Findings on happiness in Nelson (1982): study US 1978 /1

Author(s)Nelson, G.
TitleCoping with the Loss of the Father.
SourceJournal of Family Issues, 1982, Vol. 3, 41 - 60
PublicMothers, Winnipeg, USA, 1978
Survey nameNot available
SampleNot available
 Non-probability chunk sample using obituances of local newspapers, legal court records and a survey of four public schools. The obituaries of the local newspapers spanning a one and one-half year period were used to indentify 116 widows with children whose husbands were age 45 or younger at the time of their death. Trough the legal court records, 106 divorced women were identified who met the inclusion criteria. Potential subjects for the married group were identified from a survey of four public schools spanning grades K to 9. Teachers gave 550 letters addressed to "parents" to randomly selected children and instructed them to take the letter home to their parent(s). The following inclusion criteria were specified a priori: the family must consist of a mother who has been married only once and who has at least one child in elementary school. Additionally, widowed and divorced women must have been widowed or permanently separated from between 5 and 25 months, must not have been remarried, and must not have lived common law with a man since the death or separation. The spouses of married women must have been living with their families and working in their city of residence, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The following three groups of 15 families were selected: 1 widowed families (husbands were age 45 or younger at the time of their death) 2 divorced families (women had custody of the children) 3 3 married families (with children) The groups were representative of total population for each category, except an overrepresentation in married group of young, high educated mothers and young sons. All subjects were white, except one black family in widowed group and one oriental in married group. And all women in divorced and widowed families lived alone with their children, except one sister living ina widowed family since before husband's death.
Respondents N =45
 (15 widowed, 15 divorced, 15 married)
Non ResponseWidowed (57%), Divorced (56%), Married (72%)
AssesmentQuestionnaire: paper
 Mailed questionaire and focused interview
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 10 questions: During the past few weeks, did you ever feel ....? (yes/no) A Particularly excited or interested in something? B So restless that you couldn't sit long in a chair? C Proud because someone complimented you on something you had done? D Very lonely or remote from other people? E Pleased about having accomplished something? F Bored? G On top of the world? H Depressed or very unhappy? I That things were going your way? J Upset because someone criticized you? Answer options and scoring: yes = 1 no = 0 Summation: -Positive Affect Score (PAS): A+C+E+G+I -Negative Affect Score (NAS): B+D+F+H+J -Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS Possible range: -5 to +5 Name: Bradburn's 'Affect Balance Scale' (standard version)
Author's labelAdjustment
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

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