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Effect of Birth Cohort on Well-Being

Title: The Effect of Birth Cohort on Well-Being: The Legacy of Economic Hard Times.
Name(s): Sutin, Angelina, author
Terracciano, Antonio, author
Milaneschi, Yuri, author
An, Yang, author
Ferrucci, Luigi, author
Zonderman, Alan, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: serial
Date Issued: 2013
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: In the present research, we examined the effects of age, cohort, and time of measurement on well-being across adulthood. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses of two independent samples-one with more than 10,000 repeated assessments across 30 years (mean assessments per participant = 4.44, SD = 3.47) and one with nationally representative data-suggested that well-being declines with age. This decline, however, reversed when we controlled for birth cohort. That is, once we accounted for the fact that older cohorts had lower levels of well-being, all cohorts increased in well-being with age relative to their own baseline. Participants tested more recently had higher well-being, but time of measurement, unlike cohort, did not change the shape of the trajectory. Although well-being increased with age for everyone, cohorts that lived through the economic challenges of the early 20th century had lower well-being than those born during more prosperous times.
Identifier: FSU_migr_mhs-0010 (IID), 10.1177/0956797612459658 (DOI)
Keywords: well-being, aging, cohort, happiness, elderly
Note: Published in final edited form as:'>"> Psychol Sci. 2013 March 1; 24(3): 379–385. Published online 2013 January 24. doi: 10.1177/0956797612459658'>">10.1177/0956797612459658
Citation: Sutin AR, Terracciano A, Milaneschi Y, An Y, Ferrucci L, & Zonderman AB. (2013). The effect of birth cohort on well-being: the legacy of economic hard times. Psychological Science, 24 (3): 379-85.
Subject(s): Children
Life cycle, Human
Mental health
Medical sciences
Social psychiatry
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU
Is Part of Series: Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine Faculty Publications.
Is Part Of: Psychological Science : A Journal of the American Psychological Society / APS.
Issue: 3, 24

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Sutin, A., Terracciano, A., Milaneschi, Y., An, Y., Ferrucci, L., & Zonderman, A. (2013). The Effect of Birth Cohort on Well-Being: The Legacy of Economic Hard Times. Psychological Science . Retrieved from