Happy Teens May Earn Higher Paychecks as Adults

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New data released from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health found that teens who rated themselves higher on a life satisfaction scale had a higher income at age 29 than teens who felt blue more often. Sad teens earned 30% less than average salary as adults, while the cheerful teens earned 10% above average. The study asked 10,000 U.S. youths to complete a survey rating life satisfaction within a range of 1-5 at ages 16, 18, and 22. Then the researchers followed up with the same participants, asking questions about their income when they reached age 29. They determined that with each one point increase in overall emotional well-being, there was an average of $2000 increase in income. This finding was consistent even within the nuclear family, and data showed that happy siblings out-earned unhappy siblings. Higher incomes were additionally associated with teens who categorized themselves as outgoing, and had fewer personality hang-ups. Researchers noted that the relationship may be reciprocal, where income influences happiness.

The reasons for the findings are unclear, but scientists speculate that lower levels of worry or personal upset allow teens and adults to focus on getting the job done, working efficiently, and thus being a better employee who may earn more promotions. Some researchers suggest that these findings should be a message to parents not to brush off moody teen behavior as normal or hormonal. The way teens are feeling during their adolescence could have an impact on future happiness and success. They key is to pay attention to how the teens in your life are faring, and help them to find a way to turn their frowns upside down which may transform into earning more money later in life.

Source courtesy of The Huffington Post. Image courtesy of The Daily What.

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