Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Doctor Happy With the Science of Happiness Badge

Dr. Gregory Ramey, child psychologist and vice president of outpatient services at the Children's Medical Center of Dayton, Ohio, reports for the Dayton Daily News that The Girl Scouts have recently revamped their recognition system to reflect the needs of young girls.

Girl Scouts in grades six through eight can now earn a Science of Happiness merit badge. The rationale behind the badge is that well-being can be scientifically analyzed like other psychological conditions. Scouts earn the badge by following the scientific method to study their own happiness and that of others.

They are involved in such activities as helping others, learning to forgive, reflecting on family memories and events and keeping a journal of their activities. The focus on preteen girls was intentional, based on data that girls' well-being is severely challenged during adolescence with issues of anxiety and depression. Based upon years of research by Dr. Martin Seligman, it is possible to scientifically study the factors that give people a positive sense of well-being.