Socioeconomic Status (SES) - Subject Baseline
This measure appears in the following time-points: Baseline.
Description of Measure
This section contains questions regarding socioeconomic status. We have computed two different versions of socioeconomic status, one that is based on education alone and the other which combines both education and occupation. More detailed information about each of these is provided below.
The first version of our SES indicator is based on parent education alone and three variables are available:
- Education level of biological mother [S0moeduc]
- Education level of biological father [S0faeduc]
- Socioeconomic status [S0paeduc]
The above indicator of SES relies solely on the level of education attained by the biological parents. Both the subject and the collateral report on the parent's education level, so this score relies on the lowest level of education as reported from either source. The SES score (s0paeduc) is the mean of the biological mother and father's education level. Higher SES values reflect lower levels of education.
A second set of SES variables is computed based on both education and occupation. Reported parental occupation and education were coded using a seven-point scale ranging from 1 (higher executives, proprietors, major professionals; professional degree) to 7 (unskilled employees; less than seven years of school) based on Hollingshead's index of social position (see Hollingshead, 1957). Both the subject and collateral report of the parent's education and occupation were used. More weight was given to the collateral report when the parent was the collateral reporter. Otherwise, the lower education and occupation level was taken as reported from either source.
We then computed a parental Index of Social Position (ISP) which is based on the formula ((Occupation score x 7) + (Education score x 4)) (see Hollingshead, 1971). When both the occupation and education for the parent was unknown, the individual parent ISP score was not computed. If only one of the two components was known, the missing information was derived using the available data. For example, if mother's occupation score is missing, and the mother's education level was a 4 (High school graduate), then the occupation equivalent (4 - clerical and sales workers, technicians, and owners of little businesses) was imputed, and mother's ISP was then computed using the formula noted above (e.g., occupation = 4 x 7; education = 4 x 4). A marker variable is included for both mother and father, noting when either the occupation or education score was imputed.
The combined parent ISP score is computed using the same formula noted above. The mean of the mother and father occupation was taken when data for both parents were available. When occupation data for only one parent was known, parent ISP was computed using the single parent score. The same rules were followed for education. For example, if mother's occupation was a 1 and father's occupation was a 4, the occupation score used for parent ISP would be (2.5 x 7), plus the education component. If mother's occupation was 1 and father's occupation was unknown, the occupation score used for the parent ISP would be (1 x 7), plus the education component.
The second set of SES indicators includes five variables:
- A flag indicating if either occupation or education was derived for the mother's ISP score. [S0Derived_MomISP]
- A flag indicating if either occupation or education was derived for the father's ISP score. [S0Derived_DadISP]
- Mother's index of social position. [S0Mom_ISP]
- Father's index of social position. [S0Dad_ISP]
- Parent index of social position. [S0Parent_ISP]
For the variables that are based on education alone, it should be noted that the computation of the SES variable does not require that both the biological mother and biological father education be present. That is, if education level of the mother is known, but the father's education level is missing, SES will be set equal the education level of their mother.
- Hollingshead, A.B. (1957). Two Factor Index of Social Position. Mimeo. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University.
- Hollingshead, A.B. (1971). Commentary on The Indiscriminate State of Social Class Measurement. Social Forces, 49(4), 563-567.