Development of adolescent self-report measures from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

J Adolesc Health. 2001 Jan;28(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/s1054-139x(00)00155-5.


Purpose: To present a set of multi-item indicators and associated reliability estimates derived from early research with survey data from adolescents participating in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health).

Methods: Add Health provides information on the health and health-related behaviors of a nationally representative sample of U.S. adolescents, as well as on individual-level and contextual factors that either promote young peoples' health or increase their health risk. Specifically, the 135-page in-home adolescent survey instrument includes multiple items intended to measure individual-level and social-environmental constructs relevant to adolescent health and well-being. This article details the development of a set of multi-item scales and indices from Add Health in-home adolescent survey data. These steps include identification of inconsistent responders, use of a split-halves approach to measurement validation, and use of a deductive approach in the development of scales and item composites.

Results: Estimates of internal consistency reliability suggest that many of the multi-item measures have acceptable levels of internal consistency across grade, gender, and race/ethnic groups included in this nationally representative sample of adolescents. In addition, moderate to high bivariate correlations between selected measures provide initial evidence of underlying latent constructs.

Conclusions: This article provides adolescent health researchers with a set of methodologic procedures and measures developed in early research on the Add Health core adolescent data set.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Random Allocation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States