Findings on happiness in Sears & Barbee (1977): study US 1921

Author(s)Sears, P.S.; Barbee, A.H.
TitleCareer and Life Satisfactions among Terman Gifted Women.
SourceStanley, J.C.;George, W.C.;Eds.:"The Gifted and the Creative", J.Hopkins University Press, 1977, Baltimore, USA, 28 - 72
PublicGifted women (IQ >135), followed 50 years, California, USA, 1921-72
Last assesment1972
 T1:1921, T9:1972
Survey nameNot available
 Terman's 50-year follow-up study of gifted persons. This study involved interviews with subjects, parents and teachers (T1: 1921, T2: 1927, T4: 1937, T6: 1950) as well as mailed questionnaires (T3: 1936, T5: 1945, T7: 1955, T8: 1960, T9: 1972).
SampleNon-probability purposive sample
 In 1922-1928 671 girls of about 12 years old with an IQ >135 were selected for a longitudinal development study. Of these 430 women responded to a questionnaire in 1972 (average age at that time 62). This cohort of 'Terman's gifted women' was born in California, USA about 1910.
Respondents N =671
 1928: 671, 1972: 430
Non ResponseAttrition in 1972: 25%
AssesmentInterview: face-to-face
 Repeated interviews and questionaires
General remarksSame data also reported in FELDM 1984
Happiness measure(s) used
Full textSelfreport on 2 questions: A. "How important was each of the following goals in life in the plans you made for yourself in early adulthood?" - occupational success - family life - friendships - richness of cultural life - total service to society. 1 less important to me than to most people 2 3 4 5 of prime importance to me B. "How successful have you been in the pursuit of these goals?" 1 little satisfaction in this area 2 3 4 5 had excellent fortune in this respect Computation: General Satisfaction 5 is the quotient obtained by multiplying the planned goal (early adulthood) by the reported success in attaining that goal, adding the five of these multiplied areas and dividing them by the sum of the planned goals for each of the areas. Pa.Sa + Pb.Sb + Pc.Sc + Pd.Sd + Pe.Se ----------------------------------------------------------------- Pa + Pb + Pc + Pd + Pe Pa = planned goal a (1-5) Sa = success goal a (1-5)
Author's labelGeneral Satisfaction 5
Finding used in
nation ranks

Full textSelfreport on single question: following enumeration of lifegoals in six areas, the last of which was 'joy in living' " How successful have you been in pursuit of that goal.....?" (joy in living) 5 had excellent fortune in this respect 4 3 2 1 found little satisfaction in this area
Author's labelJoy in Living Satisfaction
Finding used in
nation ranks

Correlational findings

Author's labelSubject Code
Subject description
AgeA04ab03Age difference among elderly
Consonance with parents in career-orientationL07aeAcceptance of one's life-goals by others
Consonance with parents in career-orientationF01ad02cAgreement with parents, also classified as above ↑
Current employment stateE02ab01Full-time home maker
Earlier ambitionsL07aa01bObject of earlier goals
Earlier attitude to jobW05aa01bEarlier satisfaction with work
Earlier change in ambitionsL07aa02Change in life-goals
Earlier increase of workloadL06aa02Change in life-event burden
Earlier increase of workloadW04aa02Change in work-conditions, also classified as above ↑
Earlier inferiority (around age 30)P02ab24Earlier self-confidence
Earlier inferiority (around age 30)S02aa01Earlier self-image, also classified as above ↑
Earlier integration (around age 30)P02aaEarlier personality organization
Earlier lifestyle preferenceO01aa01Earlier occupation
Earlier lifestyle preferenceL07aa01bObject of earlier goals, also classified as above ↑
Earlier occupation levelO01aa01Earlier occupation
Earlier occupation levelS09aa01Earlier socio-economic status, also classified as above ↑
Earlier persistenceP02ab20Earlier persistence
Earlier personalityP02abEarlier personality traits
Earlier relation with parentsF01ad02Relations with parents
Earlier satisfaction with childrenC05aa01Earlier relation with children
Earlier satisfaction with community serviceS07aa01bEarlier satisfaction with organizational participation
Earlier satisfaction with marriageM03ac03Satisfaction with marriage
Earlier satisfaction with social contactsS06aa01bEarlier satisfaction with personal contacts
Earlier self-confidence (around age 30)P02ab24Earlier self-confidence
Earlier self-confidence (around age 30)S02aa01Earlier self-image, also classified as above ↑
EducationE01aa01Earlier educational level
Education of parentsF01ag01Parents education
Energy and vitalityP05dkVigorous
Exact abilityI03aa01Earlier intelligence
Exact abilityI03ac02Exact ability, also classified as above ↑
Exact interestS01aa01dEarlier attitudes to school
Exact interestI05aaInterest career, also classified as above ↑
Feelings about workW05aa01bEarlier satisfaction with work
General healthH14ab02aGlobal health rating
Having childrenC03abCurrent parental status
IncomeI01ab03Household income
IntelligenceI03aa01Earlier intelligence
Joy-in-living satisfactionH07ac04aC-RG by M-AC
Level of spouseS09aa01Earlier socio-economic status
Level of spouseM04ab03Social position of spouse, also classified as above ↑
Marital happiness of parentsF01ad03bParents marital satisfaction
Married status vs divorcedM02aa03Married vs divorced
Married status vs never marriedM02aa01Married vs never married
Married status vs not marriedM02aaMarried state (compared to non-married states)
Married status vs widowedM02aa02Married vs widowed
Never married vs divorcedM02ab01bVs divorced
Never married vs widowedM02ab01aVs widowed
Number of childrenC03ab01Number of children
Number of childrenL07ac03aChildren as planned
Number of childrenC03ab01Number of children, also classified as above ↑
Occupation of parentsF01ag03Parents occupation
Parents intelligenceF01af01dCapacities of parents
Parents marital statusF01ab02Number of parents (broken home)
Parents' opinion of best occupationF01ad02cAgreement with parents
PerseveranceP02ab01Earlier ambitiousness
PerseveranceP02ab20Earlier persistence, also classified as above ↑
Personality of parentsF01af01lPersonality of parents
Punishment by parentsF01ae04bPunitive
Retrospective earlier adjustmentH13aa01Earlier mental health
Retrospective importance of life- goalsL07aa01bObject of earlier goals
Satisfaction with attainment of life-goalsH07ac04Contentment and mixed indicators of happiness
Satisfaction with attainment of life-goalsL07ac02bPerceived realization of life-goal set, also classified as above ↑
Satisfaction with career pattern (lifestyle work pattern)L07ad01Attitudes to earlier life-goals
Satisfaction with career pattern (lifestyle work pattern)O01ad01bSatisfaction with career, also classified as above ↑
Satisfaction with career pattern (lifestyle work pattern)L09aa01cSatisfaction with earlier life style, also classified as above ↑
Satisfaction with career pattern (lifestyle work pattern)L09aa01bEarlier satisfaction with life-style
Satisfying aspects of lifeH11ab02aPerceived sources of one's own happiness
Traits around age 30 (P02ab20Earlier persistence
Traits around age 30 (P02aaEarlier personality organization, also classified as above ↑
Traits around age 30 (P02ab24Earlier self-confidence, also classified as above ↑
Type of work (earlier)O01aa01Earlier occupation
Vocational succes of fatherF01ag03Parents occupation
Volunteer workS07aa01aEarlier amount of organizational participation
Volunteer workS07aa01Earlier organizational participation, also classified as above ↑
Wanted childrenC02aa01Earlier want for children
Wanted childrenL07aa01bObject of earlier goals, also classified as above ↑
Widowed vs divorcedM02ab02aVs divorced
Wish to be a manA08aa01Earlier attitudes
Wish to be a manG01adGender preference, non-conforming gender identity, also classified as above ↑
Wish to be a manL04ab01Wished other life , also classified as above ↑