NACDA AGING DATA RELEASE: NATIONAL SURVEY OF MIDLIFE
DEVELOPMENT IN THE US
jmcnally at icpsr.umich.edu
Wed Dec 22 17:09:14 EST 1999
The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), announces the
availability of the NATIONAL SURVEY OF MIDLIFE DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED
STATES (MIDUS). This study, funded by the United States Government, is
available for public download from the NACDA website at:
To access, enter study number 2760 from the "get study" box of the webpage,
and point and click to download data and documentation for analysis.
Documentation for the study has been converted to pdf Acrobat Files for
ease in use. Acrobat Readers can be obtained at no cost from:
Any comments, concerns or interests regarding the use of this data are
welcomed. Feel free to contact us at our e-mail address:
NACDA at icpsr.umich.edu:
DATA INFORMATION: NATIONAL SURVEY OF MIDLIFE DEVELOPMENT IN THE UNITED
STATES (MIDUS), 1995-1996
Principal Investigators: Brim, Orville G., Paul B. Baltes, Larry L.
Bumpass, Paul D. Cleary, David L. Featherman, et al
NACDA Study #: 2760
ABSTRACT: The National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States
(MIDUS) is a collaborative, interdisciplinary investigation of patterns,
predictors, and consequences of midlife development in the areas of
physical health, psychological well-being, and social responsibility.
Respondents were drawn from a nationally representative random-digit-dial
sample of noninstitutionalized, English-speaking adults, aged 25-74,
selected from working telephone banks in the coterminous United States.
Those queried participated in an initial telephone interview and responded
to a mail questionnaire.
Part 1, Main Data, contains responses from the main survey of 4,242
respondents. Respondents were asked to provide extensive information on
their physical and mental health throughout their adult lives, and to
assess the ways in which their lifestyles, including relationships and
work-related demands, contributed to the conditions experienced. Those
queried were asked to describe their histories of physical ailments,
including heart- related conditions and cancer, as well as the treatment
and/or lifestyle changes they went through as a result. A series of
questions addressed alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use, and focused on
history of use, regularity of use, attempts to quit, and how the use of
those substances affected respondents' physical and mental well-being.
Additional questions addressed respondents' sense of control over their
health, their awareness of changes in their medical conditions, commitment
to regular exercise and a healthy diet, experience with menopause, the
decision-making process used to deal with health concerns, experiences with
nontraditional remedies or therapies, and history of attending support
groups. Respondents were asked to compare their overall well-being with
that of their peers and to describe social, physical, and emotional
characteristics typical of adults in their 20s, 40s, and 60s. Information
on the work histories of respondents and their significant others was also
elicited, with items covering the nature of their occupations, work-related
physical and emotional demands, and how their personal health had
correlated to their jobs. An additional series of questions focusing on
childhood queried respondents regarding the presence/absence of their
parents, religion, rules/punishments, love/affection, physical/verbal
abuse, and the quality of their relationships with their parents and
siblings. Respondents were also asked to consider their personal feelings
of accomplishment, desire to learn, their sense of control over their
lives, their interests, and their hopes for the future.
Part 2, Siblings Data, contains data from a survey of 951 respondents, each
of whom was a sibling of a respondent in Part 1, the Main file. These
siblings participated in the same assessments as the respondents.
Part 3, Twins Data, presents data from a survey of 1,996 twins. These twin
pairs were found within the Main respondent's or his/her spouse's immediate
family. The Twins respondents were given the same assessments as the Main
and Siblings samples. Additionally, the Twins sample was asked a series of
questions about their birth, shared physical characteristics, childhood and
adult relationships with their twins, whether they were dressed alike as
children, and whether others experienced difficulty identifying them
Part 4, Main: Weights, for Respondents Completing Both the Telephone Survey
and Mail Questionnaire, contains respondent weights for those who completed
both the initial telephone survey and the mail questionnaire.
Part 5, Main: Weights for Respondents Completing at Least the Telephone
Survey, contains respondent weights for those who completed at least the
Part 6, Siblings: ID Match, Information enables the user to link a
respondent in the Siblings file with his/her sibling in the Main file by ID
number. Background information on respondents includes age, sex,
education, religion, marital status, employment status, age of children,
household income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, height, weight,
insurance coverage, spouse's employment status and occupation, parents'
occupation history and age of death, and respondents' childhood experiences.
(1) The data files are provided as SPSS export files and as SAS transport
files that were created using the SAS XPORT engine.
(2) MIDUS is the main research activity of The John D. and Catherine T.
MacArthur Foundation Network on Successful Midlife Development (MIDMAC).
Additional information on MIDMAC research projects is provided on the
MIDMAC website at
(3) This collection has not been processed by ICPSR staff. ICPSR is
distributing the data and documentation for this collection in essentially
the same form in which they were received. When appropriate, hardcopy
documentation has been converted to machine-readable form and variables
have been recoded to ensure respondents' anonymity.
(4) The codebooks and data collection instruments are provided as Portable
Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems
Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the
Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat
Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.
"The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), located
within ICPSR, is funded by the National Institute on Aging. NACDA's
mission is to advance research on aging by helping researchers to profit from
the under-exploited potential of a broad range of datasets. NACDA acquires
and preserves data relevant to gerontological research, processing as needed
to promote effective research use, disseminates them to researchers, and
facilitates their use. By preserving and making available the U.S.'s largest
library of electronic data on aging, NACDA offers opportunities for research
on major issues of scientific and policy relevance."
James W. McNally, Ph.D. Office: 734-998-9820
NACDA Director Fax: 734-998-9889
National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
426 Thompson Street, email:jmcnally at icpsr.umich.edu
Ann Arbor MI 48109-1248 http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACDA
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