Happy Teens More Likely to Become Divorced Adults

Study of 2,276 people returns surprising result
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2011 9:36 AM CST
Happy teen? Could mean trouble ahead.   (©weelakeo)

(Newser) – Here's a less-than-intuitive finding: Happy teens are more likely to end up divorced than unhappy teens. The tidbit came out of a larger study of happiness, in which researchers looked at data on 2,276 people—that had been collected since they were born in 1946. A number of their conclusions aren't very jarring: Those who were happier and better adjusted in childhood were more likely to report that they were socially active adults with good mental health and job satisfaction.

But in adulthood, those happy ones were more likely to be divorced. Researchers think that actually makes sense: Content individuals who are employed, have a strong social network, and have high-self esteem may be better equipped to leave a bad marriage. Time notes, however, that the study doesn't address how these happy people got in an unhappy marriage to begin with.

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