Findings on happiness in Feather & O'Brien (1986): study AU 1980

Author(s)Feather, N.T.; O'Brien, G.E.
TitleA Longitudinal Study of the Effects of Employment and Unemployment on School-Leavers.
SourceJournal of Occupational Psychology, 1986, Vol. 59, 121 -144
PublicSchool-leavers, Australia, followed 2 years,1980-1982
Last assesment1982
 T1: 1980, T2: 1981, T3: 1982.
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 Four samples of male and female subjects were drawn from Year 10, 11 and 12 classes in 15 State High Schools in metropolitan Adelaide: A. 2976 subjects were selected and tested at T1 in 10 different high schools, and retested at T2 and T3. B. 480 subjects were selected at T1 from 2 different high schools, tested at T2, and retested at T3. C. 940 subjects were selected at T1 from 3 different high schools, and tested at T3, D. 930 subjects were selected and tested at T3 in 3 different schools as control group in order to assess the impact of societal or 'history' effects. The major analyses focussed on those students, who were either full-time employed, or full-time unemployed at T2 and/or T3.
Respondents N =5446
Non ResponseT2: 25%, T3: 34%
AssesmentQuestionnaire: paper
 Mailed orr administered in the schools.
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 4 questions: How do you see yourself in general....? A 'happy' to 'sad', B 'elated' to 'depressed', C 'tensed' to 'relaxed' D 'satisfied' to 'dissatisfied'. Scoring: each item scored on bi-polar 7 step numerical scale. Summation: scores added; possible range 4-28
Author's labelDepressive affect.
Page in publication126
RemarksScores reversed (in original report high scores indicated unhappiness) Scores at T3 Employed : M = 11,60 Ms = 6.50 Unemployed: M = 9,91 Ms = 5,80
Error estimatesReliability: Equivalence: employeds _ = +.75 unemployeds _ = +.80 Validity:
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 4 - 28On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Male sexG01aaSex (male vs female)
Unemployment.E02aa02Change in employment