Thursday, March 03, 2011
Growing up in the UK - not so bad after all?
In 2007 a Unicef report rated Britain's children as some of the most unahppy in the developed world. However, a new study, by researchers at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex has painted a rosier picture finding that 70% of children between 10 and 15 rated themselves as happy or very happy. The researchers surveyed more than 2,000 children and found little difference between those living in households in the top fifth of income and those in the bottom fifth. A more important factor was whether children lived with both parents and the happiness of their parents' relationship, particularly that of the mother. 60% of the children said they were completely happy with their family situation with children in one-parent families being less likely to report themselves completely happy. Having older siblings had no effect on happiness but having younger brothers and sisters was associated with less happiness and the effect was greater if there were more younger siblings. Children who quarelled more than once a week with their parents and didn't discuss important matters with them only had a 28% chance of saying they were completely happy with their families but children who ate dinner with their family at least three times a week were more likely to say they were happy with their family. How much television children watched was completely unrelated to how happy they were with family life.