It is hard to imagine a more pitiful existence than life
on the streets of its teeming slums, or making a living there as a prostitute. Yet despite the poverty and squalor they face, these people are much happier than you might imagine.
Diener interviewed 83 people fromthese three groups and measured
their life satisfaction using a scale for which a score of 2 is considered neutral.
Overall, they averaged 1.93 - not great, but creditable, compared with a control group of middle-class city students who scored 2.43. And the alum dwellers, who were happiest
of the three disadvantaged groups, scored 2.23, not significantly different from the students' score.
"We think social relationship are partly responsible." says Syafiq.
He says all three deprived groups got high satisfaction ratings in specific areas such as
family (2.5) and friends (2.4) .
Nazri did particularly well, perhaps because they can cash in on the social support of the extended famaly in Malayan culture.