynes, N. M. (2008). Social competence, social support, and academic achievement in minority, low-income, urban elementary school children. School psychology quarterly, 23(4), 474.

[15] Ereaut, G. and Whiting, R. (2008). What do we mean by ‘well-being’? And why might it matter?

[16] Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) Research Report DCSF-RW073 Retrieved from HTTP:// 20v2.pdf

[17] Genova, L. Di., & Romano, V. (2013) Student Psychological Wellbeing at McGill University: A report of findings from the Counselling and Mental Health Benchmark Study. McGill University Press

[18] Harding, T., Lopez, V., & Klainin-Yobas, P. (2019). Predictors of psychological well-being among higher education students. Psychology, 10(4), 578.

[19] Heffner, A. L., & Antaramian, S. P. (2016). The role of life satisfaction in predicting student engagement and achievement. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(4), 1681-1701

[20] Henn, C.M., Hill, C., & Jorgensen, L.I. (2016). An investigation into the factor structure of the Ryff

[21] Scales of Psychological Well-Being. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology/SA Tydskrif vir Bedryfsielkunde, 42(1), a1275. http://dx.doi. org/10.4102/sajip.v42i1.1275

[22] Hulin, C., Netemeyer, R., & Cudeck, R. (2001). Can a reliability coefficient be too high?. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 10(1/2), 55-58

[23] Klainin-Yobas, P., Oo, W. N., Suzanne Yew, P. Y., & Lau, Y. (2015). Effects of relaxation interventions on depression and anxiety among older adults: a systematic review. Aging & mental health, 19(12), 1043–1055

[24] Khan, A., & Husan, A. (2010). Social Support as a Moderator of Positive Psychological Strengths and Subjective Well-Being. Psychological Reports, 106, 534-538

[25] Lerner, R. M., Dowling, E. M., & Anderson, P. M. (2003). Positive youth development: Thriving as the basis of personhood and civil society. Applied Developmental Science, 7(3), 172-180.

[26] Lopes, A. R., & Nihei, O. K. (2021). Depression, anxiety and stress symptoms in Brazilian university students during the COVID-19 pandemic: Predictors and association with life satisfaction, psychological well-being and coping strategies. PLoS one, 16(10), e0258493.

[27] Molina-García, J. J., Castillo, I. I., & Queralt, A. A. (2011). Leisure-time physical activity and psychological well-being in university students. Psychological Reports, 109(2), 453-460. doi:10.2466/06.10.13. PR0.109.5.453-460.

[28] Morales-Rodríguez, F. M., Espigares-López, I., Brown, T., & Pérez-Mármol, J. M. (2020). The relationship between psychological well-being and psychosocial factors in university students. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(13), 4778

[29] OECD (2017). PISA 2015 Results (Volume III): Students’ Well-Being. PISA, OECD Publishing.

[30] Roslan, S., Ahmad, N., Nabilla, N., & Ghiami, Z. (2017). Psychological well-being among postgraduate students. Acta Medica Bulgarica, 44(1), 35-41.

[31] Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2001). On happiness and human potentials: A review of research on hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Annual review of psychology, 52(1), 141-166.

[32] Ryff, C. D. (1989). Happiness is everything, or is it? Explorations on the meaning of psychological wellbeing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 1069–1081.

[33] Ryff, C. D. (2013). Eudaimonic well-being and health: Mapping consequences of self-realization. In A.

[34] S. Waterman (Ed.), The best within us: Positive psychology perspectives on eudaimonia (pp. 77–98). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

[35] Ryff, C.D. & Keyes, C. L. M. (1995). The structure of psychological well-being revisited. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(4): 719-727

[36] Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B. H. (2008). Know thyself and become what you are: A eudaimonic approach to psychological well-being. Journal of happiness studies, 9(1), 13-39.

[37] Ryff, C. D., Almeida, D. M., Ayanian, J. Z., Carr, D. S., Cleary, P. D., Coe, C., Davidson, R. J., Krueger,

[38] R. F., Lachman, M. E., Marks, N. F., Mroczek, D. K., Seeman, T. E., Seltzer, M. M., Singer, B. H., Sloan, R. P., Tun, P. A., Weinstein, M., & Williams, D. R. (2007). Midlife in the United States (MIDUS 2), 2004- 2006 [Data set]. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research

[39] Ryff, C. D., & Singer, B. H. (2008). Know thyself and become what you are: A eudaimonic approach to psychological well-being. Journal of happiness studies, 9(1), 13-39.

[40] Schuelka, M. J., Braznell, M., Leavesley, M., Dorji, S., Dorji, K., Nidup, K., & Latsho, P., (2021). Happiness, well-being, and mental health in Bhutanese higher education: Exploring student and staff experiences and perceptions within a framework of gross national happiness. Journal of International Comparative Education, 10(1), 33–50. jice.2021.10.1.0913

[41] Seden, K., Wangmo, S., & Dorji, K. (2020). Impact of classroom well-being on student learning: Bhutanese students’ perceptions. Journal of the International Society for Teacher Education, 24(2), 21-31.

[42] Seligman, M. E., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford review of education, 35(3), 293-311

[43] Sherab, K., Howard, J., Tshomo, S., &Tshering, K. (2017). Substance use, mental health and sexual behaviour of college students in Bhutan. Journal of Applied Youth Studies, 2(2), 3. DOI: 10.1007/s13178-018-0355-8

[44] Souri, H., & Hasanirad, T. (2011). Relationship between resilience, optimism and psychological well-being in students of medicine. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 30, 1541-1544.

[45] Yusoff, M. S.B., Rahim, A. F. A., & Yaacob. M. J. (2010). Prevalence and sources of stress among Universiti Sains Malaysia medical students. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 17(1), 30-3

[46] World Health Organization (2018, September 22). “Health and Well-Being.” Retrieved from https://www. s/health-andwell-being

[47] Zangmo, T. (2008). Gross National Happiness indicator survey–psychological well-being report. Centre for Bhutan studies.

Articles in Issue