Extract from our guest blog
…I and my colleagues looked at the evidence from survey data on over 100,000 individuals in Australia, Germany, the UK and the US to discover what the origins of happiness might be.

What did we find?

  • Schools and teachers matter: Schools and individual teachers have a huge effect on the happiness of their children. Indeed, the school that children attend affects their happiness nearly as much as it affects their academic performance.
    What’s more, if we wish to predict which children will lead satisfying adult lives, the best indicator is their emotional health at age 16. This is more important than their academic qualifications right up to the age of 25 – and more important than their behaviour in childhood.
  • Children’s emotional health is vital: The best predictor of an adult’s life satisfaction is their emotional health as a child.
  • Relationships count: Most human misery is due not to economic factors but to failed relationships and physical and mental illness. Even in poor countries, mental illness accounts for more misery than physical illness does…

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