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So you're between the ages of 13 and 24. What makes you happy?

Spending time with family was the top answer to that open-ended question, according to an extensive survey -- more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people ages 13-24 -- conducted by The Associated Press on the nature of happiness among America's young people.

Next was spending time with friends, followed by time with a significant other. And good news for parents: Nearly three-quarters of young people say their relationship with their parents makes them happy.

"They're my foundation," says Kristiana St. John, 17, a high-school student from Queens in New York. "My mom tells me that even if I do something stupid, she's still going to love me no matter what. Just knowing that makes me feel very happy and blessed."

Other results are more disconcerting. While most young people are happy overall with the way their lives are going, there are racial differences: the poll shows whites to be happier than blacks and Hispanics. A lot of young people feel stress, particularly those from the middle class, and females more than males.

You might think money would be clearly tied to a general sense of happiness. But almost no one said "money" when asked what makes them happy, though people with the highest family incomes are generally happier with life. However, having highly educated parents is a stronger predictor of happiness than income.

And sex? Yes, we were getting to that. Being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13-17 year olds, according to the survey. If you're 18 to 24, sex might lead to more happiness in the moment, but not in general.

Overwhelmingly, young people think marriage would make them happy and want to be married some day. Most also want to have kids.

Finally, when asked to name their heroes, nearly half of respondents mentioned one or both of their parents. The winner, by a nose: Mom.


一项大规模调查表明,对于这个开放式问题,最多的回答就是“与家人在一起”。该项由 美联社开展的有关美国年轻人“快乐本质”的调查共涉及100多个问题,共有1280个13岁至24岁之间的年轻人参加。

其次的回答是“与朋友在一起”,然后是“与重要的人在一起”。令父母欣慰的是,近四分 之三的年轻人认为与父母的关系是他们是否快乐的重要因素。

纽约皇后区的17岁高中 生克里斯蒂安娜"圣约翰说:“父母是我的根本。妈妈告诉我,即便我做了什么傻事,她也会 一如既往的爱我。这让我感到很幸福、很快乐。”

该调查 的其它结果令人担忧。大多数 年轻人认为自己的生活总体上比较幸福,但同时 存在着一些种族上的差异。调查显示,白人比 黑人和美籍西班牙人幸福。很多年 轻人感到压力很大,中产阶 级的年轻人尤其如此;女性比男性的压力大。

你可能 会认为金钱一定能带来幸福感。尽管家 庭收入最高的人普遍来说幸福感更强,但在被问及“什么能带来快乐”时,几乎没有人回答说“金钱”。然而,拥有高 学历的父母比收入高更能带来幸福。

性呢?好,现在我们来说说这个。据调查,性行为活跃会降低13岁至17岁之间 青少年的幸福感。对于18岁至24岁的年青人来说,性可能 会给你带来幸福,但并非每个人都如此。

绝大多 数年轻人认为婚姻会让他们幸福,并且希 望将来能结婚生子。

最后,当调查 对象被要求说出自己心目中的“英雄”时,近一半 的人提到父母中的一人或双亲。“母亲”以微弱优势“获胜”。




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