Health and Life Study of Koreans, United States, 2016-2018 (ICPSR 37635)

Version Date: Sep 10, 2020 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Sunghee Lee, University of Michigan. Survey Research Center

Version V1


The Health and Life Study of Koreans (HLSK) was conducted as a part of the study, "Empirical Assessment of Respondent Driven Sampling from Total Survey Error Perspectives" supported by the National Science Foundation. The larger study aimed to examine the operational and inferential properties of respondent driven sampling (RDS). HLSK applied RDS using a web survey, to examine the health of foreign-born Korean-American adults living in Los Angeles County or the State of Michigan. It should be noted that the literature on analysis of RDS data is not fully established, and there is less than clear empirical evidence illustrating the fit of using RDS for population-level inferences. Hence, data users are advised to exercise extreme caution in making population-level inferences.

This study uses existing questions from established surveys such as the American Community Survey (ACS), Kessler survey of psychological distress, and the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). The Main Survey covers topics like socio-demographics, physical and mental health, healthcare utilization, religiosity, political engagement, psychosocial traits, and racial/ethnic identity. The Follow-up Survey and Restricted Data focuses on RDS sampling questions and allows users to examine the relationships between recruiters and their recruits. Additionally, the Follow-up Survey and Restricted Data includes variables that contain sensitive information such as multi-racial identity, citizenship status, and physical health characteristics.

Lee, Sunghee. Health and Life Study of Koreans, United States, 2016-2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-09-10.

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National Science Foundation. Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SES-1461470)

This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. To protect respondent privacy, some of the data files in this collection are restricted from general dissemination. To obtain these restricted files researchers must agree to the terms and conditions of a Restricted Data Use Agreement.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2016 -- 2018
2016-06-06 -- 2018-03-19
  1. Users are invited to view the "Introducing Health and Life Study of Koreans" video produced by the Principal Investigator.
  2. Additional information on HLSK can be found by visiting the Health and Life Study of Koreans website. Additionally, please see the User Guide for more detailed information on the respondent driven sampling model utilized for this study.

This study's purpose was to improve how data is collected on hard to research communities by fielding a survey on Korean Americans' wellbeing.

This study used respondent driven sampling which starts with a number of eligible participants called seeds. This survey started with 15 seeds in LA and 5 seeds in Michigan. Once the seeds completed the survey, they were asked to recruit other eligible participants. The individuals recruited by the seeds were then asked to recruit their peers, and this chain referral process continued until the data collection period ended.

Respondent driven sampling


Adults who are non-US born Koreans who live in the State of Michigan or Los Angeles County and fluently speak Korean or English.



2020-09-10 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:

  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • Curation and dissemination of this study is provided by the institutional members of ICPSR, and data is available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. To determine if you are at a member institution, check the list of ICPSR member institutions, or learn more about becoming a member.

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions. Restricted data files are not available for direct download from the website; click on the Restricted Data button to learn more.

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This study is provided by Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD).