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 label Our subject description
Ageshow  Current age (in years)
Ageshow  Long term happiness (< 10 years ago), also classified as above ↑
Childrenshow  Later children
Childrenshow  Number of children, also classified as above ↑
Cohabitedshow  Ever lived as married
Continuously marriedshow  Ever divorced/separated
Continuously marriedshow  Later dissolution of marriage, also classified as above ↑
Continuously marriedshow  Recent dissolution of marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/Remarriedshow  Ever remarried
Divorced/Remarriedshow  Later re-marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/Remarriedshow  Recent re-marriage, also classified as above ↑
Divorced/Unmarriedshow  Recent divorce/separation
Educationshow  Later educational level
Educationshow  Years schooling, also classified as above ↑
Family incomeshow  Household income
Family incomeshow  Later level of income, also classified as above ↑
Gendershow  Sex (male vs female)
Life satisfactionshow  Later life-appraisals
Life satisfactionshow  Satisfaction with multiple domains of life, also classified as above ↑
Overall healthshow  Earlier physical health
Overall healthshow  Later physical health, also classified as above ↑
Overall healthshow  Self-perceived health, also classified as above ↑
Psychological Distressshow  Earlier mental health
Psychological Distressshow  Later mental health, also classified as above ↑
Psychological Distressshow  Scores on symptom inventories, also classified as above ↑
Raceshow  Ethnic status in the USA
Religiosityshow  Current religious beliefs
Remarriedshow  Ever married before
Self-esteemshow  Earlier self-image
Self-esteemshow  Evaluation of self-as-a-whole, also classified as above ↑
Stepchildshow  Actually got children later (follow-up)
Stepchildshow  Step children, also classified as above ↑
Unhappily marriedshow  Earlier satisfaction with current marriage-relationship
Unhappily marriedshow  Satisfaction with later marriage-relationship(s), also classified as above ↑
Unhappily marriedshow  Satisfaction with marriage, also classified as above ↑