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New University of Alberta study challenges ‘mid-life crisis’ theory

Jan. 11, 2015 – For half a century, the accepted research on happiness has shown our lives on a U-shaped curve, punctuated by a low point that we’ve come to know as the “mid-life crisis”. A number of studies have claimed over the years that happiness declines for most from the early 20s to middle age (40 to 60). Today, the “mid-life crisis” is a generally accepted phenomenon, fodder for sitcoms and the subject of advertising propaganda the world over – but does it actually exist?

The answer is no, according to Up, Not Down: The Age Curve in Happiness from Early Adulthood to Midlife In Two Longitudinal Studies – a paper recently published inDevelopmental Psychology – based on data drawn from two longitudinal studies by University of Alberta researchers Nancy Galambos, Harvey Krahn, Matt Johnson and their team.

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