Is Your D.O.B a Factor in Your Life Happiness and Well Being?
Two large scale longitudinal studies were used for analysis by Angelina Sutin and colleagues (the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for those aged 30 and older). From these, the data of several thousand people were analyzed, which includes over 10,000 reports on well being and other health factors.
When the data was simply analyzed, across all of the thousands of participants, it was found that older adults had lower well-being levels than younger participants (which was kind of expected). However, when analyzing the data based on birth date, a new trend appeared. Sutin claims that life satisfaction increased over the lifetime of participants, and remained this way. This was the same regardless of whether factors like health, medication, sex, ethnicity etc were taken into account.
It was found, that participants who were born in the early 20th Century (so, those who have lived through the Great Depression) had much lower levels of well-being than those who grew up in more stable and prosperous times.
It was also found to be greater well being in those born more recently. The study suggested this was due to economic prosperity, increased opportunities in education and an expansion of social and public programs from the late 20th Century.
Written by: Philippa Berry
Published on: 18th February 2013