PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  Most doctors say a mid-life crisis might occur anywhere from age 37 all the way through your 50s, for men and women.

It’s defined as a crisis of identity or self-confidence that usually strikes those who are in a period of transition.

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It brings to mind that longstanding stereotype about the guy who impulsively buys the red sports car or dumps his wife for a younger girlfriend.

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But researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada now say a mid-life crisis isn’t real… it’s just a myth!

They followed a group of high school students for 25 years and a group of college students for 14 years.

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The participants were all asked the same question at different ages: How happy are you with your life?

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They found that as the people aged, they became happier and more secure.

Interestingly, those who were married and in good health were happier than younger participants who were unemployed.

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The findings were initially published online in Developmental Psychology in September.