Findings on happiness in Abbey & Andrews (1985): study US Detroit 1984

Author(s)Abbey, A.; Andrews, F.M.
TitleModeling the Psychological Determinants of Life-Quality.
SourceSocial Indicators Research, 1985, Vol. 16, 1 - 34
PublicTranquilizer users, Detroit, USA, 1984
Survey nameUnnamed study
SampleProbability simple random sample
 Respondents were randomly selected from prescription records of 39 pharmacies, representative of the various neighborhoods of the Detroit metropolitan area. Restrictions were: 1) 50% males and 50% females, 2) 67% valium users. Respondents were representative of the adult American population with respect to age, sex, and education, but were more likely to be black (20,5%) than American adults (9,8%). (More detail in Caplan et al. 1984).
Respondents N =675
Non Response40%
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 4 structured interviews at 6 week intervals
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 5 questions, repeated every week during 24 weeks: A. "How do you feel about your life as a whole?" 1 terrible 2 3 4 5 6 7 delighted B. "Taking all things together, how would you say things are these days? Would you say you are........?"; 3 very happy 2 pretty happy 1 not too happy C. To what extent have the five areas of your life been what you wanted it to be? (refers to self, personal life, work life and health) 5 all 4 3 2 1 not at all D. "How much have you really enjoyed your life as a whole?" 1 not at all, 2 3 4 5 a great deal E. "How much has your life as a whole made you feel emotionally upset?" 1 not at all 2 3 4 5 a great deal Summation: A+B+C+D+E
Author's labelQuality of life-as-a-whole
Error estimatesResults suggest that stress and depression are negatively related to life quality, while internal control, performance and social support are positively related to life quality. These findings support the hyupothesis that life quality evalutations and psychosocial factors are principally concurrent phenomena. There was a tendency for positive psychological phenomena to relate most strongly to positive affect life quality and negative psychological phenomena to relate most strongly to negative affect life quality, suggesting that those are somewhat independent components of well-being.
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Cognitive evaluation of quality of lifeH07ad03by pure indicators of contentment
Cognitive evaluation of quality of lifeL04ad02Satisfaction with multiple domains of life, also classified as above ↑
Control by others over personal lifeP05bpInner locus of control
DepressionH13ac04aDepressive (f31-33)
Evaluation of selfL04ad02Satisfaction with multiple domains of life
Internal control over personal lifeP05bpInner locus of control
Negative affect of life qualityL04ac02bGood and bad parts of life
Positive affect lifequalityL04ac02bGood and bad parts of life
Social supportS10abCurrent social support received
StressL04ag01Life-stress inventories
Technical performanceI03ab03Self-perceived intelligence
Valium usersH16ab02cPsycho-pharmacals