Findings on happiness in Thoits & Hewitt (2001): study US 1986

Publication
Author(s)Thoits, P.A.; Hewitt, L.N.
TitleVolunteer Work and Well-Being.
SourceJournal of Health and Social Behavior, 2001, Vol. 42, 115 - 131
Investigation
Public25+ aged, general public, USA, 1986-1989
 1986-1989
Survey nameNot available
SampleProbability multi-stage cluster sample
 Elderly people(60 years or older) and African Americans were disproportionately sampled at twice the rate of those under 60 and whites, in order to aid comparisons between age groups and across races.
Respondents N =2867
 T1: 3,617 T2: 2,867
Non ResponseT1: 33% T2: 21%
 T1(1986) : 3,617 respondents, 1,121 non response T2(1989) : 2867 respondents, 750 non response(166 had died)
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 At home
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on single question: 'How satisfied are you with your life in general?" 1 completely unsatisfied 2 very unsatisfied 3 unsatisfied 4 unsatisfied nor satisfied 5 satisfied 6 very satisfied 7 completely satisfied
ClassificationO-SLu-g-sq-v-7-a
Author's labelT2 life satisfaction
Page in publication120
RemarksAssessed at T2 only
Error estimatesCorrelation with simmilar question at T2: r=+39 (p< .01)
Finding used in
nation ranks
Yes
 On original range 1 - 7On range 0 - 10
Mean5.36
Standard deviation1.48


Full textSelfreport on single question: Taking all together, how would you say things are these days? Would you say you are .....? 3 very happy 2 pretty happy 1 not too happy
ClassificationO-HL-c-sq-v-3-a
Author's labelT2 Happiness
RemarksAssessed at T2 only. Mean and SD provided by author
Error estimatesCorrelation with response to T1 question ' My life could be happier than it is now' r= .27 (p<.01)
Finding used in
nation ranks
Yes
 On original range 1 - 3On range 0 - 10
Mean2.16
Standard deviation0.63


Full textSelfreport on single question: My life could be happier than it is now 1 strongly agree 2 somewhat agree 3 somewhat disagree 4 strongly disagree
ClassificationO-HL-u-sq-v-4-i
Author's labelT1 happiness
RemarksAssessed at T1. Mean and SD provided by author
Error estimatesCorrelation with response to T2 question 'Taken all together, how happy would you say you are? r= .27 (p<.01)
Finding used in
nation ranks
Yes
 On original range 1 - 4On range 0 - 10
Mean2.13
Standard deviation0.95


Full textSelfreport on single question: How satisfied are you with your life in general? 5 completely satisfied 4 very satisfied 3 somewhat satisfied 2 not very satisfied 1 not at all satisfied
ClassificationO-SLu-g-sq-v-5-f
Author's labelT1 life satisfaction
RemarksAssessed at T1 only
Error estimatesCorrelation with simmilar question at T2: r=+.39 (p<.01)
Finding used in
nation ranks
Yes
 On original range 1 - 5On range 0 - 10
Mean3.75
Standard deviation0.94


Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Finding
Subject description
AgeA04abCurrent age (in years)
Children at homeC03ab02Children in the household
Children at homeH20ab02Living with children, also classified as above ↑
Church participationS07ab02Attendance to meetings
Church participationR12ad02Participation in church, also classified as above ↑
EducationE02abCurrent employment status
EmployedE02abCurrent employment status
Family incomeI01ab03Household income
Happiness 3 years agoH04ab01bPast happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Hours of volunteer workS07ab03Voluntary work
Life satisfaction 3 years agoH04ab01bPast happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
MarriageM02aaMarried state (compared to non-married states)
Organizational participationS07ab02Attendance to meetings
WhiteE04ab03tEthnic status in the USA