Spanier & Furstenberg (1982): study US 1977


Spanier, G.B.; Furstenberg, F.F.
Remarriage after Divorce: A Longitudinal Analysis of Well-Being.
Journal of Marriage and the Family, 1982, Vol. 44, 709 -720


Separated, followed 2 years, Pennsylvania, USA, 1977-79
N = 210
Non Response
T1: 39 %, T2: 48 %
Interview: face-to-face
Structured interview

Happiness Measure(s) and Distributional Findings

Full text:
Self report on single question:

Here is a picture of a ladder. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the  bottom represents the worst possible life for you. Where on the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time?   
[  10  ]  best possible life
[    9  ]
[    8  ]
[    7  ]
[    6  ]
[    5  ]
[    4  ]
[    3  ]
[    2  ]
[    1  ]
[    0  ]  worst possible life
Preceded by 1)  open questions about what the respondent imagines as the best possible life and the worst possible life. 2) ratings on the ladder of one's life five years ago and  where on the ladder one expects to stand five years from now.

Name: Cantril's self anchoring ladder rating of life (original)
Author's label:
Life satisfaction
Full text:
Self report on single question:

"Taking all things together ( the work you do, where you live, your way of life, the things you do for enjoyment, your health ) how would you say things are these days ...?"
1  very good
2  pretty good
3  so-so
4  not too good
5  not good at all
Author's label:
Life satisfaction
Full text:
Self report on 10 questions:

During the past few weeks, did you ever feel ....?  (yes/no)
A   Particularly excited or interested in something?
B   So restless that you couldn't sit long in a chair?
C   Proud because someone complimented you on something  
     you had done?
D   Very lonely or remote from other people?
E   Pleased about having accomplished something?
F   Bored?
G   On top of the world?
H   Depressed or very unhappy?
I    That things were going your way?
J    Upset because someone criticized you?

Answer options and scoring:
yes = 1
no  = 0
-Positive Affect Score (PAS): A+C+E+G+I
-Negative Affect Score (NAS): B+D+F+H+J
-Affect Balance Score (ABS): PAS minus NAS
Possible range: -5 to +5

Name: Bradburn's 'Affect Balance Scale' (standard version)
Author's label:
T1: range = 16 - 43, M = 32.9  S.D. = 5.6
T2: range = 16 - 43, M = 32.8  S.D. = 5.2
Error estimates:
Equivalence: Cronbachs Alpha = T1:.77 T2:.73

Correlational Findings

Author's label Subject Description Finding Separation aftermath Recent divorce/separation Remarriage Later re-marriage Length of Remarriage Recent re-marriage Male sex Sexe: male (vs female) Presence of childrenin the household Children in the household
Recent divorce/separation
Quality of new Marriage Tensions in marital relationship Initiation of divorce Earlier coping
Characteristics of earlier marriage-relationship(s)