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National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS I), 1995-1996

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. The data collection is comprised of four parts. Part 1, Main, Sibling and Twin Data, contains responses from the main survey of 7,108 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, sense of control over their lives, interests, and hopes for the future. Part 2, Main Sample: 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. There are 3,032 respondents in this dataset. Part 3, Main Sample: Weights for Respondents Completing at least the Telephone Survey, contains respondent weights for those who completed at least the telephone survey. There are 3,485 respondents in this dataset. Part 4, Twin Screener Data, provides the first national sample of twin pairs ascertained randomly via the telephone.

MIDUS I Documentation

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