The green-eyed monster of envy has a tighter grip on young adults than on their elders, a study has found.
While people of all ages admitted to the emotion, 80 per cent of those under 30 reported feeling it in the past year compared with 69 per cent of over-50s.
The study found younger people were more likely to envy others for their looks, success in love, popularity and educational achievements.
The only areas where older people were more envious were wealth and jobs.
"Envy of monetary success and occupational success was common across all age groups, but these two domains were unique in being more often envied by older people," the study says.
It showed that women were slightly more likely to be envious than men - 79.4 per cent against 74.1 per cent.
But the American researchers also discovered that both men and women tended to envy only those of their own sex.
Study co-author Professor Christine Harris, of the University of California, San Diego, said: "It surprised us how consistently men envied other men and women envied other women.
"Even in domains like financial and occupational success, where you can imagine a woman might envy a man his better pay or status, that wasn't usually the case."
When it comes to love, we get a lot more relaxed as we get older.
The study found 40 per cent of those under 30 envied others for their success in romance, compared with just 15 per cent of those over 50.
The research, published in the journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology, was based on two surveys of a total of 1,700 people aged 18 to 80.
The researchers were not certain why there were such striking differences between the generations, but Professor Harris said: "My hunch is that the hold envy has on people diminishes with time. My guess is that it's good news about ageing."
The study found the one thing equally common between the age groups was being envious of those perceived to be lucky.
It also showed there was less envy between best friends, romantic partners and siblings and relatives.
- Daily Mail