The biometric antecedents to happiness
Bökerman, Petri; Bryson, Alex; Viinikainen, Jutta; Hakulinen, Christian; Hintsanen, Mirka; Pehkonen, Jaakko; Viikari, Jorma; Raitakari, Olli (2017-09-15)
Böckerman P, Bryson A, Viinikainen J, Hakulinen C, Hintsanen M, Pehkonen J, et al. (2017) The biometric antecedents to happiness. PLoS ONE 12(9): e0184887. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0184887
© 2017 Böckerman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
It has been suggested that biological markers are associated with human happiness. We contribute to the empirical literature by examining the independent association between various aspects of biometric wellbeing measured in childhood and happiness in adulthood. Using Young Finns Study data (n = 1905) and nationally representative linked data we examine whether eight biomarkers measured in childhood (1980) are associated with happiness in adulthood (2001). Using linked data we account for a very rich set of confounders including age, sex, body size, family background, nutritional intake, physical activity, income, education and labour market experiences. We find that there is a negative relationship between triglycerides and subjective well-being but it is both gender- and age-specific and the relationship does not prevail using the later measurements (1983/1986) on triglycerides. In summary, we conclude that none of the eight biomarkers measured in childhood predict happiness robustly in adulthood.
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