Did You Know That Teens Who Feel Good also Do Good Online?
A study in Journal of Happiness Studies reveals that girls who are happy after they come home from school, or have a mother who is happy after she comes home from work, also feel happy at home later that day. Interestingly, girls who feel happy at home, do good online as they behave in a more helpful way.
- Girls who feel happy after they come home from school or have a mother who feels happy after her work, are happier at home and, as a result, behave in a more helpful way online.
- Interestingly, this is not the case for teen boys and also not the case when fathers returned happier from work.
- Parents (and especially mothers) should be aware of the influence that their happiness level has on their daughters happiness level and willingness to help others online.
The question?Does the happiness level of teen after school or their parents happiness level after work influences their prosocial behavior online? And is this explained by the fact that teens are happier at home when they are happy after school and their parents are happy after work?
Who?136 families (98 two-parent families, 38 families in which only one parent participated) from the Flemish part of Belgium with at least one teen in the first or second grade of secondary school.
136 teens (mean age = 14 years, 51% female) participated and 234 working parents (mean age = 44 years, 56% female); 99% of the families spoke Flemish (Dutch).
How?During five consecutive school/work days the teens and parents filled out a diary right after school or work (Time 1) and when the teen went to bed (Time 2). At time 1 both teens and parents indicated how happy they felt at that moment. At time 2 they again indicated how happy they felt and the teens also indicated how often they behaved prosocially after they came home from school (for example: “I cheered up, comforted or supported someone via the internet/mobile phone”, “I helped or offered help to someone via the internet/mobile phone”). Additionally, the teens also indicated how often they used online mediums for interpersonal contact throughout the day.
Facts and findings
- When teen girls felt happier after school or when their mothers felt happier after work, girls behaved more prosocially online during that day. This means that when girls were happy or their mom was, they for example more often helped others online.
- This is explained by the fact that teen girls felt happier at home when they felt happy after school or when their mother felt happy after work earlier that day
- Interestingly, the happiness level of mothers after work did not influence the happiness level of their sons later at home. Also, both girls and boys did not become happier when their father returned happy from work.