Findings on happiness in Lehman et al. (1987): study US 1983 /1

Author(s)Lehman, D.R.; Williams, A.F.; Wortman, C.B.
TitleLong-Term Effects of Losing a Spouse or Child in a Motor Vehicle Crash.
SourceJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1987, Vol. 52, 218 - 231
PublicBereaved and controls, USA, 1983
 21-65 aged who had lost a child in a traffic accident 4 to 7 years ago; control group matched for demographic variables (at the time of the crash).
Survey nameNot available
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
 Bereaved respondents randomly selected from records of every motor vehicle fatality in the state of Michigan (Wayne County) between 1976 and 1979. All deceased were still living at home, less than 18 years of age and innocent victims. Control respondents were selected from a 1976 study of 7581 Michigan residents who renewed their license (living in Wayne County in 1976, aged 18 to 65 and married). Controls were matched on a case-by-case basis to bereaved respondents on varables: sex, age, family income 1976, education level, and number and ages of children.
Respondents N =82
 41 parents who lost child in traffic accident (17 motor vehicle occupants; 13 pedestrians, 11 bicyclists); 41 control respondents who were similar (at the time of the accident) on several demographic varaibles.
Non Response0
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 9 questions: We are interested in the way people are feeling these days. The following list describes some of the ways people feel at different times. Please indicate how often you felt each way during the last week. How often last week did you feel .....? A On the top of the world B Very lonely or remote from other people C Particularly excited or interested in something D Depressed or very unhappy E Pleased about having accomplished something F Bored G Proud because someone complimented you on something you had done H So restless you couldn't sit long in a chair I Vaguely uneasy about something without knowing why Answer options: 0 not at all 1 once 2 several times 3 often Summation: Positive Affect Score (PAS): summed scores on A, C, E, G Negative Affect Score (NAS): summed scores on B, D, F, H, I Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS Possible range: -15 tot +12 Name: Bradburn's `Affect Balance Scale' (modified version)
Author's labelPsychological Well-Being
Page in publication222
RemarksComputation not reported. Higher scores mean less well-being.
Finding used in
nation ranks

Full textSelfreport on open quesntion: Describe how your life is going, in general at the present time Responses rated nagative/ positive taking into account intensity of positive and negative mentions as well as the ratio of positive to negative mentions. 1 negative 2 3 4 5 positive
Author's labelGeneral State of Life
Page in publication222
RemarksResponses to this open question were rated independantly by two coders.
Error estimatesinterrater reliability .77
Finding used in
nation ranks
 On original range 1 - 5On range 0 - 10
Standard deviation

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
Bereaved parentL06ab02aDeath of an intimate
Bereaved parentC03aa02dDeath of children, also classified as above ↑