Good news, parents! You’ve spent years watching your well-adjusted, socially outgoing teenagers cherish life and have fun while your marriage crumbles around you. That won’t last long! The Huffington Post reports that researchers at the University of Cambridge have found that happy teenagers are more likely to get divorced later in life. Take that, you smiling, pug-faced brats!
The study, which began in 1946, had teachers rate 2,776 teenage students on whether or not they exhibited four characteristics of happiness: “Very popular with other children”[sluts], “unusually happy and contented” [drug addicts], “makes friends extremely easily”[desperate little weenies], and “extremely energetic, never tired”[subset of drug addicts; speed freaks].
Researchers went back to the kids when they grew up to be 36, 43, and 53 to keep track of how they were doing:
Teens in one of the positive categories grew up to have more social contact, and higher life satisfaction. Perhaps most pressingly, those with one positive rating were 21 percent less likely to have mental health problems in their adult life, and those with two positive ratings were 60 percent less likely.
But teens who received two positive ratings were also significantly more likely to divorce than those with one, or no positive ratings. While 20.4 percent of this happiest group had divorced at some point (of those who had been married), 16.5 and 16.3 percent of those with one or no positive ratings divorced, respectively.
Researcher Felicia Huppert offered some theories on why the divorce numbers are so high:
Happy children are likely to be more confident and have more friends and family and are more likely to be supported. If they find themselves in a sad position where their marriage has broken down, they might be able to leave it.
The kids who were happy when they were young may have come from happier homes and know what a good relationship is like and maybe they were more likely to recognize when they didn’t have one.
Next time you’re at the mall and a group of laughing teens cut you in line at Sbarro or spill an Orange Julius on your shoes, be content in knowing that the little bastards will eventually be dragged through a deflating and humiliating divorce.
Welcome to adulthood, punks.