In a New York Times guest essay published Thursday, Hal Boyd, the executive editor of Deseret National, joined with two scholars at the Institute for Family Studies, W. Bradford Wilcox and Wendy Wang, to explore why conservatives tend to report higher levels of life satisfaction than liberals, and how liberals can close the gap.
The authors pointed to research, including the Deseret News’ annual American Family Survey, to suggest that strong family relationships are a central factor.
“This gap is not explained by socioeconomic differences in income, race, age and gender between the two groups. But once we control for marriage, parenthood, family satisfaction, religious attendance and community satisfaction, the ideological gap in happiness disappears.
“On Thanksgiving, a holiday so many of us spend with our loved ones, we emphasize that of all these social factors, the biggest factor predicting overall happiness is satisfaction with family life.”
Read the full essay here.