A new study published in Developmental Psychology suggests that the idea of midlife crisis may be a myth. The research shows that happiness from 20s-40s actually increases when you follow individuals over time in a longitudinal manner. Check out a news summary here. a video summary and interview here, and a fun clip from the Today Show here!! How does that compare and fit in with past research suggesting happiness declines at midlife?
Lead researcher and psychology professor Nancy Galambos says she found the opposite – that people in her study were happier in their early 40s than when they were in their late teens and early 20s.
“I think it’s because life is more difficult for younger people than for people in middle age,” Galambos explains.
She says some young adults are depressed, have trouble finding work and sorting out their lives.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty. But by middle age, a lot of people have worked that out and are quite satisfied through the earliest child-bearing years.”
Galambos says most studies looked at a groups of people of various ages. She says the U of A study surveyed the same people – 1,500 of them – over many years, and is more reliable.
Congrats and shoutout to lead researcher Dr. Nancy Galambos for the nice media attention – she also happens to be my Aunt!!! My own experience couldn’t agree more with this research – aside from being an underpaid research, my happiness definitely increased as I aged through my 20s.