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

Renee E. Sieving, Trisha Beuhring, Michael D. Resnick, Linda H. Bearinger, Marcia Shew, Marjorie Ireland, Robert W. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Add Health
  • Adolescence
  • Health surveys
  • Self-report measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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