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The Origins of HappinessThe Science of Well-Being over the Life Course$
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Andrew Clark, Sarah Fléche, Richard Layard, Nattavudh Powdthavee, and George Ward

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196336

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196336.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Health of Mind and Body

Health of Mind and Body

(p.89) 6 Health of Mind and Body
The Origins of Happiness

Andrew E. Clark

Sarah Flèche

Richard Layard

Nattavudh Powdthavee

George Ward

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that both physical and mental health are hugely important for an enjoyable life. Illnesses of either type can be devastating. But the chapter asserts that mental illness explains more of the misery in society than physical illness does, and more than either poverty or unemployment. It also explains more of the variation in life-satisfaction. Moreover, mental illness in one generation is frequently transmitted to the next. But many existing studies of life-satisfaction ignore mental illness. Implicitly they assume that misery and mental illness are the same thing. However, the chapter argues that this is quite wrong. Many things can cause low life-satisfaction, some of them directly and others indirectly by causing mental illness. But there are also sources of mental illness that are uncorrelated with any of the obvious external causes like poverty, unemployment, separation, or bereavement.

Keywords:   physical illness, mental illness, physical health, mental health, misery, life-satisfaction, happiness

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