Findings on happiness in Hawkins & Booth (2005): study US 1980

Author(s)Hawkins, D.N.; Booth, A.
TitleUnhappily Ever After: Effects of Long-Term, Low-Quality Marriages on Well-Being.
SourceSocial Forces, 2005, Vol. 84, 451 - 471
PublicCouples, USA, followed 12 years, 1980-1992
Last assesment1992
 T1: 1980, T2: 1983, T3: 1988, T4: 1992
Survey nameNot available
 Marital Instability over the Life Course Study
SampleProbability simple random sample
 Married individuals under the age of 55 who were living with their spouses. Sample households were selected using a clustered random digit dialing procedure, and the husband or wife of the couple was chosen using an additional random procedure. The respondants were representative of the US population with regard to age, race, number of children, houshold size and region according to comparisons with census data from T1.
Respondents N =1150
 T1: 2033, T2: 1592, T3: 1341, T4: 1183
Non Response35%
 Dropout in % T1: T2: 22%, T3: 34%, T4: 42%
AssesmentInterview: telephone (CATI)
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: Taking all things together, how would you say you are these days? Would you say you are..........? 3 very happy 2 pretty happy 1 not too happy
Author's labelOverall happiness
Page in publication456
RemarksAssessed at T1 (1980) and T4 (1992)
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 1 - 3On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation0.572.85

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
AgeA04abCurrent age (in years)
AgeH04ab01cLong term happiness (< 10 years ago), also classified as above ↑
ChildrenC03aa03Later children
ChildrenC03ab01Number of children, also classified as above ↑
CohabitedM01aa01aEver lived as married
Continuously marriedM01aa02aEver divorced/separated
Continuously marriedM01ac02Later dissolution of marriage, also classified as above ↑
Continuously marriedM01ab02Recent dissolution of marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/RemarriedM01aa02cEver remarried
Divorced/RemarriedM01ac01cLater re-marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/RemarriedM01ab01cRecent re-marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/UnmarriedM01ab02aRecent divorce/separation
EducationE01aa03Later educational level
EducationE01ab01Years schooling, also classified as above ↑
Family incomeI01ab03Household income
Family incomeI01aa03aLater level of income, also classified as above ↑
GenderG01aaSex (male vs female)
Life satisfactionL04aa03Later life-appraisals
Life satisfactionL04ad02Satisfaction with multiple domains of life, also classified as above ↑
Overall healthH14aa01Earlier physical health
Overall healthH14aa03Later physical health, also classified as above ↑
Overall healthH14ab02Self-perceived health, also classified as above ↑
Psychological DistressH13aa01Earlier mental health
Psychological DistressH13aa03Later mental health, also classified as above ↑
Psychological DistressH13ab02bScores on symptom inventories, also classified as above ↑
RaceE04ab03tEthnic status in the USA
ReligiosityR12abCurrent religious beliefs
RemarriedM01aa01bEver married before
Self-esteemS02aa01Earlier self-image
Self-esteemS02ad02Evaluation of self-as-a-whole, also classified as above ↑
StepchildC03aa03bActually got children later (follow-up)
StepchildC03ab03cStep children, also classified as above ↑
Unhappily marriedM03aa03bEarlier satisfaction with current marriage-relationship
Unhappily marriedM03aa04bSatisfaction with later marriage-relationship(s), also classified as above ↑
Unhappily marriedM03ac03Satisfaction with marriage, also classified as above ↑