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Family Brings Happiness

What makes someone between the ages of 13 and 24 happy is not what you might think, according to an extensive survey conducted by the Associated Press and MTV.

The results showed that spending time with family (73 percent) makes young people happiest. Nearly half of kids surveyed mentioned one of their parents as their hero, with mothers (29 percent) ranking higher than fathers (21 percent). After family, "relationships with friends" was most likely to make children happy.

Among those who cited spirituality as the most important thing in their lives, a larger majority reported being happy with life (80 percent) compared to those who said spirituality is not an important part of life (60 percent).

While parents worry about the influence of our sexualized culture on their children, respondents did not list sex as something that makes America's young people most happy. In fact, being sexually active actually leads to less happiness among 13–17 year olds.

"You know what's really surprising is that this poll flies in the face of some of these cultural values that MTV is pushing on kids," said Dr. Bill Maier, vice president and psychologist in residence at Focus on the Family. "MTV would say that kids just want more pleasure and material goods, they're not interested in marriage or commitment, and they reject their parents."

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