The long-term study by a team at the Cambridge University found that people with a stable upbringing could have more confidence and so be more ready to leave a failing relationship, the Daily Mail reported.
For the study, the researchers studied thousands of children born in one week in 1946. And as part of the study, teachers rated the children, when they were in their teens, for happiness, friendliness and energy.
Problems such as restlessness, disobedience and anxiety were noted, and decades later, information about their lives was also collected and analysed.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Felicia Huppert, director of Cambridge's Well-being Institute, said: "One factor might be that positive children have higher self-esteem than their peers and are more willing to leave a marriage if it is not meeting their needs."Other findings were more predictable, she said.
For example, it was found that happy teenagers went on to be content in their work, have more hobbies and busier social lives.
They were also much less likely to suffer from psychiatric problems in later years, the researches wrote in the Journal of Positive Psychology.
They concluded: "Even in this time of great financial hardship, policy-makers should prioritise the well-being of our children so they have the best possible start in life.
"The findings support the view that even in this time of great financial hardship, policymakers should prioritise the well-being of our children so they have the best possible start in life."