Although aging is associated with declines in many life circumstances, overall life satisfaction does not appear to sharply decline with age. One explanation for this paradoxical finding is that several life domains improve with age such that increases in certain domains balance the decreases in others. Life and domain satisfaction data from eight years of the British Household Panel Study were analyzed to evaluate this hypothesis. Results showed that although domain satisfaction scores demonstrate distinct trajectories, the aggregate of these distinct trajectories resembled the overall life satisfaction trajectory. These findings have implications for top-down and bottom-up models of life satisfaction.
McAdams, Kimberly K.; Lucas, Richard E.; and Donnellan, M. Brent. (2012). "The Role of Domain Satisfaction in Explaining the Paradoxical Association Between Life Satisfaction and Age". Social Indicators Research, 109(2), 295-303.