This study was conducted to examine the association of happiness in adolescent females with leisure time and health related behaviours namely diet, physical activity and first or second hand smoking. Using a self-administered questionnaire, data were collected from 8159 female high school students ages 11-19 years. Multivariate linear regression analysis revealed statistically significant associations between happiness and weight, regular exercise, exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, daily fruit or vegetable consumption and the way participants spent their leisure time. Happiness was associated with lower BMI, regular physical activity, absence of exposure to second-hand smoke, higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, and spending leisure time with family (all P < 0.005). These exploratory findings suggest that encouraging children and adolescents to adopt healthy behaviours, providing family time and a smoke-free environment may make them not only healthier but also happier.
Keywords: Family; Girls; Happiness; Health behaviour.
Copyright © 2013 The Foundation for Professionals in Services for Adolescents. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.