Findings on happiness in Bachman et al. (1978): study US 1966

Author(s)Bachman, J.G.; Johnston, J.; O'Malley, P.M.
TitleYouth in Transition, Vol. VI. Adolescence to Adulthood. Change and Stability in the Lives of Young Men.
SourceInstitute for Social Research, 1978, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
PublicPublic highschool boys followed 8 years from grade 10, USA, 1966-74
Last assesment1974
 T1:1966 T2:1968 T3:1969 T4:1970 T5:1974
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 Probability multi-stage sample selecting resp. geographic areas, one public high school in each area, and about 30 tenth grade boys within each school by random sampling (in fall, 1966). A supplementary probability sample of tenth grade boys in 10 outstanding high schools was also included.
Respondents N =1628
 T1: 2213, T2: 1886, T3: 1799, T4: 1620, T5: 1628
Non Response2.8% at T1, 17.2% at T2, 21.0% at T3, 28.9% at T4, 28.5% at T5
AssesmentMultiple methods
 Interviews, tests and questionnaires
General remarksSome of the data presented here were also reported in BACHM 1967 and BACHM 1970. Data reported in this excerpt are largely based on a correlation matrix provided by the author.
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 6 questions: " Describe the kind of person you are. Please read each sentence, then mark how often it is true for you" 1 I feel like smiling 2 I generally feel in good spirits 3 I feel happy 4 I am very satisfied with life 5 I find a good deal of happiness in life 6 I feel sad Response options: 5 almost always true 4 often true 3 sometimes true 2 seldom true 1 never true Summation: average Possible range: 1 to 5
Author's labelHappiness
Error estimatesReliability: Overtime correlations (r): T1 T2 T3 T4 T1 T2 +.54 T3 +.45 +.61 T4 +.43 +.54 +.61 Validity:
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
(Later) military serviceM12aa03Later in armed force
Abortion disapprovalV02abDomain-specific value-preferences
Abortion disapprovalV01ac01Later value-preferences, also classified as above ↑
Academic achievementvalueS01aa01dEarlier attitudes to school
Academic achievementvalueS01af02Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
Academic achievementvalueV02aa01bSelf-development (self-actualizing values), also classified as above ↑
Acceptance of social valuesV01ac01Later value-preferences
Acceptance of social valuesV02ab02Social values, also classified as above ↑
Alcohol useS13ab01Use of alcohol
Ambitious job attitudeW05ac01Reasons for working
Attendance of black segregated schoolS01ad04bEthnic homogeneity of school
Attendance of integrated schoolS01ad04bEthnic homogeneity of school
Average gradeS01ac02School-success
Concern about overpopulationC09ab02Specific concerns
Daily cigarette useS13ab08Use of tobacco
Delinquent behavior in schoolS01aa01aEarlier school-behavior
Delinquent behavior in schoolS01ac04Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Does best work in schoolS01ac03Involvement in school-work
Drug useS13ab03Use of barbiturates
Family's socioeconomic levelS09aa01Earlier socio-economic status
Family's socioeconomic levelF01agSocio-economic background (earlier for adults, current for young), also classified as above ↑
Father's occupationF01ag03Parents occupation
Geographic regionR01ab27Region in USA
Government should end discriminationP09af01Attitudes to ethnic discrimination
Government should end discriminationV01ac01Later value-preferences, also classified as above ↑
Government should end discriminationV02ab01dPreference for equal rights, also classified as above ↑
HappinessH04ab01bPast happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Having plans to go to collegeE01ad02Educational aspirations
High school curriculum college preparatoryS01abCurriculum currently followed
High school curriculum college preparatoryS01aa01bEarlier school-environment, also classified as above ↑
Ideal number of childrenC02ab02Ideal number of children
Impulse to aggressionP05aaAggressive, angry
Interest in governmentP09ab01Political concern
Interest in coursesS01aa01dEarlier attitudes to school
Internal controlP02ab16Earlier inner-control
Internal controlP05bpInner locus of control, also classified as above ↑
Interpersonal aggressionA05ab02Aggressive behavior
Later education attainedE01aa03Later educational level
Later employmentE02aa03Later (un)employment
Later job satisfactionW05aa03bLater satisfaction with work
Later job statusO01aa04Later occupation
Later marital statusM01ac01Later entering of marriage
Later parental statusC03aa03bActually got children later (follow-up)
Later payI01aa03aLater level of income
Level of (later) collegeS01aa04Later schooling
Lived with both parentsF01ab02Number of parents (broken home)
Marijuana useS13ab03Use of barbiturates
Need for self- developmentP02ab23Earlier need for self-actualization
Need for self- developmentP05crSelf-actualization (need for), also classified as above ↑
Need for self- utilizationP02ab23Earlier need for self-actualization
Need for self- utilizationP05crSelf-actualization (need for), also classified as above ↑
Need for social approvalP05ahApproval seeking
Need for social approvalP02ab05Earlier approval seeking, also classified as above ↑
Negative affective statesH13aa01Earlier mental health
Negative affective statesM15aa01Earlier mood-pattern, also classified as above ↑
Number of books in homeF01ag01Parents education
Number of hours of homeworkS01ac03Involvement in school-work
Number of rooms per person in homeF01ag02Parents income
Number of siblingsF01ab01Number of siblings
Parent's educationF01ag01Parents education
Parental punitivenessF01ae04bPunitive
Percieved racial discriminationE04ab01aPerceived occurrence of ethnic discrimination
Possesions in homeF01ag02Parents income
Prefer more militaryinfluenceP09afAttitudes to specific political issues
Preference for 'a job that doesn't bug me'W05ac02Preferred work-conditions
Preference for 'a job that pays off'W05ac02Preferred work-conditions
Prestige of (later) collegeS01aa04bLater school-environment
Raised on farmF01ah02Rural upbringing
Rebellious behavior in schoolS01ac04Misbehavior in school
Repeated gradeS01ac02School-success
Satisfaction with own school workS01aa01dEarlier attitudes to school
Satisfaction with own school workS01af03Perceived pressure of school-work, also classified as above ↑
Satisfaction with own school workS02ae02Satisfaction with own accomplishments, also classified as above ↑
School attitudesS01aa01dEarlier attitudes to school
School attitudesS01af02Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
School mean intelligence scoresS01aa01bEarlier school-environment
School mean intelligence scoresS01ad01Intellectual level of school, also classified as above ↑
School mean socioeconomic levelS01ad04aSocio-economic level of school
Self-esteemS02aa01Earlier self-image
Self-percieved school abilityS01ac02School-success
Serious delinquent behaviorsS01aa01aEarlier school-behavior
Serious delinquent behaviorsS01ac04Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Social distanceP02ab29Earlier tolerance
Social distanceP05cySociable, also classified as above ↑
Social distanceE04ab01cTendency to discriminate ethnic groups one-self, also classified as above ↑
Somatic symptomsH15aa04Later psycho-somatic complaints
Status of aspired occupationW05ac01Reasons for working
Test anxietyP02ab11Earlier fail-anxiety
Test anxietyP05bbFail anxious, also classified as above ↑
Theft and vandalismS01aa01aEarlier school-behavior
Theft and vandalismS01ac04Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Trust in governmentP09ag01Attitudes to government
Trust in peopleP02ab30Earlier trusting
Trust in peopleT04aaTrust career, also classified as above ↑
Trust in peopleT04ab02Trust in people, also classified as above ↑
Trust in peopleP05diTrusting, also classified as above ↑
Urbanicity of later dwellingL13ab02bRural vs urban dwelling
Vietnam dissentP09afAttitudes to specific political issues
Works harder than averageS01ac03Involvement in school-work