Findings on happiness in Maxwell (1985): study US 1966

Author(s)Maxwell, N.L.
TitleThe Retirement Experience: Psychological and Financial Linkages to the Labor Market.
SourceSocial Science Quarterly, 1985, Vol. 66, 22 - 33
Public45+ aged males, USA, followed 12 years 1966-1978
 T1: 1966, T2: 1978
Survey nameNot available
 National Longitudinal Surveys of Work Experience
SampleProbability stratified sample
 Sub-sample of 850 whites and 323 blacks of a national representative sample (N=5000) of males, aged 45-59 in 1966. Selection criterion is affirmative answer to question at T2: "Have you ever retired from a job, voluntary or involuntary?"
Respondents N =1173
Non ResponseNot available
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Highly structured
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: Overall, how happy would you say you are with your life......? 3 very happy 2 somewhat happy 1 unhappy
Author's labelLife satisfaction
Page in publication26
Finding used in
nation ranks
Scores in123

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Absolute post-retirement incomeI01ab03Household income
Dependents in householdH20ac01aDependent persons in household
Earlier job satisfactionW05aa01bEarlier satisfaction with work
Earlier work motivationW05aa01aEarlier motivation to work
Health problemsH14ab02Self-perceived health
Married statusM02aaMarried state (compared to non-married states)
Number of years retiredR14aa02aTime since retirement
Pre-retirement SESO01aa01Earlier occupation
Pre-retirement SESS09aa01Earlier socio-economic status, also classified as above ↑
Reason retirement: compulsory planR14ae02Compulsory retirement (vs free choice)
Reason retirement: healthR14ae02Compulsory retirement (vs free choice)
Reason retirement: unemploymentE02aa01Earlier (un)employment
Reason retirement: unemploymentR14ae03Full retirement (vs partial), also classified as above ↑
Relative incomeI01aa02aChange in income level
White raceE04ab03tEthnic status in the USA