A multiple cohort study of the gender gradient of life satisfaction during adolescence: longitudinal evidence from Great Britain

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 9, 2021


This study is unique in exploiting 12 youth cohorts (aged 11–15) from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the UK Household Longitudinal Study (UKHLS) spanning 1996–2017 to investigate the gender gradient of adolescent life satisfaction. We find robust evidence of a cross-cohort gender gap particularly at the extremes of the adolescent life satisfaction distribution. Male adolescents are significantly more likely to report complete life satisfaction (by around 6%–14%) and females to report dissatisfaction (by around 3%–7%) indicating a higher female depression propensity. An intra-household gender gap is found for female adolescents raised with opposite sex siblings. Previous period life satisfaction is the strongest determinant of prospective higher self-reported male satisfaction levels.

Published in

Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics







© 2021 The Department of Economics, University of Oxford and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Open Access

Online Early



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