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Happiness and age in European adults: The moderating role of gross domestic product per capita.

Happiness and age in European adults: The moderating role of gross domestic product per capita.

Morgan, Jessica, Robinson, Oliver and Thompson, Trevor ORCID: 0000-0001-9880-782X (2015) Happiness and age in European adults: The moderating role of gross domestic product per capita. Psychology and Aging, 30 (3). pp. 544-551. ISSN 0882-7974 (Print), 1939-1498 (Online) (doi:10.1037/pag0000034)

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Abstract

Studies of happiness levels across the life span have found support for two rival hypotheses. The positivity effect states that as people get older, they increasingly attend to positive information, which implies that happiness remains stable or increases with age, whereas the U-shaped hypothesis posits a curvilinear shape resulting from a dip during midlife. Both have been presented as potentially universal hypotheses that relate to cognitive and/or biological causes. The current study examined the happiness-age relationship across 29 European nations (N = 46,301) to explore whether it is moderated by national wealth, as indexed by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. It was found that eudaimonic and hedonic happiness remained relatively stable across the life span only in the most affluent nations; in poorer nations, there was either a fluctuating or steady age-associated decline. These findings challenge the cultural universality of the happiness-age relationship and suggest that models of how age relates to happiness should include the socioeconomic level of analysis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: 'Attached PDF of the article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.'
Uncontrolled Keywords: Happiness; Eudaimonic; Hedonic; Positivity effect; Life span
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education & Health
Faculty of Education & Health > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 07 Apr 2017 20:16
Selected for GREAT 2016: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/14123

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