Statistical Design and Estimation for the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project
Objectives 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. Methods 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. Results The survey obtained an overall response rate of 75.5%. Discussion 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.