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: 3.21). 07/2009; 64 Suppl 1(suppl 1):i12-9. DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbp045
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Sep 29, 2014
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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.
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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.
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    • "Of 4,017 eligible subjects, 3,005 participated (75.5%). Survey methods and procedures have previously been described (8). The institutional review boards of the University of Chicago and the National Opinion Research Center approved the NHSAP protocol; the Partners HealthCare Institutional Review Board deemed this analysis exempt. "
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether the relationship between age and physical and mental health varies by diabetes status in older U.S. adults. Using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a national sample of 3,005 adults aged 57-85 years, we tested the significance of the interaction between age and diabetes in association with health states. Respondents with diabetes in the youngest age cohort had more medical conditions than those without diabetes, a difference that narrowed with age (P for interaction <0.01). The youngest cohort with diabetes had a higher rate of depression compared to those without diabetes (14 vs. 8%). Depression declined with age and did not differ by diabetes status in the oldest respondents (P = 0.01 for age-diabetes interaction). Diabetes differentially affects self-rated overall health and depression by age, with convergence in the oldest age-group with and without diabetes.
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