We propose a renewal to our currently funded NIA Roybal Center for Translational Research on Aging at Princeton University, with the overall objectives of (1) continuing our development of new methods for the measurement of well-being and health that aggregate particular experiences rather than eliciting global evaluations and (2) using them to better understand and document the experience of aging. We propose to refine and extend a shift to a bottom-up conceptualization of well-being to enhance our ability to understand numerous facets of the aging process by clearly separating actual experiences of daily life from the cognitive processes that give rise to reports of life satisfaction or overall happiness. We will show our current application of bottom-up methods has improved our understanding of apparent anomalies in self-reported well-being and health and has provided insights into the process of adaptation to changing circumstances. These new methods have allowed detailed analyses of the contribution of different circumstances (e.g., chronic disease, widowhood) and situations (e.g., working, socializing with friends) to the overall quality of life, and of how these contributions change over a person's life cycle. The combination of measurements of the affective experience of situations and activities (e.g., commuting, housework) with measurements of the time spent by the population in these activities, currently collected by the Department of Labor Statistics, should contribute to the development of an experimental system of National Well-being Accounts during the proposed study period. As per the goals of the Roybal RFA, we do not expect to produce definitive answers to all of questions addressed in the proposal;our goal is to extend the work from the current grant to support subsequent large-scale studies.

Public Health Relevance

The newly developed instruments will increase our ability to accurately assess the activities, emotions, and symptoms of peoples'everyday lives, Which has wide application for policy, social science and medical research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3)
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Princeton University
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Stone, Arthur A; Schneider, Stefan; Broderick, Joan E (2017) Psychological stress declines rapidly from age 50 in the United States: Yet another well-being paradox. J Psychosom Res 103:22-28
Deaton, Angus; Cartwright, Nancy (2017) Understanding and misunderstanding randomized controlled trials. Soc Sci Med :
Aghion, Philippe; Akcigit, Ufuk; Deaton, Angus et al. (2016) Creative Destruction and Subjective Well-Being. Am Econ Rev 106:3869-3897
Case, Anne; Deaton, Angus (2016) Reply to Schmid, Snyder, and Gelman and Auerbach: Correlates of the increase in white non-Hispanic midlife mortality in the 21st century. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:E818-9
Deaton, Angus (2016) On Death and Money: History, Facts, and Explanations. JAMA 315:1703-5
Currie, Janet; Schwandt, Hannes (2016) Mortality Inequality: The Good News from a County-Level Approach. J Econ Perspect 30:29-52
Deaton, Angus; Stone, Arthur A (2016) Understanding context effects for a measure of life evaluation: how responses matter. Oxf Econ Pap 68:861-870
Currie, J; Schwandt, H (2016) Inequality in mortality decreased among the young while increasing for older adults, 1990-2010. Science 352:708-12
Case, Anne; Deaton, Angus (2015) Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 112:15078-83
Schneider, Stefan; Stone, Arthur A (2015) Mixed emotions across the adult life span in the United States. Psychol Aging 30:369-82

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