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ERIC Number: EJ1079412
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Up, Not Down: The Age Curve in Happiness from Early Adulthood to Midlife in Two Longitudinal Studies
Galambos, Nancy L.; Fang, Shichen; Krahn, Harvey J.; Johnson, Matthew D.; Lachman, Margie E.
Developmental Psychology, v51 n11 p1664-1671 Nov 2015
Happiness is an important indicator of well-being, and little is known about how it changes in the early adult years. We examined trajectories of happiness from early adulthood to midlife in 2 Canadian longitudinal samples: high school seniors followed from ages 18-43 and university seniors followed from ages 23-37. Happiness increased into the 30s in both samples, with a slight downturn by age 43 in the high school sample. The rise in happiness after high school and university remained after controlling for important baseline covariates (gender, parents' education, grades, self-esteem), time-varying covariates known to be associated with happiness (marital status, unemployment, self-rated physical health), and number of waves of participation. The upward trend in happiness runs counter to some previous cross-sectional research claiming a high point in happiness in the late teens, decreasing into midlife. As cross-sectional designs do not assess within-person change, longitudinal studies are necessary for drawing accurate conclusions about patterns of change in happiness across the life span.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A