Are older people really happier than younger people?

Date
2021
Authors
Yang, Philip Q.
Leone, Erica
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Publisher
Georgia Sociological Association
Abstract

In recent years, many media reports have claimed that older people are happier than younger people. We question the total validity of this claim. Analyzing data from General Social Surveys 1972-2016, this study reveals that the happiness of older adults depends on their health status and economic status, and it also detects a significant J-shaped relationship between age and happiness over a lifetime. Additionally, we find significant differences in happiness across generations and over time. Our findings challenge the popular claim in the media reports and the U-shaped and inverted U-shaped patterns detected in the academic literature and provide a more complete picture of the relationship between age and happiness.

Description
Article originally published in The Journal of Public and Professional Sociology, 13(1). English. Published online 2021. https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/jpps/vol13/iss1/2
Keywords
Happiness, Age, Health status, Economic status, Moderating effect, Nonlinear effect
Citation
This is the published version of an article that is available at: https://digitalcommons.kennesaw.edu/jpps/vol13/iss1/2. Recommended citation: Yang, P., & Leone, E. (2021). Are older people really happier than younger people? The Journal of Public and Professional Sociology, 13(1). This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.
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