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J Adolesc Health. 2001 Jan;28(1):73-81.

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

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Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health, Department of Pediatrics, Medical School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.



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).


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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