Data » What's Available » HRS 2018 Core » Experimental Modules

Module 1: Financial Decision Making and Coping
Module 1 addresses two issues in two short sequences. The first section asks about the respondent's experiences making day-to-day financial decisions - whether the respondent experiences anxiety, conflict, confidence, or worry over their decisions about money. The second section focuses on the respondent's coping style in a variety of situations. The respondent is asked about their level of concern over how they are perceived in everyday situations. Concern about appearance, speech, going certain places, and the respondent's gender are examples of the situations covered. The last question asks respondents to identify what personal aspects might be the cause of their concern or lack thereof - religion, nationality, race, age, gender, or financial standing.

Module 2: Understanding Debt
This module consists of questions about the respondent's current debts. Respondents are asked about outstanding student loans, medical debt, past planning for their current level of debt, and contact by a debt collection agency. The final question is a little test of their off-the-top-of-the-head on how debt interest works over time.

Module 3: Dental Health and Dental Health Services
This module focuses on the respondent's dental health. The first several questions ask about the respondent's general dental condition and the presence of dentures. The middle and longest section examines the effect dental problems have on the respondent's quality of life. The final section focuses on the respondent's use of dental health services - frequency of seeing a dentist, types of treatment needed, and types of dental facilities R utilizes.

Module 4: Attitude Toward and Use of Marijuana (Cannabis) in Older Americans
This is the marijuana module. Topics include current and past patterns of use of marijuana and hashish, whether the respondent has ever had either one prescribed by a doctor and for what condition, and finishes with some questions about the respondent's current attitudes about marijuana and hashish.

Module 5: Entrepeneurship
This module - the 'Entrepreneurship' module - gathers information about respondents' involvement in business ownership. The initial section establishes whether or not the respondent has ever been involved in owning and running a business. Depending on their response, they are asked one of two sections. If the respondent has been a business owner, they are asked what kind of impact that business activity had on their overall quality of life and about their motivations for becoming an entrepreneur. Respondents who thought about getting involved in a business but did not do so are asked about the issues that kept them from running a business. If they are still thinking of running a business, they are asked about their motivations for doing so. If the respondent has never been involved in a business and never considered it, the module is quite short.

Module 6: Perceived Effects of Behaviors and Conditions on Longevity
This module explores the respondent's perceptions about issues that affect longevity. Hopefully the respondents who get this module are comfortable with the 0-100 scales. First, each respondent is assigned a 62 'target age' to which they could live based on their current age. Then the respondent is asked to imagine a person exactly like him/herself but who is different in some way and to estimate that person's chances (0-100) of living to the target age. A random assignment directs the respondent to be asked about the impact of smoking, exercising regularly, or diabetes on life expectancy, and closes with a question about medical forms.

Module 7: Working Longer (Age < 65)
This (another 0-100) asks respondents under age 65 about their chances of working after the age of 70 given different characteristics of the job. Each respondent gets one of 3 sections: for respondents working for an employer; for respondents who are currently not working; or for respondents who are self-employed. Each section asks similar questions about job characteristics that could affect the respondent's desire to take the described job. For example, what are the chances that the respondent could take a job where s/he was able to work totally at home? If working from home is important to the respondent, her/his chances of taking such a job might be very good and vice versa.

Module 8: Overuse of Health Care
This module asks about the respondent's attitude towards a variety of medical tests and treatments and about their own experiences getting medical care. It explores the balance between people's need for tests and the possible harm from the tests themselves.

Module 9: End of Life Decisions
This module asks respondents about their preferences for medical decisions in different situations. Initial questions establish the respondent's preferred mode of medical decision-making for their own health. The remainder of the module poses two different situations: the first asks the respondent to imagine herself/himself having a brain disease that cannot be cured and then poses three questions describing various forms of treatment and asking whether the respondent would want those treatments if s/he were in such a condition. In the second situation, the respondent is to imagine him/herself totally paralyzed for life but whose brain is still functioning well; again the respondent is asked about their treatment preferences. The closing is a nicely worded "thank you" for responding to questions on a topic that can be difficult to talk about.

Module 10: HRS Adaptation of Patient Assessment of Care for Chronic Conditions
This module is the age-group complement to module 7, asking the 65-and-overs about medical care for chronic conditions. If the respondent does not have a chronic condition that has been treated in the past 2 years, they are done with module 10. Most of the questions revolve around the extent to which the doctor(s) treating the condition encourage the respondent's own involvement in his/her self-care; additional questions ask about the level of follow-up the respondent receives from the medical team as well as how thorough the team was in asking about how visits to other medical professionals affected the respondent's condition.

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