Destined for (Un)happiness: does childhood predict adult life satisfaction

Paper that addresses the question of how much of adult life satisfaction is predicted by childhood traits, parental characteristics and family socioeconomic status.

Given the current focus of many national governments on measuring population well-being, and renewed focus on effective policy interventions to aid disadvantaged children, this is a study of a cohort of children born in a particular week in 1958 in Britain who have been repeatedly surveyed for 50 years. Importantly, at four points in their adult lives this cohort has been asked about their life satisfaction (at ages 33, 42, 46, and 50).

Paul Frijters
David W Johnston
Michael A Shields
The Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Germany