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Life Satisfaction of Non-Luxembourgish and Native Luxembourgish Postgraduate Students

Authors: Chrysoula Karathanasi, Senad Karavdic, Angela Odero, Michèle Baumann


It is not only the economic determinants that impact on life conditions, but maintaining a good level of life satisfaction (LS) may also be an important challenge currently. In Luxembourg, university students receive financial aid from the government. They are then registered at the Centre for Documentation and Information on Higher Education (CEDIES). Luxembourg is built on migration with almost half its population consisting of foreigners. It is upon this basis that our research aims to analyze the associations with mental health factors (health satisfaction, psychological quality of life, worry), perceived financial situation, career attitudes (adaptability, optimism, knowledge, planning) and LS, for non-Luxembourgish and native postgraduate students. Between 2012 and 2013, postgraduates registered at CEDIES were contacted by post and asked to participate in an online survey with either the option of English or French. The study population comprised of 644 respondents. Our statistical analysis excluded: those born abroad who had Luxembourgish citizenship, or those born in Luxembourg who did not have citizenship. Two groups were formed one consisting 147 non-Luxembourgish and the other 284 natives. A single item measured LS (1=not at all satisfied to 10=very satisfied). Bivariate tests, correlations and multiple linear regression models were used in which only significant relationships (p<0.05) were integrated. Among the two groups no differences were found between LS indicators (7.8/10 non-Luxembourgish; 8.0/10 natives) as both were higher than the European indicator of 7.2/10 (for 25-34 years). In the case of non-Luxembourgish students, they were older than natives (29.3 years vs. 26.3 years) perceived their financial situation as more difficult, and a higher percentage of their parents had an education level higher than a Bachelor's degree (father 59.2% vs 44.6% for natives; mother 51.4% vs 33.7% for natives). In addition, the father’s education was related to the LS of postgraduates and the higher was the score, the greater was the contribution to LS. Whereas for native students, when their scores of health satisfaction and career optimism were higher, their LS’ score was higher. For both groups their LS was linked to mental health-related factors, perception of their financial situation, career optimism, adaptability and planning. The higher the psychological quality of life score was, the greater the LS of postgraduates’ was. Good health and positive attitudes related to the job market enhanced their LS indicator.

Keywords: Mental Health, Life Satisfaction, career attitudes, fathers’ education level

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