In the academic year 2016-2017 Eton College in collaboration with Research Schools International, conducted a study which examined the levels of happiness among boys at the school.
The main findings show that:
- there is a clear progression at the levels of happiness in the five years the boys stay at the school. This is an interesting finding in and by itself because other studies suggest that there is a decline in happiness in adolescent years.
- the boys identified four areas which they believe contribute to their happiness the most:
a. autonomy: especially older boys felt they were given great levels of autonomy to pursue their individual interests. This allowed them to discover their passions, while also increasing their sense of responsibility, which can also positively correlate with happiness.
b. competence: boys expressed how their achievements, while at the school, gave them a sense of accomplishment and competence. Their sense of achievement was reflected in academic areas, but also socially, in extra-curricular, and sport. These sentiments were also echoed in beliefs that hard work gave them a sense of competence, ie. hard work could help them achieve their goals.
c. gratitude: pupils felt grateful for the opportunities given to them at Eton and about their teachers, who support them achieve their potential. They expressed that a sense of being grateful of what you have been given and not envious of what you have not managed to achieve or get, can help them become happier and learn how to balance their priorities.
d. social support: ‘friends’ was overwhelmingly placed at first position when it came to sources of support. The boys commented on how their social relationships were characterised by support and inclusivity which fostered feelings of wellbeing. Living in this supportive community has helped boys develop prosocial and interpersonal skills, for example, learning to relate better to others and appreciated others’ viewpoints.
for the full report see here: http://bit.ly/2BdLeA9