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Health & Retirement Study (HRS)

Updated 5/16/22

Country: United States

Study Design: Observational cohort with repeated measurements over time

Participant age range: Adults aged 50 and above

Number of participants at baseline: 12,000–14,000 for psychosocial measures

Year of initial enrollment: 2006 / 2008

Number of data collection waves: 6

Measures of well-being:

  • Positive psychological well-being (overall / multidimensional)

  • Flourishing (multidimensional)

  • Optimism

  • Positive affect

  • Purpose / meaning in life / ikigai

  • Life satisfaction

  • Mastery

  • Subjective happiness

  • Social support / integration / cohesion

  • Social capital

  • Prosocial behavior or attitudes

  • Personal growth or self-acceptance

Quantity of well-being measures (e.g., number of constructs, number of times of well-being was assessed:  High

Quality of well-being measures (e.g., were measures reliable and valid in the study population): High

Measures of physical health: 

  • Self-rated / questionnaire-based health

  • Self-reported medical and medication history

  • Measured anthropometrics, e.g., weight

  • Biomarkers

  • Genetics

  • Linked medical records

Access information: This dataset is available to all researchers. Researchers are not required to submit an application to access this data. There are no fees required to access this dataset.

Notable Citation: Kim E, Delaney S, Tay L, Chen Y, Diener E & VanderWeele T. (2021). Life satisfaction and subsequent physical, behavioral, and psychosocial health in older adults. The Milbank Quarterly, 99(1), 209-239.

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