What is it about?

Today's older adults are becoming happier than ever before―at least up to their 70s. However, little is known about the 80s and above. We have shown that later-born Japanese people are more satisfied with life in their 70s but may become less satisfied in their 80s than earlier-born people.

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Why is it important?

Our findings indicate that societal advancements, such as medical technology, may enable today's older adults to survive in adverse circumstances. For promoting and maintaining the well-being of future older adults, future research should identify the societal factors, including economy and health care systems, influencing the historical changes in individuals' well-being.


The majority of evidence on human development and aging has been drawn from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Our study used data from Japanese older people and suggested nuanced differential patterns across countries. I hope that researchers, practitioners, and policymakers worldwide become interested in how social and cultural contexts shape human development and aging within and across countries.

Takeshi Nakagawa
National Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Cohort differences in trajectories of life satisfaction among Japanese older adults., Psychology and Aging, September 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/pag0000778.
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