Thursday, January 6, 2011

What makes for happy kids?

Mercatornet reports a study from England. I suspect few will be shocked because its conclusions confirm common sense.
Who are the happiest kids in England? Twelve-year-old boys who eat meals with their families, according to a survey of 32,000 youngsters.
Researchers at the National Foundation for Educational Research asked the English pupils, aged between 10 and 15, whether they agreed, disagreed or were unsure about the statement: "I feel happy about life at the moment."
Their responses showed that children are most likely to say they feel happy if they are able to talk to their parents about their worries. The second most likely factor was having one or two good friends. Children who have a good diet and often sit down for a meal with their family also more likely (1.6 times more) to say they are happy. Evidently the kids with the highest combined scores on those measures were those 12-year-old boys. ....

.... What will surprise the social scientists and advocacy groups who trace all the ills of children and families back to “poverty” is the finding that economic status made no difference over all to the happiness of children in the study. ....

Study leader Tom Benton said:
"Our analysis confirms that If we are interested in the happiness and wellbeing of young people we need to look beyond how much money they have.

"In particular, growing up in a supportive and safe environment, both within the home and elsewhere appear to be far more important. Parents making the effort to spend time with their children are a major positive influence on their chances of being happy." ....
[more]
Who are the happiest kids in England?