This was observed in a study conducted at the Gerontology Research Center in Finland. The study examined differences in depressive symptoms and life satisfaction between current 75- and 80-year-olds and the same-aged people who lived in the 1990s.
The results showed that 75- and 80-year-old men and women today experience fewer depressive symptoms than those who were 75 and 80 years old in the 1990s. The differences were partly explained by the better perceived health and higher education of those born later.
Today, 75- and 80-year-olds are more satisfied with their lives to date. However, there was no similar difference in satisfaction with their current lives. In fact, 80-year-old men who lived in the 1990s were even more satisfied with their current lives than 80-year-old men today.
“These men born in 1910 had lived through difficult times, which may explain their satisfaction with their current lives in the 1990s when many things were better than before,” says postdoctoral researcher Tiia Kekäläinen.
“Individuals adapt to their situation and living conditions. Both in the 1990s and today, the majority of older adults reported being satisfied with their current lives.”
Tiia Kekäläinen, Kaisa Koivunen, Katja Pynnönen, Erja Portegijs, Taina Rantanen. Cohort Differences in Depressive Symptoms and Life Satisfaction in 75- and 80-Year-Olds: A Comparison of Two Cohorts 28 Years Apart. Journal of Aging and Health, 2023; 089826432311647 DOI: 10.1177/08982643231164739
University of Jyväskylä – Jyväskylän yliopisto. “Older people have better mental well-being than 30 years ago.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2023. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/05/230504094940.htm>.
Photo by Tim Mossholder