Children's happiness is far more strongly influenced by family conflict than by factors such as living in a single parent household, according to the findings of a study published today.
The Children's Society research showed 7pc of children aged between 10 and 15 are "significantly" unhappy, with family rows a major cause of dissatisfaction with life.
Children who report that their family "gets along well together" are on average around 20pc happier than those who do not, regardless of whether they have a lone parent, or step-families, or live with both birth parents, the British study found.
The impact of family conflict on children's well-being far outstripped family structure, with a child in a lone parent household 2pc unhappier than one living with both birth parents, the report found.
The vast majority were happy, placing themselves above the mid-point measure on a happiness scale ranked from one to 10.
But the research showed that of the 6,744 children interviewed in the final year of primary school and the later years of secondary school, an average of two in every class were unhappy.
The 7pc of "significantly" unhappy children amounted to 140,000 out of the 1.8 million children in the three year groups, or 300,000 if all 10 to 15-year-olds were counted, the charity said.