Socioeconomic Status, Health, and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

Robert M. Hauser, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Tetyana Pudrovska, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Kristen W. Springer, University of Wisconsin at Madison

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) has followed 10,000 high school graduates for since 1957 and assembled rich social, economic, psychological and health data. In 1993 and 2004, we ascertained Carol Ryff's six subscales of psychological well-being. Although the scale dimensions are nominally distinct, in work to date with the WLS, the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), and the Study of Midlife in the U.S. (MIDUS), we have learned that at least four of the scales are virtually indistinguishable in cross-section (Springer and Hauser 2005), that there is little consistent life course variation in them (Pudrovska, Hauser, and Springer 2005), and that levels of well-being are nearly as persistent across a decade as basic personality variables (the "Big Five"). In this paper, we identify social, economic, psychological, and health correlates of well-being subscales and assess the extent to which the several subscales have distinct relationships with these correlates.

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Presented in Session 7: Demography and Life Course Studies