Findings on happiness in Bahr & Harvey (1980): study US 1972

Author(s)Bahr, H.M.; Harvey, C.D.
TitleCorrelates of Morale Among the Newly Widowed.
SourceThe Journal of Social Psychology, 1980, Vol. 110, 219 - 233
PublicRecently widowed miner`s wives and controls,USA, 1972
Collect period10
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 1. Widows:Miners wives who`s husbands had died in the 1972 Sunshine Mine fire.Non probability chunk sample (all). 2. Survivor wives: Miners wives who's husband had survived the 1972 Sunshine Mine Fire.Non probability random sample (all). 3. Other miners wives:Wives of miners inthe Kellogg Wallace district.Probability random sample from local telephone directory.
Respondents N =222
Non ResponseWidows 39% ,survivor wives 19% ,other miners wives 48%
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Highly structured
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: Taken all together, how would you say things are these days? Would you say you are....? 1 not too happy 2 relatively happy 3 very happy
Author's labelUnhappines
RemarksNot too happy:Widows 56%, Survivor wives 12%, Other miners wives 9%
Finding used in
nation ranks

Full textSelfreport on single question: Here is a picture of a ladder. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder (10) represents the best possible life for you and the bottom (1) represents the worst possible life for you. Where on the ladder do you feel personally stand at the present time? [ 10 ] best possible life for you [ 9 ] [ 8 ] [ 7 ] [ 6 ] [ 5 ] [ 4 ] [ 3 ] [ 2 ] [ 1 ] worst possible life for you Name: Cantril's self anchoring ladder rating of life (adapted version)
Author's labelMorale
Remarks"High (6>) : Widows 32% ,Survivors wives 54% ,Other miners wives 64% Modus on range 1-10: Widows 5 ,Survivors wives 8 ,Other miners wives 8
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

Author's label Our subject description
Ageshow  Current age (in years)
Change in friendsshow  Change in personal contacts
Change in importanceof religionshow  Change in religion
Church attendanceshow  Participation in church
Church membershipshow  Church-member or not
Current family contactshow  Contacts with relatives
Diversity of organisational affiliationsshow  Membership of voluntary organizations
Educationshow  Level of school-education
Extent of organisational activityshow  Attendance to meetings
Family incomeshow  Household income
Having close friendsprior to the fireshow  Earlier amount of personal contacts
Having close friendsprior to the fireshow  Earlier intimacy, also classified as above ↑
Husband died in mineaccident 6 months agoshow  Change: recently victimized
Husband died in mineaccident 6 months agoshow  Recent widowhood, also classified as above ↑
Importance of religionshow  Concern about religion
Joint effectsshow  Socio-demographic + life-appraisals + social ties
Leisureshow  Leisure activity level
Marriedshow  Married vs widowed
Married beforeshow  Ever remarried
Number of contacts with friends and relativesshow  Current contacts
Participates in church social activitiesshow  Participation in church
Religiousnessshow  Self-definition as religious
Satisfaction with incomeshow  Satisfaction with income
Socially active before the fireshow  Earlier amount of organizational participation
Summary social contact scoreshow  Current contacts