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Quality of American Life, 1971

Resource Type
Dataset : observational data, survey data
  • Campbell, Angus
  • Converse, Philip E.
  • Rodgers, Willard L.
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Russell Sage Foundation
  • National Science Foundation. Research Applied to National Needs
Free Keywords
attitudes; dissatisfaction; family life; friendships; happiness; health behavior; home environment; job satisfaction; leisure; life plans; life satisfaction; lifestyles; living conditions; occupational status; optimism; personal adjustment; personal finances; pessimism; psychological wellbeing; quality of life; recreation; social behavior; social life; social networks
  • Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to survey Americans about perceived quality of life by measuring perceptions of their socio-psychological condition, their needs and expectations from life, and the degree to which those needs were satisfied. The data were collected via personal interviews from a nationwide probability sample of 2,164 persons 18 years of age and older during the summer of 1971. Closed and open-ended questions were used to probe respondents' satisfactions, dissatisfactions, aspirations, and disappointments in a variety of life domains, such as dwelling/neighborhood, local services (e.g., police, roads, and schools), public transportation, present personal life, life in the United States, education, occupation, job history/expectation, work life, housework, leisure activities, organizational affiliations, religious affiliation, health problems, financial situation, marriage (including widowhood, divorce, and separation), children/family life, and relationships with family and friends. In addition to broad questions about satisfaction with each of these domains and their importance to the respondents, specific sources of gratification and frustration are explored. Other questions focused on life as a whole and the extent to which respondents felt they had control over their lives (e.g., rating of various aspects of life, (dis)satisfaction with life, personal efficacy, and social desirability measures). Personal data include sex, age, race, ethnic background, childhood family stability, military service, and father's occupation and education. Observational data are included on housing and neighborhood characteristics as well as respondents' appearance, intelligence, and sincerity. An instructional subset of this study is also available (see ICPSR INSTRUCTIONAL SUBSET: QUALITY OF AMERICAN LIFE, 1971 [ICPSR 7516], also prepared by Campbell, Converse, and Rodgers.) It includes questions representative of the major areas covered in the original, longer survey. A related dataset, QUALITY OF AMERICAN LIFE, 1978 (ICPSR 7762), continues the survey conducted in 1971.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Standardized missing values.; Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1971
  • 1971-07 / 1971-08
    Collection date: 1971-07--1971-08
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Persons aged 18 years of age or older living within the conterminous United States, exclusive of households on military reservations.
A national multistage area probability sampling of 2,164 persons (weighted to 9,561) was used. The 74 sample points, located in 36 states and Washington DC, included the two standard consolidated areas (New York/Northeastern New Jersey and Chicago/Northeastern Indiana), the ten largest SMSAs, and non-SMSAs that were either single counties or county groups. First stage stratification of SMSAs and counties was carried out independently within each of the four major geographical regions -- Northeast, North Central, South, and West -- each of which received representation in proportion to population.
Collection Mode
  • The NSF grant supported the analysis of the data and the reinterview of 285 respondents in the spring of 1972. The reinterview data are not distributed by ICPSR.

Funding insitution(s): Russell Sage Foundation. National Science Foundation. Research Applied to National Needs (NSF GI-29904).
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 3508 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Hsieh, Chang-ming. Domain importance in subjective well-being measures. Social Indicators Research.2015.
    • ID: 10.1007/s11205-015-0977-7 (DOI)
  • Walls, Stephanie Mora. The Impact of Individualism on Political and Community Participation. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati. 2007.
  • Oakman, Elizabeth Werth. Is it true what they say about Dixie: Regional and racial differences in subjective measures of quality of life. Dissertation, University of South Carolina. 2000.
  • Uslaner, Eric M.. Producing and Consuming Trust. Political Science Quarterly.115, (4), 569-590.2000.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Hamermesh, Daniel S.. Immigration and the Quality of Jobs. Help or Hindrance? The Economic Implications of Immigration for African Americans.New York: Russell Sage. 1998.
  • Hamermesh, Daniel S., Biddle, Jeff E.. Beauty and the Labor Market. American Economic Review.84, (5), 1174-1194.1994.
  • Glenn, Norval D.. What Does Family Mean?. American Demographics.14, (6), 30 -1992.
  • Thomas, Melvin E., Holmes, Bernadette J.. Determinants of satisfaction for blacks and whites. Sociological Quarterly.33, (3), 459-472.1992.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.1992.tb00385.x (DOI)
  • Fendrich, Michael. Wives' Employment and Husbands' Distress: A Meta-analysis and a Replication. Journal of Marriage and Family.46, (4), 871-879.1984.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Near, Janet P., Smith, C. Ann, Rice, Robert W., Hunt, Raymond G.. Job satisfaction and nonwork satisfaction as components of life satisfaction. Journal of Applied Social Psychology.13, (2), 126-144.1983.
    • ID: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1983.tb02326.x (DOI)
  • Rodgers, Willard L.. Trends in reported happiness within demographically defined subgroups 1957-78. Social Forces.60, (3), 826-842.1982.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Rogers, David L.. Community Services. Rural Society in the United States: Issues for the 1980s.Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 1982.
  • Baldassare, Mark. The effects of household density on subgroups. American Sociological Review.46, (1), 110-118.1981.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Herzog, A. Regula, Rodgers, Willard L.. Age and satisfaction: Data from several large surveys. Research on Aging.3, (2), 142-165.1981.
    • ID: 10.1177/016402758132002 (DOI)
  • Herzog, A. Regula, Rodgers, Willard L.. The structure of subjective well-being in different age groups. Journal of Gerontology.36, (4), 472-479.1981.
  • Simpson, Ida Harper, England, Paula. Conjugal Work Roles and Marital Solidarity. Journal of Family Issues.2, (2), 180-204.1981.
    • ID: 10.1177/0192513X8100200205 (DOI)
  • Converse, Philip E., Dotson, Jean D., Hoag, Wendy J., McGee, William H., III. American Social Attitudes Data Sourcebook, 1947-1978. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1980.
  • Rodgers, Willard. Residential satisfaction in relationship to size of place. Social Psychology Quarterly.43, (4), 436-441.1980.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Cutler, Neal E.. Age variations in the dimensionality of life satisfaction. Journal of Gerontology.34, (4), 573-578.1979.
  • George, Linda K.. The happiness syndrome: Methodological and substantive issues in the study of social-psychological well-being in adulthood. Gerontologist.19, (2), 210-219.1979.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/19.2.210 (DOI)
  • Nock, Steven L.. The Family Life Cycle: Empirical or Conceptual Tool?. Journal of Marriage and Family.41, (1), 15-26.1979.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Smith, Tom W.. Happiness: Time trends, seasonal variations, intersurvey differences, and other mysteries. Social Psychology Quarterly.42, (1), 18-30.1979.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Wilson, Kenneth L.. Status inconsistency and Hope technique, I: The grounds for a resurrection. Social Forces.57, (4), 1229-1247.1979.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Hadaway, Christopher Kirk. Life satisfaction and religion: A reanalysis. Social Forces.57, (2), 636-643.1978.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Wright, James D.. Are Working Women Really More Satisfied? Evidence from Several National Surveys. Journal of Marriage and Family.40, (2), 301-313.1978.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Campbell, Angus, Converse, Philip E., Rodgers, Willard L.. The Quality of American Life: Perceptions, Evaluations, and Satisfactions. New York: Russell Sage. 1976.
  • Marans, R.W., Rodgers, W.L.. Toward an understanding of community satisfaction. Metropolitan America in Contemporary Perspective.Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. 1975.
  • Rodgers, Willard L., Converse, Philip E.. Measures of the Perceived Overall Quality of Life. Social Indicators Research.2, (2), 127-152.1975.
    • ID: 10.1007/BF00300532 (DOI)
  • Marans, R.W., Rodgers, W.L.. Evaluating resident satisfaction in established and new communities. Frontiers of Planned Unit Development: A Synthesis of Expert Opinion.New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research. 1973.
  • Levitin, Teresa. Women in the Occupational World. 79th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association.Washington, DC. 1971.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Campbell, Angus; Converse, Philip E.; Rodgers, Willard L. (1984): Quality of American Life, 1971. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.