Statistical Design and Estimation for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project

Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
The Journals of Gerontology Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.85). 07/2009; 64 Suppl 1(suppl 1):i12-9. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbp045
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The paper discusses the sample design of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) and how the design affects how estimates should be calculated from the survey data. The NSHAP study allows researchers to study the links between sexuality and health in older adults. The goal of the design was to represent adults aged 57-85 years in six demographic domains.
The sample design begins with a national area probability sample of households, carried out jointly with the 2004 round of the Health and Retirement Study. Selection of respondents for NSHAP balanced age and gender subgroups and oversampled African Americans and Latinos. Data collection was carried out from July 2005 to March 2006.
The survey obtained an overall response rate of 75.5%.
The complex sample design requires that the selection probabilities and the field implementation be accounted for in estimating population parameters. The data set contains weights to compensate for differential probabilities of selection and response rates among demographic groups. Analysts should use weights in constructing estimates from the survey and account for the complex sample design in estimating standard errors for survey estimates.

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    • "Due to insufficient sample size (n = 92), individuals whose race/ethnicity was other than non-Hispanic White, Black, and Hispanic were excluded. More information on sampling procedures and methods of the NSHAP is available elsewhere (e.g., O'Muircheartaigh et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The study examined racial/ethnic differences in the association between symptoms of depression and self-rated mental health among older adults. Data came from the first wave of the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a population-based study of non-institutionalized older adults aged 57 to 85. The sample consisted of non-Hispanic Whites (n = 2,110), Blacks (n = 509), and Hispanics (n = 304). The association between symptoms of depression and self-rated mental health was weaker among minority groups than that among non-Hispanic Whites. Tests of interaction effects showed that the predictability of depressive symptoms to self-rated mental health was substantially weakened among Blacks of advanced ages and Hispanics with multiple chronic conditions. The study explored potential sources of racial/ethnic differences in subjective reports of mental health and called attention to older minorities with advanced ages and cormorbid conditions in mental health services and interventions.
    Community Mental Health Journal 08/2013; 50(3). DOI:10.1007/s10597-013-9642-2 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "To collect information across a wide-range of life domains, NSHAP used a modularized design where some questions were included in a mail-back Leave-Behind Questionnaire. The return rate for the LBQ was 84% (O'Muircheartaigh et al., 2009). NSHAP is well-suited to the aims of the present study because it is, to our knowledge, the only nationally-representative dataset to collect extensive information from current cohorts of older adults on the quality of both their marital and nonmarital relationships. "
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    ABSTRACT: Utilizing the stress process and life course perspectives, we investigated the influence of non-spousal social support on the associations between marital quality, physical disability, and loneliness among married older adults. Using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), we found that the association between physical disability and loneliness was partially accounted for by the fact that physical disability was associated with less supportive nonmarital relationships. While physically-disabled older adults in higher-quality marriages were buffered from loneliness, supportive non-martial relationships did not offset elevated loneliness among those in low-quality marriages. These associations were largely similar for men and women. Thus, although both marital and nonmarital relationships are important for loneliness, when confronted with a stressor such as disablement it is the marital relationship alone that matters.
    Social Science Research 11/2012; 41(6):1529-45. DOI:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.05.018 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "The NSHAP is a large-scale survey study that assessed components of health, social relationships, and wellbeing in older adults aged 57–85 years using face-to-face and self-administered questionnaires. The NSHAP data were collected in 2005–2006 for which eligible cases were identified as part of a larger national area probability sample of households (O'Muircheartaigh et al., 2009). The NSHAP sample was balanced on age and gender subgroups and oversampled African Americans and Latinos. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study assessed the moderating role of marital quality in the effects of subjective and objective vision on functional limitations, social isolation, and depressive symptomatology. Data from 738 married older adults drawn from a probability-based representative sample of elders residing in the United States were used. Assessments included subjective and objective vision, marital quality variables (relationship satisfaction, supportive spouse behaviors, and free time spent with one's spouse), and three aspects of quality of life (functional limitations, social isolation, and depressive symptomatology). Moderated regression analyses found that relationship satisfaction and supportive spouse behaviors moderated the effects of poor self-reported vision on functional limitations and depressive symptoms and the effects of poor visual acuity on functional limitations. As hypothesized, poorer vision was unrelated to functional limitations and depressive symptoms in more satisfying marriages but predicted higher levels of both outcomes in less satisfying marriages. Contrary to expectations, higher levels of supportive spouse behaviors were associated with more functional limitations in respondents who reported poorer subjective and objective vision. A marriage that is highly satisfying can mitigate the adverse effects of poor vision on functional limitations and depressive symptomatology in late life. The moderating role of supportive spouse behaviors in the link between poor vision and quality of life is less intuitive, however. Whereas relationship satisfaction may operate as a traditional buffer in the context of poor vision, supportive spouse behaviors may increase in response to or be ineffective in this context.
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