The study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, finds happiness is most linked to the stability of a person's family and finances and that most people aspire to having a happy marriage.
Anke C. Plagnol of the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge in England and Richard A. Easterlin of the Department of Economics at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles find that early in adult life women are more likely than men to fulfill their material goods and family life aspirations. Women's satisfaction in these domains is correspondingly higher; and so too is their overall happiness, the researchers found.
Material goods aspirations refer to desires for a number of big-ticket consumer goods, such as a home, car, travel abroad and vacation home.
However, later in life these gender differences turn around and men come closer than women to fulfilling their material goods and family life aspirations, are more satisfied with their financial situation and family life, and are the happier of the two genders.