Happiness Decreases during Early Adolescence—A Study on 12- and 15-Year-Old Finnish Students


Global and school-related happiness were measured in 339 Finnish ninth graders, about 86% of whom had participated in a study on the happiness of sixth graders three years earlier. Students filled out two questionnaires, the Subjective Happiness Scale (Lyubomirsky & Lepper, 1999) and the School Children’s Happiness Inventory (Ivens, 2007). In addition, they chose items that they perceived would increase their happiness from a given list. Both global and school-related happiness had decreased since the sixth grade. Especially in girls, the decline was dramatic. The decrease in happiness was mostly attributed to peer problems and, to a lesser extent, stress at school. The factor most desired to increase happiness was more success at school followed by the desire for more money, more free time and a girlfriend or boyfriend. Girls with a high grade-point average were happier than other girls, globally and at school. Among boys, no such differences appeared.

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Uusitalo-Malmivaara, L. (2014). Happiness Decreases during Early Adolescence—A Study on 12- and 15-Year-Old Finnish Students. Psychology, 5, 541-555. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.56064.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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