The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study that seeks to measure health changes of a sample group over time. Participants (N=90,118) are a representative sample from 80 high schools across the US who were adolescents in grades 7-12 during the 1994-1995 school year. The dataset includes respondents from different racial groups and across SES categories. Researchers have continued to observe the cohort into adulthood, conducting four sets of in-home interviews. The most recent interview was conducted in 2008, when the cohort was between 24-32 years old.
The data used for my study included respondents from the publicly available sample population who indicated that they had a resident mother and were currently enrolled in a school with a 7-12 grade system during the initial wave of data collection (N=6,504).
The data was collected in 5 waves. Wave I (1994-1995) involved in-school surveys with students and school administration, as well as in-home interviews with students and parents. In-school surveys were self-administered. About 200 students were selected to create a representative sample from each of the 80 high schools for the in-home interview. Questions were either read by an interviewer or heard through headphones, depending on the sensitivity of the topic. Responses were recorded on a laptop computer. Parents were also asked to complete an interviewer-assisted questionnaire. The questions in Wave I are primarily concerned with how various factors-social, behavioral and environment- are related to adolescent health.
Wave II (1996) included in-school surveys of school administration as well as in-home follow-ups with the previous cohort. Wave III (2001-2002) included in-home interviews with the cohorts’ romantic partners, as well as a follow-up interview. Wave IV (2007-2008) included a follow-up in-home interview with respondents and incorporated many new topics given new research needs. Wave V will be conducted from 2016-2018, with an expanded focus on social, behavioral and biological linkages to the cohort member’s health trajectories, particularly the development of chronic disease.
My response variable is students' expectation that they will attend college, which was reported using a scale from 1-5, where 1 represents low college expectations.
I'm looking at 2 sets of explanatory variables. The first is maternal college expectations, which was measured through the respondents' answers to the question: "How disappointed would your mother be if you did not attend college?" Again, this was measured on a 5 point scale.
The second group of explanatory variables have to do with maternal engagement in at-home school involvement strategies (talking about grades, talking about school other, and/or helping with a school project). Each of these were coded dichotomously with 1 indicating that the resident mother had engaged in the strategy in the last four weeks and 2 indicating that she had not.
I coded out all respondents who had a legitimate skip for questions regarding their resident mother (meaning they did not have a resident mother) as well as those who responded "I don't know" to questions regarding the resident mother's behavior. I also coded out all respondents who were not enrolled in school, who attended a school that did not have a 7-12 grade system, or who responded "I don't know" to a question asking about their grade, limiting the sample to students who were currently attending school.