Navigation Links
Happy children make happy adults
Date:2/25/2011

Being a 'happy' teenager is linked to increased well-being in adulthood, new research finds.

Much is known about the associations between a troubled childhood and mental health problems, but little research has examined the affect of a positive childhood. For the first time, researchers from the University of Cambridge and the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing have analysed the link between a positive adolescence and well-being in midlife.

Using information from 2776 individuals who participated in the 1946 British birth cohort study, the scientists tested associations between having a positive childhood and well-being in adulthood.

A 'positive' childhood was based on teacher evaluations of students' levels of happiness, friendship and energy at the ages of 13 and 15. A student was given a positive point for each of the following four items - whether the child was 'very popular with other children', 'unusually happy and contented', 'makes friends extremely easily' and 'extremely energetic, never tired'. Teachers also rated conduct problems (restlessness, daydreaming, disobedience, lying, etc) and emotional problems (anxiety, fearfulness, diffidence, avoidance of attention, etc).

The researchers then linked these ratings to the individuals' mental health, work experience, relationships and social activities several decades later. They found that teenagers rated positively by their teachers were significantly more likely than those who received no positive ratings to have higher levels of well-being later in life, including a higher work satisfaction, more frequent contact with family and friends, and more regular engagement in social and leisure activities.

Happy children were also much less likely than others to develop mental disorders throughout their lives 60% less likely than young teens that had no positive ratings.

The study not only failed to find a link between being a happy child and an increased likelihood of becoming married, they found that the people who had been happy children were actually more likely to get divorced. One possible factor suggested by the researchers is that happier people have higher self-esteem or self-efficacy and are therefore more willing and able to leave an unhappy marriage.

"The benefits to individuals, families and to society of good mental health, positive relationships and satisfying work are likely to be substantial," said Professor Felicia Huppert, one of the authors of the paper and Director of the Well-being Institute at the University of Cambridge. "The findings support the view that even at this time of great financial hardship, policymakers should prioritise the well-being of our children so they have the best possible start in life."

Dr Marcus Richards, co-author of the paper from the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing, said: "Most longitudinal studies focus on the negative impact of early mental problems, but the 1946 birth cohort also shows clear and very long-lasting positive consequences of mental well-being in childhood."

For the study, the researchers adjusted for social class of origin, childhood intelligence and education.


'/>"/>

Contact: Genevieve Maul
Genevieve.maul@admin.cam.ac.uk
44-012-237-65542
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Egg donation: The way to happy motherhood, with risks and side effects
2. Happy holidays from the groaning board; Western diets turn on fat genes
3. Happy flies look for a place like home
4. A happy new year for penguins
5. Family mealtimes play a role in health of children with asthma
6. OSC, Nationwide Childrens use supercomputers to speed diagnoses
7. Nationwide Childrens Hospital awarded $11.5 million contract extension for biospecimen banking
8. Treating fractures: Children are not miniature adults
9. Children in formal child care have better language skills
10. Tonsillectomy in children
11. Parents social problems affect their children -- even in birds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/15/2016)... and BADEN-BADEN, Germany , December 15, ... global financial services provider, today announced an agreement with NuData ... biometrics, to join forces. The partnership will enable clients to ... in compliance with local data protection regulation. ... In order to provide ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... ... has announced the addition of the "Global Military Biometrics Market 2016-2020" ... global military biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% during ... on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... HILLS, Mich. , Dec. 15, 2016  There ... unlocking car doors or starting the engine. Continental will ... in Las Vegas . Through the ... (Passive Start and Entry) and biometric elements, the international ... field of vehicle personalization and authentication. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... 2017   Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) , ... Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne) , today announced a $600,000 ... of Technology (NJIT) and Talem Technologies (Talem) as part ... to assist people living with Duchenne. PPMD is ... an embedded computer, software, a force sensor and a ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Total Orthopedics and Sports Medicine ... Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 at Long Island ... anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 42 year old female who was ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Announced in December ... Institutes (MII). U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker has announced the award of ... of Defense has announced the award of a new Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... Researchers from a new study are stating that if levels ... prostate cancer treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells that are more ... PSA test has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate cancer is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: