Happiness Increases With Age, Researchers Find

Friday, 08 Feb 2013 11:06 AM

By Nick Tate

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There’s evidently good reason to refer to old age as the golden years: New research finds that feelings of happiness and well-being tend to increase as people grow older.

The findings, published in the journal Psychological Science, are based on an analysis of health and well-being reports involving several thousand people over a 30-year period by a Florida State University College of Medicine psychologist.

The results showed that older people who participated in the study — especially those born between 1885 and 1925 — consistently reported that their levels of “life satisfaction” increased over their lifetimes more than younger or middle-aged adults.

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The trend held true regardless of health, medication, sex, ethnicity, education, and other factors.

Florida State psychological scientist Angelina R. Sutin, who conducted the study while at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health as a guest researcher, said the findings are not only important for seniors, but also have significant implications for 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,” she said. “Economic turmoil may impede psychological, as well as financial, growth even decades after times get better."


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