-- Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Happiness seems be a
generational thing, new research suggests. Life satisfaction
generally increases with age, but a person's overall level of
satisfaction appears to depend on when he or she was born.
For the study, researchers analyzed data collected from several
thousand Americans over a 30-year period and found that older
adults had lower levels of overall life satisfaction than young and
However, when the study authors analyzed the data by birth
cohorts -- groups of people born around the same time -- they
discovered that life satisfaction increased with age in all groups.
This trend held true even after the researchers accounted for
factors such as health, sex, ethnicity and education.
The findings were released online in advance of publication in
an upcoming print issue of the journal
People born in the early part of the 20th century --
particularly those who lived through the Great Depression -- had
much more difficult early lives than people born in more prosperous
times, study author Angelina Sutin, a psychological scientist at
Florida State University College of Medicine, noted in a journal
She said this explains why older adults' overall life
satisfaction was lower, even though their satisfaction increased as
Sutin conducted the study while at the U.S. National Institute
The researchers said their findings may prove important for
younger Americans trying to cope with the current poor economy.
"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," the study authors wrote.
Helpguide.org offers tips for
well-being and contentment.
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