What's the Latest Development?
Overturning previous studies on the subject of aging and happiness, researchers at Florida State University College of Medicine have found that people generally become happier as they age. The new study looked at whether differences in happiness reported by different generations reflected life situations when they were born. "For instance, growing up in tough economic times might reduce the sense of well-being of an entire generation— and if this group is compared to younger folks who got their start in better times, being older might seem to cause a decline in happiness, when instead, the older people were actually less happy because they were unable to overcome the effects of early adversity."
What's the Big Idea?
So what does the study mean for the current generation, who have come of age during a difficult recession with high unemployment and wage stagnation? According to author of the study Angelina Sutin, "The...[r]ecession was certainly devastating for many people. Too many people lost their jobs and their homes and the repercussions are still being felt." Even if the economy recovers to pre-recession employment levels, the damage may already have been done. "A number of longitudinal studies have shown that after periods of unemployment, well-being does not quite recover to pre-unemployment levels," said Sutin.
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