The effect of age on positive and negative affect: a developmental perspective on happiness.

D. K. Mroczek*, C. M. Kolarz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

969 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of age on happiness, as defined by positive and negative affect, was examined in a survey of 2,727 persons of a broad age range (25-74) conducted by the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development. The age-affect association was examined, controlling for a host of sociodemographic, personality, and contextual influences. Among women, age was related to positive affect nonlinearly but was unrelated to negative affect. Among men, age interacted with 2 key variables in predicting affect: extraversion and marital status. These findings lend support to recent life span theories of emotion and indicate that personality, contextual, and sociodemographic variables, as well as their interactions, are all needed to fully understand the age-affect relationship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1333-1349
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume75
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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