Navigation Links
Happiness increases with age, across generations
Date:2/6/2013

Psychological well-being has been linked to many important life outcomes, including career success, relationship satisfaction, and even health. But it's not clear how feelings of well-being change as we age, as different studies have provided evidence for various trends over time.

A new report published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reveals that self-reported feelings of well-being tend to increase with age, but that a person's overall level of well-being depends on when he or she was born.

Psychological scientist Angelina R. Sutin of Florida State University College of Medicine conducted the study while at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she remains a guest researcher. She and colleagues at NIA predicted that people in the same "birth cohort" born around the same time may have had unique experiences that shape the way they evaluate happiness and optimism. They hypothesized that the level of well-being a person reports would, therefore, vary according to his or her birth year.

Using two large-scale longitudinal studies, NIH's Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) and the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Sutin and colleagues looked at data from several thousand people over 30 years, including over 10,000 reports on well-being, health, and other factors.

When the researchers analyzed the data across the whole pool of participants, older adults had lower levels of well-being than younger and middle-aged adults.

But when Sutin and her colleagues analyzed the same data while taking birth cohort into account, a different trend appeared: Life satisfaction increased over the participants' lifetimes. This trend remained even after factors like health, medication, sex, ethnicity, and education were taken into account.

So what explains the different results?

While life satisfaction increased with age for each cohort, older birth cohorts especially people born between 1885 and 1925 started off with lower levels of well-being in comparison to people born more recently. Looking at life satisfaction across all of the participants, regardless of when they were born, obscures the fact that each cohort actually shows the same underlying trend.

Sutin and colleagues point out that the level of well-being of cohorts born in the early part of the 20th century, particularly those who lived through the Great Depression, was substantially lower than the level of well-being of cohorts who grew up during more prosperous times. The greater well-being of more recent cohorts could be the result of economic prosperity, increased educational opportunities, and the expansion of social and public programs over the latter half of the 20th century.

According to the researchers, these findings may have important implications for today's younger generations.

"As young adults today enter a stagnant workforce, the challenges of high unemployment may have implications for their well-being that long outlast the period of joblessness. Economic turmoil may impede psychological, as well as financial, growth even decades after times get better."


'/>"/>

Contact: Anna Mikulak
amikulak@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. People Overestimate the Happiness New Purchases Will Bring
2. How do happiness and sadness circuits contribute to bipolar disorder?
3. Greg Reid of Napoleon Hill Foundation Makes a Special World Premier Announcement of His Latest Project (The Secret of Happiness) on the “Your Do Over” Podcast on iTunes
4. Fidelity Investments Brings the Happiness of the Holidays to Five Educational First Steps Assisted Centers
5. New study examines how health affects happiness
6. Study finds gene that predicts happiness in women
7. Childhood Friendships May Be Key to Adult Happiness
8. United Nations Adopts International Day of Happiness
9. Money Really Cant Buy Happiness, Study Finds
10. Travel and Other Adventures Can Boost Happiness
11. Exposure to pesticides in food, air and water increases risk of type 2 diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/8/2016)... Tampa, FL (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... been awarded accreditation with distinction by the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS), ... patients with advanced care and patient safety. Only a few hospitals and facilities ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ZyDoc ... Language Processing–Enabled and Conventional Data Capture Methods for Input to Electronic Health Records: ... , Results of the comparative usability study demonstrate that a dictation-based method (“NLP ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... CURE Media Group, the nation’s leading ... has aligned with Upstage Lung Cancer in efforts to combat lung cancer, announced CURE ... Hennessy, Jr said, “CURE Media Group is honored to team up with Upstage Lung ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) and The Chopra ... weight loss and wellness program, at their world headquarters of Omni La Costa Resort ... long-term results to anyone seeking weight loss, personal development, a healthy lifestyle, or mental ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... Catalent Pharma Solutions, the leading ... consumer health products, today announced that it had joined the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain ... organization to unite pharmaceutical and healthcare companies that share a vision of better, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/9/2016)... LONDON , December 9, 2016 ... ICD, Subcutaneous ICD, Single-Chamber ICD, Dual-Chamber ICD, Cardiac ... External Defibrillators, Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators The ... grow at a CAGR of 5.3% from 2016-2020 ... is expected to grow at a CAGR of ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "High ... offering. ... analyses the market by the following Technology Types: Label-Free Technology, Cell-Based Assay, ... Canada , Japan , Europe ... , and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts ...
(Date:12/9/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the ... 2021" report to their offering. ... Market growth can be ... the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and technological advancements like automation ... markets and growing research activities in toxicology and stem cells ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: