Findings on happiness in Ormel (1980): study NL 1970

Author(s)Ormel, J.
TitleMoeite met Leven of een Moeilijk Leven. (Difficulties with Living or a Difficult Life).
SourceKonstapel, 1980, Groningen, Netherlands
Public15-60 aged, general public, followed 12 month, The Netherlands, 1967-77
Last assesment1977
 T1:1970, T2:1976, T3:1977
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 Ss were selected from the 1970 panel "Medische Consumptie" (medical consumption), a national survey in the Netherlands. From this panel were discarded Ss living in 4 provincies and those under 15 or over 60 of age, resulting in 716 names. A probability sample from those names resulted in 232 possible respondents. In order to obtain a high amount of neurotic Ss, those of the remaining 484 Ss having a high score on neurosticism were added to the sample. This resulted in 363 Ss of which 296 fully participated.
Respondents N =296
Non Response18%
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Structured interview
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 8 questions: " In the past few weeks did you ever feel.....?" A Pleased about having accomplished something B Upset because someone criticized you C Proud because someone complimented you one something you had done D That things are going your way E So restless you couldn't sit long in a chair F Unhappy or depressed G Particularly interested in something H Lonely and remote from other people Response options: 0 not at all 1 sometimes 2 often 3 very often Scoring: a = 0..........d = 3 Summation: Positive Affect Score (PAS): summed scores on A, C, D, G Negative Affect Score (NAS): summed scores on B, E, F, H Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS Name: Bradburn's Affect Balance Scale (shortened variant)
Author's labelAffect balance
Error estimatesT2: _ =.59, T3: _=.63
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 0 - 12On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation

Correlational findings

Author's label Our subject description
Adequacy of copingshow  Coping-success rating by others
Change in burdens in the last year (lowering)show  Change in life-event burden
Change in happinessshow  Change over life time
Chronological ageshow  Current age (in years)
Chronological ageshow  Recent happiness (< 1 year ago), also classified as above ↑
Closed attitudeshow  Open
Closed attitudeshow  Response tendencies, also classified as above ↑
Community sizeshow  Earlier community size
Complaints about mental healthshow  Earlier mental health
Complaints about physical healthshow  Earlier physical health
Complaints about physical healthshow  Later physical health, also classified as above ↑
Complaints about physical healthshow  Number of health complaints, also classified as above ↑
Denial of illnessshow  Denial of illness
Dissatisfaction with societyshow  Development of anomy
Dissatisfaction with societyshow  Satisfaction with moral climate , also classified as above ↑
Earlier community sizeshow  Earlier residence
Inclination to answer positivelyshow  Approval seeking
Inclination to answer positivelyshow  Earlier tendency to agree, also classified as above ↑
Inclination to answer positivelyshow  Response tendencies, also classified as above ↑
Incomeshow  Current income level (unspecified)
Incomeshow  Later level of income, also classified as above ↑
Internal controlshow  Earlier inner-control
Internal controlshow  Inner locus of control, also classified as above ↑
Interpreting symptoms as illnessshow  Conceptions of illness and healing
Intimacy between partnersshow  Intimacy with spouse
Level of educationshow  Level of school-education
Life-Qualityshow  Summed life-events: weighted in context
Living aloneshow  Living alone or not
Male sexshow  Sex (male vs female)
Negative affectsshow  Earlier mood-pattern
Negative affectsshow  Later mood-pattern, also classified as above ↑
Neuroticismshow  Earlier psycho-somatic complaints
Past happinessshow  Past happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Positive affectsshow  Recent happiness (< 1 year ago)
Psycho-social burdensshow  Actual earlier problems (observed by follow-up)
Psycho-social burdensshow  Amount of problems perceived, also classified as above ↑
Psycho-social burdensshow  Life-stress inventories, also classified as above ↑
Readiness to consult a doctorshow  HAPPINESS: SEQUALE
Readiness to consult a doctorshow  Medical services, also classified as above ↑
Readiness to consult a doctorshow  Trust in medical professionals, also classified as above ↑
Received social supportshow  Amount of current support received
Received social supportshow  Earlier support received, also classified as above ↑
Self esteemshow  Earlier self-image
Taking action on symptoms of illnessshow  Current medical consumption
Tolerance degreeshow  Current coping-style
Tolerance degreeshow  Degree of self-disclosure, also classified as above ↑
Tolerance degreeshow  Earlier self-disclosing, also classified as above ↑
Traumatic childhood experiencesshow  Burden of earlier life-events
Unemploymentshow  Current employment status
Unemploymentshow  Earlier (un)employment, also classified as above ↑
Unhappy childhoodshow  In specific periods in the past
Urban livingshow  Rural vs urban dwelling