Monday, July 1, 2013

Elderly Americans and Lower Life Evaluations: Apparently Your Happiness IS Relative(s)

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, elderly Americans who live with people under the age of 18 have lower life evaluations than those who do not. They experience worse emotional outcomes (including less happiness and enjoyment) and more stress, worry, and anger than other Americans. In part, these negative evaluations of their lives come from living with a child, especially the feeling that their health is poorer as a result of living with younger children.

Even with controls, the elderly who live with children do worse on many life evaluation categories. This is in sharp contrast to younger adults who live with children, likely their own, whose life evaluation is no different in the presence of the child once background conditions are controlled for. Parents, like elders, have enhanced negative emotions in the presence of a child, but unlike elders, also have enhanced positive emotions.

A while back I posted information about what is was to be a grandparent in Herkimer and Oneida Counties. This post includes a data link that shows how many grandparents live with grandchildren and provide care for them!