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 labelSubject Code
Subject description
Academic achievement(gradesS01ac02School-success
Acceptance of social valuesV04abSimilarity of own values with others
Acceptance of social valuesV02ab02Social values, also classified as above ↑
Ambitious job attitudeS05ac02Aspirations for social advancement
Ambitious job attitudeW05acCurrent motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Ambitious job attitudeO01ad01aOccupational aspirations, also classified as above ↑
Delinquent behaviorsS01ac04Misbehavior in school
Earlier HappinessH04ab01bPast happiness ( 1 to 10 years ago)
Having plans to go to collegeE01ad02Educational aspirations
Having plans to go to collegeS01af02Perceived usefulness of schooling, also classified as above ↑
Impulse to aggressionP05aaAggressive, angry
Impulse to aggressionS01ac04Misbehavior in school, also classified as above ↑
Internal controlP05bpInner locus of control
Knowledge about occupationsS05ac01Concern about social mobility
Knowledge about occupationsW05aaWork-attitude career, also classified as above ↑
Need for self-developmentP05crSelf-actualization (need for)
Need for self-utilizationP05crSelf-actualization (need for)
Need for social approvalP05ahApproval seeking
Negative affect statesM15ac04Feeling cheerful (vs gloomy)
Negative affect statesH15ab02Current mental complaints
Negative affect statesM15ac04bFeeling down (vs not), also classified as above ↑
Negative attitude toward schoolS01af02Perceived usefulness of schooling
Political knowledgeP09ab01Political concern
Positive attitude towards schoolS01af02Perceived usefulness of schooling
Positive evaluation of family relationsF01aa01Earlier family situation
Positive evaluation of family relationsF01adFamily climate (earlier for adults, current for young), also classified as above ↑
Positive evaluation of family relationsF01aa03Later family situation, also classified as above ↑
Preference for "a job that doesn't bug me"S05ac02Aspirations for social advancement
Preference for "a job that doesn't bug me"W05acCurrent motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Preference for "a job that pays off"S05ac02Aspirations for social advancement
Preference for "a job that pays off"W05acCurrent motivation to work, also classified as above ↑
Reading comprehen- sion abilityI03ac07Verbal ability
Rebellious behaviors in schoolS01ac04Misbehavior in school
S.E.S.S09ab01'Objective' socio-economic status
S.E.S.S09aa01Earlier socio-economic status, also classified as above ↑
Self-esteemS02ad02Evaluation of self-as-a-whole
Self-perceived school abilityS01ac02School-success
Self-perceived school abilityI03ab03Self-perceived intelligence, also classified as above ↑
Somatic symptomsH15abCurrent psycho-somatic complaints
Status of occupatio-nal aspirationsO01ad01aOccupational aspirations
Test-anxietyP05bbFail anxious
Trust in governmentP09ag01aAttitudes to national government
Trust in peopleT04ab02Trust in people
Trust in peopleP05diTrusting, also classified as above ↑
Vocabulary levelI03ac07Verbal ability