Rohrer, Julia M. Bruemmer, Martin Schupp, Jürgen Wagner, Gert G.
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research No. 918
We investigate how worries in Germany change across time and age, drawing on both closed-ended questions (which typically list a number of worry items) and open-ended questions answered in text format. We find that relevant world events influence worries. For example, worries about peace peaked in 2003, the year of the Iraq War, with a considerable number of respondents also referring to the Iraq war in their text responses. Furthermore, we found that - controlling for these historical effects - worries about various topics such as health and the general economic situation increase with age. With increasing age, respondents also became more likely to answer the open-ended question. This suggests that the age increases in worries we found are not merely a result of an age-biased choice of worry items, but instead also hold for worries self-generated by the respondents.
life course worries satisfaction German Socio-Economic Panel Study SOEP