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 label Our subject description
(Later) military serviceshow  Later in armed force
Abortion disapprovalshow  Domain-specific value-preferences
Abortion disapprovalshow  Later value-preferences, also classified as above ↑
Academic achievementvalueshow  Earlier attitudes to school
Academic achievementvalueshow  Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
Academic achievementvalueshow  Self-development (self-actualizing values), also classified as above ↑
Acceptance of social valuesshow  Later value-preferences
Acceptance of social valuesshow  Social values, also classified as above ↑
Alcohol useshow  Use of alcohol
Ambitious job attitudeshow  Reasons for working
Attendance of black segregated schoolshow  Ethnic homogeneity of school
Attendance of integrated schoolshow  Ethnic homogeneity of school
Average gradeshow  School-success
Concern about overpopulationshow  Specific concerns
Daily cigarette useshow  Use of tobacco
Delinquent behavior in schoolshow  Earlier school-behavior
Delinquent behavior in schoolshow  Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Does best work in schoolshow  Involvement in school-work
Drug useshow  Use of barbiturates
Family's socioeconomic levelshow  Earlier socio-economic status
Family's socioeconomic levelshow  Socio-economic background (earlier for adults, current for young), also classified as above ↑
Father's occupationshow  Parents occupation
Geographic regionshow  Region in USA
Government should end discriminationshow  Attitudes to ethnic discrimination
Government should end discriminationshow  Later value-preferences, also classified as above ↑
Government should end discriminationshow  Preference for equal rights, also classified as above ↑
Happinessshow  Past happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Having plans to go to collegeshow  Educational aspirations
High school curriculum college preparatoryshow  Curriculum currently followed
High school curriculum college preparatoryshow  Earlier school-environment, also classified as above ↑
Ideal number of childrenshow  Ideal number of children
Impulse to aggressionshow  Aggressive, angry
Intelligenceshow  Test-intelligence
Interest in governmentshow  Political concern
Interest in coursesshow  Earlier attitudes to school
Internal controlshow  Earlier inner-control
Internal controlshow  Inner locus of control, also classified as above ↑
Interpersonal aggressionshow  Aggressive behavior
Later education attainedshow  Later educational level
Later employmentshow  Later (un)employment
Later job satisfactionshow  Later satisfaction with work
Later job statusshow  Later occupation
Later marital statusshow  Later entering of marriage
Later parental statusshow  Actually got children later (follow-up)
Later payshow  Later level of income
Level of (later) collegeshow  Later schooling
Lived with both parentsshow  Number of parents (broken home)
Marijuana useshow  Use of barbiturates
Need for self- developmentshow  Earlier need for self-actualization
Need for self- developmentshow  Self-actualization (need for), also classified as above ↑
Need for self- utilizationshow  Earlier need for self-actualization
Need for self- utilizationshow  Self-actualization (need for), also classified as above ↑
Need for social approvalshow  Approval seeking
Need for social approvalshow  Earlier approval seeking, also classified as above ↑
Negative affective statesshow  Earlier mental health
Negative affective statesshow  Earlier mood-pattern, also classified as above ↑
Number of books in homeshow  Parents education
Number of hours of homeworkshow  Involvement in school-work
Number of rooms per person in homeshow  Parents income
Number of siblingsshow  Number of siblings
Parent's educationshow  Parents education
Parental punitivenessshow  Punitive
Percieved racial discriminationshow  Perceived occurrence of ethnic discrimination
Possesions in homeshow  Parents income
Prefer more militaryinfluenceshow  Attitudes to specific political issues
Preference for 'a job that doesn't bug me'show  Preferred work-conditions
Preference for 'a job that pays off'show  Preferred work-conditions
Prestige of (later) collegeshow  Later school-environment
Raised on farmshow  Rural upbringing
Rebellious behavior in schoolshow  Misbehavior in school
Repeated gradeshow  School-success
Satisfaction with own school workshow  Earlier attitudes to school
Satisfaction with own school workshow  Perceived pressure of school-work, also classified as above ↑
Satisfaction with own school workshow  Satisfaction with own accomplishments, also classified as above ↑
School attitudesshow  Earlier attitudes to school
School attitudesshow  Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
School mean intelligence scoresshow  Earlier school-environment
School mean intelligence scoresshow  Intellectual level of school, also classified as above ↑
School mean socioeconomic levelshow  Socio-economic level of school
Self-esteemshow  Earlier self-image
Self-percieved school abilityshow  School-success
Serious delinquent behaviorsshow  Earlier school-behavior
Serious delinquent behaviorsshow  Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Social distanceshow  Earlier tolerance
Social distanceshow  Sociable, also classified as above ↑
Social distanceshow  Tendency to discriminate ethnic groups one-self, also classified as above ↑
Somatic symptomsshow  Later psycho-somatic complaints
Status of aspired occupationshow  Reasons for working
Test anxietyshow  Earlier fail-anxiety
Test anxietyshow  Fail anxious, also classified as above ↑
Theft and vandalismshow  Earlier school-behavior
Theft and vandalismshow  Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Trust in governmentshow  Attitudes to government
Trust in peopleshow  Earlier trusting
Trust in peopleshow  Trust career, also classified as above ↑
Trust in peopleshow  Trust in people, also classified as above ↑
Trust in peopleshow  Trusting, also classified as above ↑
Urbanicity of later dwellingshow  Rural vs urban dwelling
Vietnam dissentshow  Attitudes to specific political issues
Works harder than averageshow  Involvement in school-work