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Predictors of happiness

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Grumpy old men? Grumpy old women? We get more unhappy as we get older, don’t we?

Not true.  

A study of more than 7,000 people interviewed for the 2007 English Psychiatric Morbidity Survey and published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry suggests that levels of happiness do vary with age. Across all age groups having good social networks of family and friends and participating in your community – broadly defined as social capital – is the strongest predictor of happiness. In the over 70s being married or cohabiting, active in involvement in religion and having qualifications were more likely to promote happiness than in younger age groups. NDARC’s director Professor Michael Farrell was one of the authors of the British study.

Image credit: mrgreen09/flickr.