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Happiness is... Family?!

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What makes teens and twenty-somethings happy? You might be tempted to say sex, money, and music as the main sources of happiness. You would be wrong. According to a survey, spending time with family made 13-24 year olds most happy. Time with friends came in second place, and time with a significant other was third. Almost no one said money brought happiness.

Seventy three percent indicated that a good relationship with their parents made them feel good. In addition, when they looked for a role model, nearly half of the respondents mentioned one of their parents. Moms ranked higher than dads with 29% of the vote. Dads received 21%.

Other results were worrisome, though. Most of the pollees generally felt happy with the direction of their lives, but the survey discovered a racial divide. Whites were generally happier than blacks or Hispanics in all economic groups. And as for stress, kids had a 10% higher rate than adults. For 13-17 year olds, school stressed them out the most. For 18-24 year olds, they were most worried about jobs and finances. The middle class and women had slightly higher stress levels.

The survey also wanted to know whether today's youth will remain happy in the future. This was the big question. Sixty-two percent of teens believed the future will hold greater amounts of happiness. Pollees in the 18-24 year old range were even more optimistic. However, many in both age groups expect a more difficult life than their parents' lies ahead.

Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner(s) words and ideas associated with "happiness" for 2 minutes. Spend another 5 minutes or less discussing the words and ideas together.

True or False? : Guess (before the article) or answer (after the article) whether the sentence is true or false. If false, correct the sentence.

  1. Spending time with family made young people the happiest.
  2. More dads were heroes to their children than moms.
  3. Whites were generally less happy than Hispanics.
  4. Kids had a lot less stress than adults.
  5. According to the article, the future will definitely be more difficult.

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Do you agree with the article that family is more important than sex, money, or music? Why/not?
  2. What makes a family successful? Why do you think so?
  3. According to the article, many think the future will be more difficult. What do you think? Why?
  4. Compared to now, did you feel more or less stress when you were younger? Why?
  5. If you won $1,000,000, would you be happy? Why/not?

Google Search: Type "happiness" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.

Download the lesson:



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