Correlational finding on Happiness and Political concern
Subject code: P09ab01

StudyBachman et al. (1978): study US 1966
TitleYouth in Transition, Vol. VI. Adolescence to Adulthood. Change and Stability in the Lives of Young Men.
SourceInstitute for Social Research, 1978, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
PublicPublic highschool boys followed 8 years from grade 10, USA, 1966-74
Non-Response2.8% at T1, 17.2% at T2, 21.0% at T3, 28.9% at T4, 28.5% at T5
Respondents N =1628

Author's labelInterest in government
Our classificationPolitical concern, code P09ab01
Simple direct question at T1, T2, T3, T4 and T5: 'Some 
people think about what's going on in government very 
often, and others are not that interested. How much of 
an interest do you take in government and current 
events?' 1 = no interest at all; 
2 = very little interest; 3 = some interest; 4 = a lot 
of interest; 
5 = a very great interest

Observed Relation with Happiness
       Interest in government
              Political concern
     T1      T2       T3       T4       T5
T1 .15(001) .11(01)  .10(01)  .10(01)  .06(ns) 
T2 .08(05)  .14(001) .14(001) .13(001) .10(01)
T3 .09(05)  .11(01)  .12(001) .13(001) .11(01)
T4 .08(05)  .10(01)  .09(05)  .13(001) .09(01)
All tau's positive
T1:1966, T2:1968, T3: 1969, T4:1970, T5:1974

Appendix 1: Happiness measures used
CodeFull Text
O-HP-g-mq-v-5-aSelfreport 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

Appendix 2: Statistics used
tauGOODMAN & Kruskal's TAU
Type: descriptive statistic only.
Measurement level: Correlate: nominal, Happiness: ordinal
Range: [0; +1]

tau = 0 knowledge of the correlate value does not improve the prediction quality of the happiness rating.
tau = 1 knowledge of the correlate value enables a perfect (error-free) prediction of the happiness rating.
Ruut Veenhoven, World Database of Happiness, Collection of Correlational Findings, Erasmus University Rotterdam.