November 20, 2014 12:50
Korean adolescents are often unhappy in the relationship with their parents, dampening their general happiness, a survey suggests.
The annual youth happiness index released by the Institute for Social Development Studies at Yonsei University stands at 74, at the bottom of the OECD table for six years in a row. The median is set at 100.
The index was calculated based on a survey on 6,946 school students across the country based on the UNICEF model.
Only 67.6 percent of Korean youth said they are satisfied with their life, much less than the OECD average of 85.8 percent.
Some 13 percent said they do not feel they belong to anything, including their family, compared to the OECD average of 6.7 percent. Eighteen percent said they feel lonely, when the OECD average was just 7.4 percent.
Experts point out that a major reason for unhappiness is negative relationships with family members, given that many cited a harmonious family as a chief condition for happiness.
Just 60 percent of the young respondents said they have dinner with their parents at least three times a week, compared to the OECD average of 77.9 percent.
Some 44.2 percent said they have conversations with their parents at least three or four times a week, again much lower than the OECD average of 60.8 percent. And even then they mostly talk about school or other education-related topics with 29.6 percent, while 17.9 percent said the chief topic of conversation is studies and grades.
And youngsters are most unhappy when they feel pressure on school grades and performance cited by some 44 percent.
That suggests that parents are failing to provide children with a supportive environment and instead add to the pressures of school.
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