Correlational findings

Study Danner et al. (2001): study US 1991

Nuns who lived in cloister since early adulthood. Followed into old age, USA, 1991
N = 180
Non Response:
Content analysis
Content analysis handwritten biographies written between the ages of 18 and 32. The Mother Superior had in a letter sent in 1930 requested that each sister wrote an autobiography. Content-analysis: Coders identified all words in the biographies that reflected an emotional experience and classified them as positive, negative or neutral. Than they classified each sentence as containing one or more positive, negative or neutral emotion words.


Authors's label
mortality rate
Our Classification
1: Died before 1993
0: Still alive

All nuns were born before 1917 and  joined the congregation between 1931 and 1943

Observed Relation with Happiness

Happiness Measure Statistics Elaboration / Remarks A-ASA-h-cr-n-100-a = Happiness in young adulthood, as apparent in autobiography written around age 25 A-ASA-h-cr-n-100-a D% = -34           quartiles positive words
          I(least)II       III        IV(most)

% died:   55      59       33         21
A-ASA-h-cr-n-100-b D% = -30              quartiles positive sentences
         I(least)  II       III        IV(most)
% died:    54      58       35         24
A-ASA-h-cr-n-100-b b = -1.4 p < .00 B denotes % died per % positive sentences in autobiography
B controled for age and education