Midlife in the United States (MIDUS 1), 1995-1996 (ICPSR 2760)
Published: Nov 16, 2017
Orville G. Brim, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Research Network on Successful Midlife Development; Paul B. Baltes, Max Planck Institute for Human Development; Michael G. Marmot, University College London Medical School; Carol D. Ryff, University of Wisconsin; Alice S. Rossi, University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Larry L. Bumpass, University of Wisconsin; Paul D. Cleary, Harvard Medical School; David L. Featherman, University of Michigan; William R. Hazzard, Wake Forest University; Ronald C. Kessler, Harvard Medical School; Margie E. Lachman, Brandeis University; Hazel Rose Markus, Stanford University; Richard A. Shweder, University of Chicago
The Midlife 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.
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Research Network on Successful Midlife Development
1995-01 -- 1996-01
Date of Collection
1995-01 -- 1996-01
Data Collection Notes
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 Web sites, regarding the use of weights prior to analysis.
The title of this study was changed from National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), 1995-1996, to Midlife in the United States (MIDUS 1), 1995-1996, on May 9, 2017.
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.
All data files in the MIDUS study (both longitudinal and cross-sectional) can be linked using a key variable called M2ID.
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. Additional information about the Midlife Development in the United States study can be found at the MIDUS Web site.
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.
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.
Mode of Data Collection
computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI)
Original Release Date
1999-12-29 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.
2010-01-06 Additional documentation, MIDUS Sample Descriptions, has been added.
2017-11-16 This collection is being updated, per request from the PI, to reflect a title change; the corresponding downloadable files are only being updated to reflect the title change, where applicable.
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.
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.
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.
2009-04-16 Twin Screener Data has been added to this collection as Part 4.
2009-10-09 Minor editing changes were made to the metadata record.
2016-03-23 The Documentation of Scales and Constructed Variables in MIDUS 1 has been updated to accurately reflect the appropriate wave of the MIDUS study. The version number for this collection has also been updated to correspond with the number of updates to this collection.
2011-10-25 The document titled DDI codebook has been renamed Codebook.
2016-04-11 The Technical Report and the Technical Report on Methodology have been updated to correspond with the appropriate datasets.
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.
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.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
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).