Happiness, Post-materialist Values, and the Unmarried

Elyakim Kislev*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


With the rise of individualism and post-materialist values comes the fall in the importance of marriage. However, it is still not clear how these two processes affect each other in terms of individuals’ wellbeing and happiness. Thus, the aim of this paper is to gain a better understanding of how happiness may be moderated by post-materialist values among different groups of marital status: never married, divorced/separated, widowed, married, and cohabiting individuals. Through executing a multilevel analysis on data from the European Social Survey between 2002 and 2014, this paper demonstrates a clear relationship between post-materialist values and levels of happiness. Moreover, it is shown that holding post-materialist views provides greater levels of happiness for singles than it does for cohabiters and married individuals, raising questions about the relationship between marriage and happiness in a post-materialist era.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2243-2265
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Happiness Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


  • Individualism
  • Marriage
  • Post-materialism
  • Singlehood


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