This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).
Principal Investigator(s): Brim, Orville G., John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Research Network on Successful Midlife Development; Baltes, Paul B., Max Planck Institute for Human Development; Bumpass, Larry L., University of Wisconsin; Cleary, Paul D., Harvard Medical School; Featherman, David L., University of Michigan; Hazzard, William R., Wake Forest University; Kessler, Ronald C., Harvard Medical School; Lachman, Margie E., Brandeis University; Markus, Hazel Rose, Stanford University; Marmot, Michael G., University College London Medical School; Rossi, Alice S., University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Ryff, Carol D., University of Wisconsin; Shweder, Richard A., University of Chicago
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.
These data are freely available.
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Brim, Orville G., Paul B. Baltes, Larry L. Bumpass, Paul D. Cleary, David L. Featherman, William R. Hazzard, Ronald C. Kessler, Margie E. Lachman, Hazel Rose Markus, Michael G. Marmot, Alice S. Rossi, Carol D. Ryff, and Richard A. Shweder. National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), 1995-1996. ICPSR02760-v8. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-10-25. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02760.v8
Persistent URL: http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02760.v8
This study was funded by:
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Research Network on Successful Midlife Development
Scope of Study
Geographic Coverage: United States
Date of Collection:
Universe: Respondents were drawn from a nationally representative random-digit-dial sample of non-institutionalized, 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.
Data Types: survey data
Data Collection Notes:
MIDUS is the main research activity of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development (MIDMAC). Additional information on MIDMAC research projects is provided on the MIDMAC Web site at http://midmac.med.harvard.edu/. The MIDUS II homepage, which also provides information regarding the MIDUS I project, can be found at the following address: http://www.midus.wisc.edu/.
All data files in the MIDUS study (both longitudinal and cross-sectional) can be linked using a key variable called M2ID.
The DDI codebook (PDF file) and the XML file (contained in a .zip package) released by ICPSR were provided by MIDUS and were not changed in any way by ICPSR. These original files do not reflect any of the processing done by ICPSR.
The online analysis (SDA) file is a merged file comprised of the four datasets within this data collection. The files were merged using the variable M2ID. Users of this merged file should review the information in the Technical Report document, found on the ICPSR and NACDA websites, regarding the use of weights prior to analysis.
Sample: Respondents were drawn from a nationally representative random-digit-dial sample of non-institutionalized, 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. Please see the Descriptions of MIDUS Samples documentation provided by ICPSR for more detailed information.
Mode of Data Collection: computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI), mail questionnaire
Extent of Processing: ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Standardized missing values.
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.
Original ICPSR Release: 1999-12-29
- 2011-10-25 The document titled DDI codebook has been renamed Codebook.
- 2011-02-18 The study documentation has been updated. The Main, Siblings, and Twin dataset (Dataset 0001) has been updated to include updated and new variables that reflect the MIDUS II data (ICPSR 4652). Additionally, the Twin Screener data (Dataset 0004) has been updated to include missing value assignments. Lastly, a .xml file and corresponding .pdf codebook have been added to the collection.
- 2010-01-06 Additional documentation, MIDUS Sample Descriptions, has been added.
- 2009-10-09 Minor editing changes were made to the metadata record.
- 2009-04-16 Twin Screener Data has been added to this collection as Part 4.
- 2007-04-16 The three separate subsample datasets (Main, Sibling, Twin) have been joined into one master dataset. The three primary subsamples are identified by a variable called SAMPLMAJ. A new ID system (the variable is called M2ID) has been added to the data which allow the aggregation of the three subsamples. This system also allows longitudinal merging between datasets. A variety of deductive disclosure problems have been fixed. There were also erroneous and empty variables in the datasets, all of which have been fixed. Documentation has been updated to reflect these changes. All MIDUS-related data files are linkable via a variable called M2ID.
- 2006-03-30 File QU2760.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
- 2003-06-09 The SAS transport files for Parts 2-6, have been replaced because the original versions contained an illegal file name embedded within them, which prevented the files from being properly read by the SAS system.
- 2000-02-01 The SAS transport file for Part 1, Main Data, has been replaced because the original version contained an incorrect number of cases.
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DS1: Main, Siblings and Twin Data
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DS3: Main Sample: Weights for Respondents Completing at Least the Telephone Survey
DS4: Twin Screener Data
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