Findings on happiness in Gfellner (1989): study CA 1984

Author(s)Gfellner, B.M.
TitlePerceptions of Health, Abilities, and Life Satisfaction among very Old Adults.
SourcePerceptual and Motor Skills, 1989, Vol. 68, 203 -209
Public80+ aged, hospitalized within 2 years, Canada, 1984
 - 18 Participants were volunteers from local seniors' clubs; 2 who responded to a local newspaper advertisement; 20 were contacted while in the hospital.
Survey nameUnnamed study
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
Respondents N =40
 - age: 80-96 years old - 75% are women, 25% are men - 27 alone, 11 with their spouses, 2 with another - all lived in their own homes - 34 resided in a small urban centre 25yr. ; 6 lived in the community 10-25 yr. - 31 with at least one child living within the same city. 9 had children within a distance of 250 miles or less - all of them were middle-class in socioeconomic background - education: 10 yr. of school - there income was adequate to meet their needs - 20 had been hospitalized within 2 yr. and included those recently discharged - 74% were recipients of home-care services
Non ResponseNot available
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 interview in their homes
General remarksyear of data gatheing not reported. Estimated 1984
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: Here is a picture of a ladder. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom represents the worst possible life for you. Where on the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time? [ 10 ] best possible life [ 9 ] [ 8 ] [ 7 ] [ 6 ] [ 5 ] [ 4 ] [ 3 ] [ 2 ] [ 1 ] [ 0 ] worst possible life Preceded by 1) open questions about what the respondent imagines as the best possible life and the worst possible life. 2) ratings on the ladder of one's life five years ago and where on the ladder one expects to stand five years from now. Name: Cantril's self anchoring ladder rating of life (original)
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 0 - 10On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation2.50

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Current Functional AbilitiesH14ab03Symptoms of bad health
Current HealthH14ab02aGlobal health rating
Current Health ConditionsH14ab02cNumber of health complaints
Current Instrumental LimitationsH14acCurrent functional health
Current Physical LimitationsH14acCurrent functional health
Expected Functional AbilitiesH14af07Expected health
Expected HealthH14af07Expected health
Expected SatisfactionH04aa04aIn the near future (up to 5 years)
Past Functional AbilitiesH14aa01Earlier physical health
Past HealthH14aa01Earlier physical health
Past SatisfactionH04aa01aIn recent past