A newly-released survey by the Associated Press and MTV, a music video channel aimed at young people, has found that religion and family are two of the strongest components contributing to the happiness of people aged 13 to 24 in the United States.
“It’s easier for kids who are happy and have things going well in their life to find the time and energy to participate in religion,” Lisa Pearce, co-principal investigator for the National Study of Youth and Religion, told AP.
The survey included more than 100 questions asked of 1,280 people aged 13-24. It found that 80 per cent of those who call religion or spirituality the most important thing in their lives say they are happy, while of those who say faith is not important to them, 60 per cent consider themselves happy.
Forty-four per cent of respondents said religion and spirituality is at least very important to them, 21 per cent responded that it is somewhat important, 20 per cent said it plays a small part in their lives and 14 per cent said it plays no role.
When it comes to spirituality, nearly 7 in 10 said that while they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, other beliefs might also be true. Sixty-eight per cent said they agreed with the statement, “I follow my own religious and spiritual beliefs, but I think that other religious beliefs could be true as well.”
Spending time with family was the top answer to the open-ended question, “What brings you happiness?”