Flemish children are happy

A survey conducted by Antwerp University shows that on average children in the higher grades of Flemish primary schools rate their personal happiness at 8.2 out of 10.

Researchers quizzed nearly 5,100 children in the three final years of primary school in 69 schools in Flemish Brabant Province.

Psychologist Patrick Luyten puts the figure into context: "We live in a country with a high living standard that offers children many opportunities to develop."

The research fails to come up with a clear link between the feeling of happiness and factors within the child's home e.g. divorced parents or the language spoken in the home.

427 children awarded themselves a figure of 5 or less. Patrick Luyten believes this result is partly due to genetic factors as well as social factors. Children who are pestered are often unhappy. Fear of failure is also a major reason why children feel unhappy.