Collections > UNC Scholarly Publications > National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) > Article > Non-Response in Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health

Non-response is a potential threat to the accuracy of estimates obtained from sample surveys and can be particularly difficult to avoid in longitudinal studies. The objective of this report is to investigate non-response and consequent bias in estimates for Wave IV of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health). The Survey Research Unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill previously analyzed the non-response rates for the first three waves of Add Health. As shown in Chantala, Kalsbeek and Andraca, 2005, the total bias in Waves I, II, and III for 13 measures of health and risk behaviors rarely exceed 1%, which is small relative to the 20% to 80% prevalence rates for most of these measures. Results are similar for Wave IV. In this paper, first, we outline the Wave IV sampling design and results of the field work. Second, we characterize the non-response rates overall and stratified by a number of demographic variables. Next, we use data on the health risk measures reported by Wave IV responders and non-responders during their Wave I In-home interview to estimate total and relative bias due to non-response in Wave IV. We conclude with a discussion of Wave IV bias due to non-response.