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 label Our subject description
Absolute post-retirement incomeshow  Household income
Dependents in householdshow  Dependent persons in household
Earlier job satisfactionshow  Earlier satisfaction with work
Earlier work motivationshow  Earlier motivation to work
Health problemsshow  Self-perceived health
Married statusshow  Married state (compared to non-married states)
Number of years retiredshow  Time since retirement
Pre-retirement SESshow  Earlier occupation
Pre-retirement SESshow  Earlier socio-economic status, also classified as above ↑
Reason retirement: compulsory planshow  Compulsory retirement (vs free choice)
Reason retirement: healthshow  Compulsory retirement (vs free choice)
Reason retirement: unemploymentshow  Earlier (un)employment
Reason retirement: unemploymentshow  Full retirement (vs partial), also classified as above ↑
Relative incomeshow  Change in income level
White raceshow  Ethnic status in the USA