Spending time with family is the key to happiness for youngsters, aged 13 to 24, according to a new poll. More than 100 questions were put to 1,280 people during the survey conducted by the Associated Press and MTV on the nature of happiness among America’s young people.
It was found that family ties was the youngsters’ top choice, followed by spending time with friends and thereafter by time with a significant other. .
About three-quarters of the young people surveyed said that their relationship with their parents made them happy. "They're my foundation. My mom tells me that even if I do something stupid, she's still going to love me no matter what. Just knowing that makes me feel very happy and blessed," the China Daily quoted Kristiana St. John, 17, a high-school student from Queens in New York, as saying.
The survey also revealed racial differences by showing that whites were happier than blacks and Hispanics across economic categories. A lot of young people reported feeling stress, particularly those from the middle class, and females more than males.
Surprisingly, no one mentioned “money” when asked what made them happy, though people with the highest family incomes are generally happier with life.
Having highly educated parents was found to be a stronger predictor of happiness than income. Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13 to 17 year olds. Among those in 18 to 24 years age group, sex might lead to more happiness in the moment, but not in general.
While nearly half of the subjects said that religion and spirituality were very important, more than half said that they believed there was a higher power that has an influence over things that made them happy. Beyond religion, simply belonging to an organized religious group made people happier.
A huge number of youngsters thought that marriage would make them happy, and wanted to be married some day. Most also wanted to have kids. When asked to name their heroes, nearly half of respondents mentioned one or both of their parents.