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Happy Teens Become Happier Adults

Jan 7, 2005
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Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Happy teens become happier adults

But they're also more likely to get divorced, British research suggests

By Derek Abma, Postmedia News - March 1, 2011 4:02 AM

A happy adolescence increases the odds of a happy adulthood, according to new research. There's a catch, of course.

A study by academics in Britain, published in the Journal of Positive Psychology, also shows those who have enjoyable experiences during their teenage years are more likely to get divorced as adults.

The study was based on an analysis of 2,776 people born in the United Kingdom in 1946.

It considered teacher evaluations of these individuals at the ages of 13 and 15 in terms of their popularity with peers, ease of making friends, overall happiness and energy levels.

Of those who received multiple positive ratings from their teachers in such areas, more than 20 per cent were divorced at least once by the age of 53. Of those who received no positive ratings or just one, about 16 per cent had split with their spouse by that age -a difference the researchers found significant.

"The explanation for this is not immediately obvious and warrants further investigation," said the report. "One possible factor might be that positive children have higher self-esteem or selfefficacy than their peers and are therefore more willing to leave a marriage if it is not meeting their needs." Happy teenagers were not found to be any more likely to marry.

The research was carried out by Felicia Huppert of the University of Cambridge's department of psychiatry and Marcus Richards from Britain's Medical Research Council.

Despite the findings on divorce, there would seem to be more advantages than disadvantages to having had an enriching teenage
experience.

The study found those who were happy in their teenage years were more likely to find satisfaction in their jobs, maintain contact with friends and family and engage in social activities. Those who were deemed happy as teenagers were also 60 per cent less likely to develop mental disorders later in life than those not receiving any positive evaluations on happiness and social aspects in their teenage years, the study found.

"The benefits to individuals, families and to society of good mental health, positive relationships and satisfying work are likely to be substantial," Huppert said in a statement.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

source: http://www.{censored}/health/Happy+teens+become+happier+adults/4364541/story.html
 

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