Findings on happiness in Bachman et al. (1970): study US 1966

Author(s)Bachman, J.G.; Davidson, R.L.; Johnson, L.D.; Kahn, R.L.; Mednick, M.T.
TitleYouth in Transition, Vol. 1,2,3,4,5.
SourceInstitute for Social Research, 1970, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
PublicPublic highschool boys followed 3 years from grade 10, USA, 1966-69
 T1:fall 1966, T2:spring 1968, T3:spring 1969
Survey nameNot available
 Youth in Transition Panel Study
SampleNot available
 Probability multi-stage sample selecting resp. geographic areas, one public high school in each area, and 30 tenth grade-boys within each school by random sampling (in fall, 1966). A supplementary probability sample of tenth-grade boys in 10 outstanding high schools was also included.
Respondents N =1799
 T1:2213, T2: 1886, T3: 1799
Non Response2.8% incomplete information in 1966
AssesmentMultiple methods
 Interviews, test, teacher ratings.
General remarksIf not mentioned otherwise the data presented come from the first stage of the project (fall, 1966; N = 2213). All the correlations are presented in Volume II of the Youth in Transition study. Study design described in Vol.I Blueprint for a longitudinal study of adolescent boys (1967). Same study also reported in BACHM 1978.
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 6 questions: " Describe the kind of person you are. Please read each sentence, then mark how often it is true for you" 1 I feel like smiling 2 I generally feel in good spirits 3 I feel happy 4 I am very satisfied with life 5 I find a good deal of happiness in life 6 I feel sad Response options: 5 almost always true 4 often true 3 sometimes true 2 seldom true 1 never true Summation: average Possible range: 1 to 5
Author's labelHappiness
Error estimatesRepeat reliability: T1 - T3 (30 mos.): r = +.47 T1 - T2 (18 mos.): r = +.54 T2 - T3 (12 mos.): r = +.63
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 1 - 5On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation0.61

Correlational findings

Author's label Our subject description
Academic achievement(gradesshow  School-success
Acceptance of social valuesshow  Similarity of own values with others
Acceptance of social valuesshow  Social values, also classified as above ↑
Ambitious job attitudeshow  Aspirations for social advancement
Ambitious job attitudeshow  Current motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Ambitious job attitudeshow  Occupational aspirations, also classified as above ↑
Delinquent behaviorsshow  Misbehavior in school
Earlier Happinessshow  Past happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Having plans to go to collegeshow  Educational aspirations
Having plans to go to collegeshow  Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
Impulse to aggressionshow  Aggressive, angry
Impulse to aggressionshow  Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Intelligenceshow  Test-intelligence
Internal controlshow  Inner locus of control
Knowledge about occupationsshow  Concern about social mobility
Knowledge about occupationsshow  Work-attitude career, also classified as above ↑
Need for self-developmentshow  Self-actualization (need for)
Need for self-utilizationshow  Self-actualization (need for)
Need for social approvalshow  Approval seeking
Negative affect statesshow  Feeling cheerful (vs gloomy)
Negative affect statesshow  Current mental complaints
Negative affect statesshow  Feeling down (vs not), also classified as above ↑
Negative attitude toward schoolshow  Perceived usefulness of schooling
Political knowledgeshow  Political concern
Positive attitude towards schoolshow  Perceived usefulness of schooling
Positive evaluation of family relationsshow  Earlier family situation
Positive evaluation of family relationsshow  Family climate (earlier for adults, current for young), also classified as above ↑
Positive evaluation of family relationsshow  Later family situation, also classified as above ↑
Preference for "a job that doesn't bug me"show  Aspirations for social advancement
Preference for "a job that doesn't bug me"show  Current motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Preference for "a job that pays off"show  Aspirations for social advancement
Preference for "a job that pays off"show  Current motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Reading comprehen- sion abilityshow  Verbal ability
Rebellious behaviors in schoolshow  Misbehavior in school  'Objective' socio-economic status  Earlier socio-economic status, also classified as above ↑
Self-esteemshow  Evaluation of self-as-a-whole
Self-perceived school abilityshow  School-success
Self-perceived school abilityshow  Self-perceived intelligence, also classified as above ↑
Somatic symptomsshow  Current psycho-somatic complaints
Status of occupatio-nal aspirationsshow  Occupational aspirations
Test-anxietyshow  Fail anxious
Trust in governmentshow  Attitudes to national government
Trust in peopleshow  Trust in people
Trust in peopleshow  Trusting, also classified as above ↑
Vocabulary levelshow  Verbal ability