Happiness Survey: The Kids Are Alright

While we’re on the topic of polls and polling (see next post below), here’s a survey by the  Associated Press and MTV  that should warm the hearts of many  anxious parents.

The pollsters were curious about the nature of happiness among America’s young people, and they sure gleaned some answers that I wouldn’t have expected given the state of the world. (But maybe young people don’t watch the news!)

You can read all the results here , but let me share a  few highlights from the online survey of 1, 280 young people ages 13 to 24:

*When asked what made them happiest, a majority chose “spending time with family.” ( I wouldn’t have guessed that answer after two vacation trips with our 13-year old this summer!)

*Nearly 3/4 of the kids say that their relationship with their parents makes them happy.

*61 % say that listening to music makes them “very happy,” while only 3 % say that about taking drugs.

*Asked to name their heroes, nearly half mentioned their parents. After that, the numbers dropped off fast. Famous people? Martin Luther King racked up 4%, while Al Gore, Hillary Clinton and Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin each scored 1%.

*Finally, you want optimism? 84% of respondents say they are “very confident” or “confident” that their choice of career will make them happy. (Cynics might add “. . . at least every other Wednesday,”  but let’s hope it works out.)


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