Findings on happiness in Palmore & Luikart (1972): study US 1968

Author(s)Palmore, E.B.; Luikart, C.
TitleHealth and Social Factors Related to Life Satisfaction.
SourceJournal of Health and Social Behavior, 1972, Vol. 13, 68 -80
Public46+ aged, whites, North Carolina, USA, 1968-70
Survey nameNot available
 Duke Second Longitudinal (or Adaptation) Study. Round 1.
SampleProbability stratified sample
 Within 10 age-sex categories (made up for cross-sequential/longitudinal study therefore greater numbers of older and male subjects) names were drawn from membership of major health insurance company (supplemented with 65+ patients of Medical Center). 52% refused participation, but no differences showed with respondents. 502 Subjects aged 45-69 compared with all whites in U.S. tended to be somewhat above average in health and SES.
Respondents N =502
Non ResponseNot available
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 One whole-day interviews, tests and examinations.
General remarksFindings from later waves reported in PALMO 1977, 1979 and 1981.
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 (9) represents the best possible life for you and the bottom (0) represents the worst possible life for you. Where on the ladder do you feel personally stand at the present time? [ 9 ] best possible life for you [ 8 ] [ 7 ] [ 6 ] [ 5 ] [ 4 ] [ 3 ] [ 2 ] [ 1 ] [ 0 ] worst possible life for you Name: Cantril's self anchoring ladder rating of life (adapted version)
Author's labelLife satisfaction.
Page in publication70
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 0 - 9On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation1.50

Correlational findings

Author's label Our subject description
Age in yearsshow  Current age (in years)
Career anchorageshow  Occupational aspirations
Educationshow  Level of school-education
Employed statusshow  Current employment status
Geographic  Times moved in country
Having a  Having a confident or not
Incomeshow  Current income level (unspecified)  Test-intelligence
Internal controlshow  Inner locus of control
Male sexshow  Sex (male vs female)  Married state (compared to non-married states)
Organizational  Attendance to meetings
Performance status (physical health)show  Expert rating of health
Self-rated  Global health rating
Sexual  Satisfaction with sex-life
Social  Current total social participation
Social  Leisure activity level, also classified as above ↑
Social contactsshow  Current total social participation
Upward career anchorageshow  Aspirations for social advancement