PACARDO: Data on Drug Use and Behavior in School-Aged Children and Teenagers in Panama, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, 1999-2000 (ICPSR 34829)

Version Date: Aug 5, 2014 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
James Anthony, Johns Hopkins University

Version V1

Slide tabs to view more

PACARDO, 1999-2000

The PACARDO study, concatenated to combine Panamá (PA), Centroamérica (CA), and República Dominicana (RDO), was a multi-national collaborative epidemiological research study whose primary objective was to record and describe self-reported drug use and behavior patterns among school-aged youths in Latin America. During 1999-2000, anonymous self-administered questionnaires on drug involvement and related behaviors were administered to a cross-sectional, nationally representative sample that included a total of 12,797 students in the following seven countries: Costa Rica (n = 1,702), the Dominican Republic (n = 2,023), El Salvador (n = 1,628), Guatemala (n = 2,530), Honduras (n = 1,752), Nicaragua (n = 1,419), and Panama (n = 1,743). Estimates for exposure opportunity and actual use of alcohol, tobacco, inhalants, marijuana, cocaine (crack / cocoa paste), amphetamines and methamphetamines, tranquilizers, ecstasy, and heroin were assessed via responses about questions on age of first chance to try each drug, and first use.

Anthony, James. PACARDO: Data on Drug Use and Behavior in School-Aged Children and Teenagers in Panama, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, 1999-2000. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-08-05.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (F31DA14757, K05DA15799, R01DA10502, T32DA07292)


Users are reminded that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1999 -- 2000
1999-04-03 -- 2000-08-11
  1. In a paper written by Chuan Yu Chen 137 cases were not included in the analysis due to the person having marked they had used Cadrina previously, which is a fake drug. The variable "NOTINCYCPAPER" designates these 137 cases. With the exception of the student's country, personal ID, and school ID, the data for these 137 cases have been designated as missing.

  2. To preserve respondent confidentiality, some variables have been removed from the dataset, recoded, or masked.


A cross-sectional research design was chosen for the PACARDO project, with the intent to use the cross-sectional study experience to create expertise needed for more complex future investigations with longitudinal and randomized intervention designs.

Methods of probability (random) sampling created a nested structure: youths within schools, and schools within departments (or provinces) of each country. From each country's sampling frame (the complete list of public and private schools), 55-75 schools were designated probabilistically, using a balanced stratified sampling approach originally developed by Professor Richard Royall of Johns Hopkins University. In five countries, initially sampled strata were formed in relation to the departments of the country; the sampling of schools ensured appropriate balance in representation of students from departments with small populations as well as students from the capital city and other similarly populous regions.

After probability sampling to designate schools, members of the study team rostered classrooms within each designated school, seeking to identify and include all classrooms that included 16-year-old pupils. That is, the intent was to secure a sample with a mean age of roughly 16 years in each country. From this roster, one, two, or three classrooms were randomly selected within each designated school, based on school size. Rather than pull out the 16-year-olds for survey, all youths in the designated classrooms were recruited for assessment during a regular classroom session. The result was an approximate self-weighted sample, with a mean age of 16 years and with an age range reflecting the inclusion of younger and older youths within these classrooms. In several countries, especially within smaller schools, 16-year-olds are grouped in classrooms with youths as young as 10 years and as old as young adults, and the sample reflects these educational practices.


School aged youth between the ages of 12 and 20 living in Panama, Central America, and the Dominican Republic.


Most of the variables in the first section (Q001-Q159) asked for Yes/No responses about topics such as family relations, social life, health, and social environment.

The next section (Q162-Q193) asked about the student's attitudes and usage of various substances.

The last section (Q194-Q224) asked how often various activities occurred. Each original variable in this section is followed by a series of four recoded variables primarily computed by the Principal Investigator. Where a recode was not performed ICPSR created the recode to complete the series.

The survey team achieved participation by more than 98 percent of the designated sample of school-attending youths.



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Anthony, James. PACARDO: Data on Drug Use and Behavior in School-Aged Children and Teenagers in Panama, Central America, and the Dominican Republic, 1999-2000. ICPSR34829-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2014-08-05.

2014-08-05 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:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

There are no weight variables in this data collection. The following note was provided by the Principal Investigator.

Each country's sample was conceptualized and drawn as a self-weighted probability sample of that country's school-attending youths. There never was an intent to pool the data from all of the countries in order to create a single summary estimate for the region as a whole. Instead, each country's sample should be specified as a replication sample, and estimated relationships should be estimated on a country-specific basis, from which a meta-analytic summary can be constructed.



  • 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 Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).