Happy teens likely to grow into healthy adults

Happy teens likely to grow into healthy adults

Wellness

Researchers at Northwestern University in the United States who studied data of over 10,000 teenagers found that those who had a positive outlook were more likely to rate their health as excellent in young adulthood.

“Our results show that positive well-being during adolescence is significantly associated with reporting excellent health in young adulthood,” study researcher Emma Adam was quoted as saying by LiveScience.

For their study, the researchers reviewed the data collected from 10,147 teenagers who took part in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which began surveying them in 1994.

The teens answered a series of questions in 1994, 1996 and 2001 regarding their physical and emotional health.

The well-being questions focused on the teens’ sense of happiness, enjoyment of life, hopefulness for the future, self-esteem and social acceptance. The researchers compared the 1994 responses with the teens’ 2001 follow-up replies to see whether a positive outlook could predict perceived general health and risky health behaviours in young adulthood.

It was found that the teens who were happy with their lives during the beginning of the study were less likely than unhappy teens to engage in unhealthy behaviours like smoking, binge drinking or eating unhealthy food as adults.

They were also more likely to rate their physical health in 2001 as excellent, the researchers said.

The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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