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Journal of Happiness Studies

pp 1–18

First Online: 18 November 2016


In Sweden the overall life satisfaction trajectory between ages 22 and 40 is slightly hill-shaped and dominated by life transitions, especially those relating to one’s family situation. Among persons in their twenties, partnership formation and birth of a child typically lead to a slight increase in overall satisfaction with life. Between ages 30 and 40 average life satisfaction declines, chiefly due to the increasing strains of family life and the breakup of couples. These strains are evident in data relating to specific aspects of family life. After age 30 satisfaction with one’s partner declines, and so does satisfaction with both one’s mother and father. Also, despite rising income, satisfaction with one’s economic situation lessens. Considered as a whole, the evidence suggests that even in a welfare state the strains on young adults of balancing work and family life are substantial. The analysis is based on panel data, 1999–2009, that focus especially on family life.

KeywordsLife satisfaction Formation of unions Parenthood School-to-work transition Dissolution of unions Work-family balance  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Malgorzata Switek - Richard A. Easterlin


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