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Cheerful children die younger than gloomy classmates, says study

BMJ 2002; 325 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7367.733/a (Published 05 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:733
  1. Roger Dobson
  1. Abergavenny

    Cheerfulness is not necessarily healthy. It may be widely believed that cheerful children become happy, healthy, and even wise adults who live to a good old age, but new research suggests that as adults they tend to die earlier than their less cheerful classmates.

    “Children who were rated by their parents and teachers as more cheerful/optimistic, and as having a sense of humour, died earlier than those who were less cheerful,” says a report of the research (Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 2002:28; 1155-65).

    In the study psychologists looked at health data on 1216 …

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