Kids' Happiness Doesn't Depend on 2 Natural Parents, Says Study04/25/14
FRIDAY, April 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Children who live
with a stepparent or a single parent are just as happy as kids in
homes with two biological parents, a new British study finds.
"It's the quality of the relationships in the home that matters -- not the family composition,' said Jenny Chanfreau, of the NatCen Social Research team that conducted the study.
"Getting on well with siblings, having fun with the family at weekends, and having a parent who reported rarely or never shouting when the child was naughty, were all linked with a higher likelihood of being happy all the time among 7-year-olds," she said.
Researchers analyzed data collected from nearly 13,000 British
7-year-olds who took part in a 2008 survey. There was no
significant difference in happiness levels among children in three
different parenting situations: living with a biological parent and
stepparent; living with two biological parents or residing with a
Overall, 36 percent of the children said they were happy all the
time, and 64 percent said they were sometimes or never happy,
according to the study to be presented Thursday at the British
Sociological Association's annual meeting in Leeds, England.
Even after they eliminated factors such as social class, the
researchers found no differences in happiness levels between the
different groups of children.
However, relationships with parents and other children strongly
affected the happiness of the 7-year-olds in the study. For
example, those who weren't bullied at school and got along well
with their siblings were more likely to be happy all the time.
"Pupil relations at school are also important -- being bullied at school or being 'horrible' to others was strongly associated with lower happiness in the 7-year-olds, for instance," Chanfreau said in an association news release.
The NatCen Social Research team also analyzed data from nearly
2,700 U.K. children aged 11 to 15 and found results similar to
those in the younger children.
Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically
considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical
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