Findings on happiness in Isaacowitz & Smith (2003): study DE Berlin 1990

Author(s)Isaacowitz, D.M.; Smith, J.
TitlePositive and Negative Affect in Very Old Age.
SourceJournal of Gerontology, 2003, Vol. 58b, 143 - 152
Public70-100+aged, Germany, 1990-1993.
Last assesment1993
Survey nameDE-Berlin Aging Study
 It is a multidisciplinary investigation of old people aged 70 to over 100 years who live in former West Berlin. In the main study (1990-1993), a core sample of 516 individuals was closely examined in 14 sessions covering their mental and physical health, their psychological functioning, and their social and economic situation. Since then, the study has been continued as a longitudinal study, and surviving participants have been reexamined seven times
SampleProbability stratified sample
Respondents N =516
Non ResponseNot available
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Apart from some clinical medical assessments, all testing was carried out in the participant's place of residence (e.g., private home, nursing home, hospital) by trained research assistants and physicians. 75%of the participants resided in their own homes; 14% resided in institutions.
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 20 questions. This scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions. Read each item and mark the appropriate answer in the space next to that word. Indicate to what extend you felt this way during the past few weeks? A nervous B distressed C afraid D jittery E irritable F upset G scared H exiled I ashamed J guilty K hostile L active M determined N inspired O enthusiastic P alert Q attentive R proud S strong T interested Answer options: a 1 very slightly or not at all b 2 a little c 3 moderately d 4 quite a bit e 5 extremely Negative affect score (NAS): A to K Positive affect score (PAS): L to T Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS - NAS Name: Watson et al's PANAS ('past few weeks' version)
Author's labelAffect-Balance
Page in publication145
RemarksAffect Balance computed by WDH team, subtracting average Positive Affect (3.3) from Negative Affect (2.3 ) for young old and subtracting average Positive Affect (3.0) from Negative Affect (2.2) for old old.
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range -40 - 40On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation