PUBLISHED: 15:19 EST, 19 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:19 EST, 19 November 2012
Happy children are more likely to grow up to be wealthy adults, according to new research.
A data analysis of 15,000 young adults in the U.S. by economists at University College London, revealed that those who reported higher levels of life satisfaction, went on to receive larger paychecks than their gloomy counterparts.
This is due to the fact that people with sunny dispositions are more likely to be outgoing, finish a degree, secure work and get promoted quicker.
It marks the first time a link between happiness and income has been investigated in depth.
Results found that even a one-point increase in life satisfaction – on a scale of five – at the age of 22 led to almost $2,000 higher earnings per annum seven years on.
Co-author of the study, Dr Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, said: ‘These findings have important implications for academics, policy makers, and the general public.
‘For academics they reveal the strong possibility for reverse causality between income and happiness – a relationship that most have assumed unidirectional and causal.
‘For policy makers, they highlight the importance of promoting general well-being, not just because happiness is what the general population aspires to but also for its economic impact.’
Dr De Neve, who worked with Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick, added that the findings show how the well-being of a child is key to future success.
He urged parents to create and maintain emotionally healthy home environments.
However findings highlighted that there are a range of factors outside of the home that cannot be controlled by guardians, as siblings often reported different emotions.
The study took into account the education, physical health, genetic variation, IQ, self-esteem and current happiness of subjects.
It appears in the November 19 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.