The prospective effect of life satisfaction on life events


Luhmann, M., Lucas, R. E., Eid, M., & Diener, E. (2013). The prospective effect of life satisfaction on life events. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4(1), 39-45.


Life satisfaction (LS) is prospectively associated with the occurrence of several major events in work and family life. Analyzing longitudinal data from three nationally representative panel studies (Ns between 2,321 and 18,692), the authors found that higher LS is associated with a higher likelihood of marriage and childbirth, and with a lower likelihood of marital separation, job loss, starting a new job, and relocating. These effects held even after controlling for gender, age, socioeconomic status, and the Big Five, and were highly consistent across the three samples. Discrete-time survival analyses indicated that for most of these events, temporary rather than stable mechanisms account for the prospective effect of LS. Together, these findings provide evidence that LS is an important predictor of major life outcomes.

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