New research shows spirituality is a major factor in children's overall happiness.
A study conducted by the University of British Columbia measured how a child's spirituality, and factors like temperament, affect the child's sense of well being.
"Our goal was to see whether there's a relation between spirituality and happiness," said Mark Holder, an associate professor of psychology and the study's co-author. "We knew going in that there was such a relation in adults, so we took multiple measures of spirituality and happiness in children."
Spirituality accounted for about five percent of happiness in adults, but a surprising 16.5 percent of happiness among children.
"From our perspective, it's a whopping big effect," Holder said. "I expected it to be much less. I thought their spirituality would be too immature to account for their well-being."
The study tested 315 children ages 9 to 12.
Next, researchers hope to survey children in a country where Christianity is not prominent and compare the results.
Source: Religion News Service