BERKELEY (CBS SF) — There’s no such thing as a midlife crisis. People don’t grow unhappy with age. In fact, they feel better.
Researchers at University of California in San Diego surveyed the mental health and well-being of some 1,546 adults, ages 21 to 100 years and found the oldest people fared much better than their younger cohorts.READ MORE: Two Women Die In Horrific Saturday Evening Rohnert Park Crash
The results were published in the 2016 issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.
“Participants reported that they felt better about themselves and their lives year upon year, decade after decade,” said senior author Dilip Jeste, M.D.. He is the director of the Center on Healthy Aging at UC San Diego.
In contrast, the 20- to 30-something participants had high levels of stress and anxiety. Jeste says the psychological distress in younger people seems to be rising.READ MORE: San Francisco Bay Area Residents Prepare For California's 'COVID Independence Day'
“This ‘fountain of youth’ period is associated with far worse levels of psychological well-being than any other period of adulthood,” he said.
While cognitive function and health may decline with age, there was no evidence it correlates with a dip in well-being. Older people were more satisfied with life, and had lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression.
The psychologists found older people tend to shift their attitudes from achieving goals to savoring relationships and focusing on meaningful activities.MORE NEWS: COVID Recovery: Businesses Hoping End Of COVID-19 Restrictions Will Bring Crowds Back To Ferry Building
The happiest participants in the study were people in their 90s.