New Report: Study Finds Greater Money Doesn’t Always Make You Happier
“A new study out of Australia found that more money does not automatically make people happier,” National Journal reports. The finding comes from researcher Stephen Leather, a professor of human development at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
“The study is one of the first to look at the link between increased income and happiness among teenagers,” the article states. “It found the more money teenagers earned, the less likely they were to feel euphoric when confronted with a stressful situation.”
The results also suggest that “adding more money to a teenager’s budget wouldn’t necessarily make them more relaxed when dealing with stress, but rather the money might reduce their response to stress.”
“The findings suggest that the experience of a limited budget can make teenagers feel less valued as well as more deprived,” the report said.
The article continued by explaining that according to Leather’s findings, other factors — like raising children, having more freedom, and being engaged in activities outside of school — can increase the likelihood of happiness levels in adolescents.
“Kids at higher income levels are more likely to be exposed to media images that reinforce gender stereotypes and sexualization,” ABC News explained. “They’re also more likely to participate in programs that promote friendship and belonging, or to have their own activities. If it’s not OK to love others, neither is it OK to reject them because you think they’re inferior or defective. And there’s a lot of evidence that having a good sense of belonging improves your overall mental health.”
ABC News also noted that teasing that had been used as a form of control in boarding schools — instead of bullying — was also another factor that the study attributed to increased happiness levels among students.
“Teasing seems to help kids feel empowered to talk about the kinds of issues that make them uncomfortable,” an Education Department spokesperson explained. “It also helps children learn to value diversity, self-esteem, and acceptance.”