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Children less happy the older they get

CHILDREN in the city say they're pretty happy despite a heavy burden of school work and lack of leisure time, according to a child happiness index released yesterday.

The survey conducted among more than 10,000 local youngsters reported an average happiness index of 3.35 points out of a possible five points. However, the score decreased the older children got.

The survey interviewed 10,355 students from grade two to grade nine in 10 districts. It was released at the fifth Shanghai Congress of Young Pioneers, a nationwide organization for students aged 7 to 14.

Heavy workload, poor exam scores and little time for rest were the top three things weighing down on kids.

Children were asked to grade their happiness. One point meant they were not happy. Two points meant they felt little happiness. Three meant they were fairly happy. Four meant they were happy, while five meant a great deal of happiness. Grade-nine students were the least happy group.

About 38 percent of students were unhappy about their workload at school, 29.5 percent were worried about exams and 15.8 percent had too little time to rest.

"The happiness index reminds parents and teachers to decrease the workload of students and increase leisure time," said Yang Xiong, a professor at the Shanghai Academy of Social Science.


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