University of Oulu

Dobewall, H., Hintsanen, M., Savelieva, K. et al. J Happiness Stud (2019) 20: 955.

Intergenerational transmission of latent satisfaction reflected by satisfaction across multiple life domains : a prospective 32-year follow-up study

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Author: Dobewall, Henrik1; Hintsanen, Mirka2; Savelieva, Kateryna1;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Unit of Psychology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-09-20


Intergenerational transmission of life satisfaction has been empirically established, but less is known about the continuity of satisfaction as being reflected across multiple life domains, unique effects of parental domain-specific satisfaction on offspring overall life satisfaction, and potential gender effects. In this population-based prospective study, the association between the life satisfaction of parents (G1) (2191 mothers and 2156 fathers) and their children (G2) (921 sons and 1277 daughters) was examined. In both generations, satisfaction as a parent, as a spouse, and at work was assessed in about the same developmental stage (mean age for G1 38–42 years, and for G2 38–43 years at the times when LS was measured). When both parents were considered jointly, only mothers’ overall life satisfaction had an independent effect on their adult children’s overall life satisfaction, with the effect diminishing over time. However, we also found a robust effect of paternal satisfaction at work on offspring’s overall life satisfaction in adulthood. Gender of the offspring did not significantly moderate the strength of the associations between generations. The current findings emphasize the high interdependence of life satisfaction within families long after children have moved out of the parental home.

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Series: Journal of happiness studies
ISSN: 1389-4978
ISSN-E: 1573-7780
ISSN-L: 1389-4978
Volume: 20
Issue: 3
Pages: 955 - 970
DOI: 10.1007/s10902-018-9975-1
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 515 Psychology
Funding: The current study has been financially supported by the Academy of Finland Grants 258578 (M. H.) and 265869 (Mind).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 258578
Detailed Information: 258578 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: Supplementary material:
Copyright information: © Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Happiness Studies. The final authenticated version is available online at: