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Myth and Reality of Aging, 1974

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • National Council on Aging
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Council on Aging
Free Keywords
aging; attitudes; public opinion
  • Abstract

    This survey, conducted by Louis Harris and Associates during June and July 1974, elicited the views of 4,254 respondents on the stereotypes and reality of aging. Two questionnaires were used, one asking 18- to 64-year-olds about their perceptions of how people ages 65 and older felt about aging, and the second asking people ages 65 and older how they actually felt. Demographic characteristics and information regarding attitudes on aging and interests of the aged are also included.
  • 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: Performed consistency checks..
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1974
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Persons aged 18 or older residing in the United States.
Stratified random sample. There were four national samples: (1) a cross-section of approximately 1,500 adults 18 years and older, (2) an oversample of approximately 2,400 adults aged 65 years and older, (3) an oversample of approximately 360 adults aged 55-64, and (4) an oversample of approximately 200 Blacks aged 65 and older.
Collection Mode
  • Users should refer to column positions in the setup files provided and not the codebook positions. However, the frequencies in the codebook are correct.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.1997-08-15 The data have been reformatted, changing the record length from 914 to 916. SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been created along with a Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the codebook. Also, the codebook information for VAR0869, describing the sample distribution, has changed. Funding insitution(s): National Council on Aging.
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7657 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR07657.v1
  • Levin, Jeffrey S., Chatters, Linda M.. Religion, health, and psychological well-being in older adults: Findings from three national surveys. Journal of Aging and Health.10, (4), 504-531.1998.
    • ID: 10.1177/089826439801000406 (DOI)
  • Levin, Jeffrey S., Taylor, Robert Joseph, Chatters, Linda M.. Race and Gender Differences in Religiosity Among Older Adults: Findings from Four National Surveys. Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.49, (3), S137-S145.1994.
  • Ferraro, Kenneth F.. Self and older-people references in evaluating life problems. Journal of Gerontology.47, (3), S105-S114.1992.
  • Ferraro, Kenneth F.. Cohort analysis of retirement preparation, 1974-1981. Journal of Gerontology.45, (1), S21-S31.1990.
  • Ferraro, Kennth F.. Group benefit orientation toward older adults at work? A comparison of cohort analytic methods. Journal of Gerontology.45, (5), S220-S227.1990.
  • Doty, Leilani. Life Satisfaction Determinants in Older Persons. Dissertation, University of Florida. 1986.
  • Best, Joel, Nelson, Edward E.. Nostalgia and discontinuity: A test of the Davis hypothesis. Sociology and Social Research.69, (2), 221-233.1985.
  • George, Linda K., Okun, Morris A., Landerman, Richard. Age as a moderator of the determinants of life satisfaction. Research on Aging.7, (2), 209-233.1985.
    • ID: 10.1177/0164027585007002004 (DOI)
  • Liang, Jersey. A structural integration of the affect balance scale and the life satisfaction index A. Journal of Gerontology.40, (5), 552-561.1985.
  • Mutran, Elizabeth. Intergenerational family support among blacks and whites: Response to culture or to socioeconomic differences. Journal of Gerontology.40, (3), 382-389.1985.
  • Coyle, Jean M.. Women's attitudes toward planning for retirement. Convergence in Aging.2, 113-124.1984.
  • Liang, Jersey. Dimensions of the life satisfaction index: A structural formulation. Journal of Gerontology.39, (5), 613-622.1984.
  • Arens, Diana Antos. Widowhood and well-being: An examination of sex differences within a causal model. International Journal of Aging and Human Development.15, (1), 27-40.1983.
    • ID: 10.2190/V13T-0DT1-TX7D-9M9X (DOI)
  • Hoyt, Danny R., Creech, James C.. The life satisfaction index: A methodological and theoretical critique. Journal of Gerontology.38, (1), 111-116.1983.
  • Ward, Russell A.. The stability of racial differences across age strata. Sociology and Social Research.67, (3), 312-323.1983.
  • McClelland, Kent A.. Self-conception and life satisfaction: Integrating aged subculture and activity theory. Journal of Gerontology.37, (6), 723-732.1982.
  • Register, Jasper C.. Aging and race: A black-white comparative analysis. Gerontologist.21, (4), 438-443.1981.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/21.4.438 (DOI)
  • Bachrach, Christine A.. Childlessness and Social Isolation Among the Elderly. Journal of Marriage and Family.42, (3), 627-637.1980.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Longino, Charles F., Jr., McClelland, Kent A., Peterson, Warren A.. The aged subculture hypothesis: Social integration, gerontophilia and self-conception. Journal of Gerontology.35, (5), 758-767.1980.
  • 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)
  • Cochran, William A.. Comment on survey research in aging: An evaluation of the Harris survey. Gerontologist.18, (1), 64-66.1978.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/18.1.64 (DOI)
  • Heilman, John G.. Comment: More on goodness of fit between two large sample populations. Gerontologist.18, (6), 588-590.1978.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/18.6.588 (DOI)
  • Henretta, John C., Campbell, Richard T., Gardocki, Gloria. Survey research in aging: An evaluation of the Harris survey. Gerontologist.17, (2), 160-167.1977.
    • ID: 10.1093/geront/17.2.160 (DOI)
  • Louis Harris and Associates. The Myth and Reality of Aging in America. Washington: National Council on the Aging. 1975.

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

National Council on Aging (1984): Myth and Reality of Aging, 1974. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.