Skip to content

Journal Article

Are happy youth also satisfied adults? An analysis of the impact of childhood factors on adult life satisfaction


Publication date

Apr 2015


This paper aims to consider whether there is a link between youth
happiness levels and adult life satisfaction. Our results are
unequivocal that such a link exists both because demographic and
socio-economic conditions are persistent over a lifetime and also
because there is a persistence in personality effects. To test this
link, we estimate a model of happiness for a sample of young people.
This model provides us with a range of variables measuring
socio-economic effects and personality effects amongst young people.
These variables are then included in the adult life satisfaction model.
The model is estimated using data from the British Household Panel
Survey for 1994–2008. In addition to childhood happiness levels
influencing adult life satisfaction significantly, we also find that the
youthful personality trait for happiness has a larger effect on adult
life satisfaction than demographic and socio-economic conditions.

Published in

Social Indicators Research

Volume and page numbers

121 , 543 -567





Psychology, Young People, Well Being, and Life Course Analysis



Not held in Research Library - bibliographic reference only


Research home

Research home


Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest