SEOUL, May 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Korean children and adolescents scored the lowest in their self-reported sense of happiness as measured by the ‘Better Life’ index from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
On May 2, Professor Yoo Shik Yum’s society improvement research laboratory at Yonsei University presented a report titled “2016 8th International Comparative Research on Children and Adolescents’ Happiness”, which reported that Korean children’s self-reported degree of happiness scored 82 points, the lowest level among the 22 OECD member countries studied as part of the research.
Korean children and adolescents’ self-reported sense of happiness had recorded between 60 and 70 points from 2009 to 2014, but jumped to 90.4 points last year (19th place among 23 countries), before once again falling to last place this year.
The study found that one out of five Korean children and adolescents reported having had suicidal urges, with 17.7 percent of elementary school students, 22.6 percent of middle school students, and 26.8 percent of high school students describing such thoughts. These percentages increased from last year by 3.4 , 3.1 , and 2.8 percentage points respectively.
The self-reported degree of happiness was high when adolescents had a good relationship with their parents. For instance, only 47.7 percent of students with mid-range academic grades had a sense of happiness when they did not have a good relationship with their father, but 75.6 percent said they were happy with their lives when they had a good relationship with their father.
Similarly, among students with high household financially stability only 49 percent indicated satisfaction with their lives when they had an unfavorable relationship with their mother, but 81 percent did so when they had a good relationship with their mother.
These findings clarify the different factors that contribute to the happiness of the young generation in Korea, and highlight the areas necessitating attention for improvement.
By Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)