Appendix 8: Instrument Rosters

Appendix 8: Instrument Rosters

How are rosters created during the interview?

This section outlines the process used during the interview to create a roster. Rosters may include data from both previous interviews and the current interview. After the roster is created and sorted, it can be used to guide the rest of the interview. Figure 3 provides a pictorial overview of the creation of a roster.

Figure 3. How Rosters Are Created

Data from previous interviews. As shown in the figure, creation of a roster for the current round often begins with information found in the roster from the previous round. The appropriate respondent-specific data are saved on the interviewer's laptop before he or she administers the survey. When the interview gets to a point where roster information is collected, the data from the previous round's roster are often used as the base for the current roster. The respondent verifies and updates the information. If no changes have occurred since the last interview-for example, if exactly the same people live in the respondent's household-then the current round's roster will be the same as the one from the previous round.

For example, the interviewer reads a list of all of the people on the household roster from the last interview. The respondent first states whether any of those people have moved out of the household and then reports new household members. If any members remain from the previous year, their information-date of birth, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.-is carried over from the previous interview, and any missing data are collected. This method is more efficient than asking the respondent to report all household members every year.

Raw data collection. After the respondent and interviewer review and update the roster from the previous round, the survey collects current information. For example, new people might have moved into the household, so the interviewer asks the respondent about their characteristics. At this point, the respondent is done answering questions that will fill up the data grid on a particular topic.

Roster creation and roster sort. Using the updated roster from the previous round and the new raw data just collected, the computer creates a new roster for the current round. For example, the employer roster contains the following information for each job: a unique identification number for the employer, employment dates, whether the job was current at the interview date, whether the job was in the military, and whether the job was an internship. If the respondent had held the job at the time of the previous interview, the start date and employer identification number are carried over from the old roster, and the other information is taken from the questions at the beginning of the employment section for the current year. Similarly, the household roster contains information from the previous interview about household members reported at that time and data from the current interview about new household members.

In some cases, the computer also sorts the roster and puts the items in order based on a specified variable. For example, in the round 1 household roster, all youths in the age range of the NLSY97 cohort were listed first, and then all other household members were listed from oldest to youngest. The employer roster is sorted by job end date so that the most recent jobs are listed first.

Roster use in the interview. Finally, the roster is used to determine the order in which the other questions about each topic are asked. In most cases, the survey collects far more information than is stored in the actual roster, and the answers to these questions remain outside the roster as raw data. So that the interview makes sense to the respondent, these additional questions are asked about the people or things on the roster in the order that the people or things are listed.

For example, the respondent first answers questions about industry, occupation, rate of pay, etc., for the first employer listed on the roster. The same questions are then asked about the second job, then the third job, and so on. Similarly, the first set of questions about household members refers to the first person listed on the roster. When all of those questions have been answered, the same questions are asked about the second person, the third person, etc.

Example-Creation and use of the employer roster

The following example illustrates the structure and use of the employer roster. Most aspects of this example apply to other NLSY97 rosters as well.

Roster Creation in Round 1

Raw data collection. The round 1 survey asked for the names of all employers for whom the respondent had worked since age 14. Assume that a respondent named Emma reported delivering the Smalltown Press when she was 14, then switching companies and delivering the County Register, and finally working in her parents' business, Peel's Corner Store, at the time of the round 1 interview. For this example, the newspaper delivery jobs are assumed to be employee jobs and not freelance-type work. The survey then assigned a unique identification number (UID) in the order the jobs were reported: 9701 for the Smalltown Press, 9702 for the County Register, and 9703 for Peel's Store.

Roster creation and roster sort. After the UIDs were assigned, Emma reported the dates she started and stopped working for each employer. At this point, the survey program sorted the jobs according to stop date, so that the most recent employer was employer #01, the next most recent was employer #02, and so on. Therefore, Peel's Store (UID 9703) became job #01 on the roster, the County Register (UID 9702) was listed as job #02, and the Smalltown Press (UID 9701) was listed third. Key information about each employer, including the unique ID number and dates of employment, was organized in the employer roster. All of the information about Peel's Store is located in variables numbered #01 in the title, the County Register data are in variables numbered #02, and so on.

  Example: Emma's Round 1 YEMP Roster
  Employer UID Round 1 Roster Line #
  Smalltown Press 9701 03
  County Register 9702 02
  Peel's Store 9703 01

Roster use in the interview. Throughout the rest of the employment section, the employer numbers remain constant, so that each variable containing, for example, the phrase "Job #03" or "Employer #03" refers to Emma's Smalltown Press job. Note that the Smalltown Press is not the third employer Emma reported at the beginning of the employment section of the interview. It became employer #03 during the roster sort because the other two jobs were more recent.

Roster Creation in Round 2

Data from previous interviews. The employer information was collected in a similar manner in subsequent rounds. Because data were available from the previous interview, they could be used in the construction of the round 2 roster. Before the survey was fielded, survey staff loaded information about each respondent into the interviewers' laptops. In Emma's case, part of this information would be the list of employers she reported in round 1.

Raw data collection. During the survey, respondents first provided information about employers who were current at the last interview date. Assume that Emma stated that she worked at Peel's Store for several months after the round 1 interview. Respondents next reported new employers since the last interview date in no particular order. Emma reported only one additional job, waiting tables at Steed's Diner after she turned 16. At this point UIDs were given to each employer. Because Peel's Store was previously reported, it already had a UID--9703--assigned during the last interview. Steed's Diner was a new employer in round 2, so it was given a UID of 9801.

Roster creation and roster sort. Emma then reported the date she stopped working at each job, and the roster was sorted according to these stop dates. At the round 2 interview, the diner job was more recent, so it was listed as job #01 on the roster, and the store became job #02. At this point, the roster contains information from multiple survey rounds. The UID and start date of the Peel's Store job are carried over from round 1, while the stop date of the store job and all the information about Steed's Diner comes from round 2. Because Emma had not worked for the Smalltown Press or the County Register since the round 1 interview, neither of those employers is listed on the round 2 roster.

  Example: Emma's Round 2 YEMP Roster
  Employer UID Round 1 Roster Line # Round 2 Roster Line #
  Peel's Store 9703 01 02
  Steed's Diner 9801 - 01

Roster use in the interview. Just as in round 1, the employer numbers remain the same for the rest of the interview. As Emma answered questions about Steed's Diner, her rate of pay, hours worked, etc., were recorded in the "Employer #01" questions. Peel's Store data were recorded in the "Employer #2" series.

Roster Creation in Round 3 and Subsequent Surveys

Data from previous interviews. This is used in each round as it was in round 2. Data from earlier interviews is loaded into the interviewer's laptop before the survey begins so that it can be used in the current survey if applicable.

Raw data collection. During the survey, respondents first provide information about employers who were current at the last interview date. In response to these questions in round 3, Emma reported her ongoing employment at Steed's Diner, where she had been working in round 2. Respondents next report new employers since the last interview date in no particular order; this series includes a check of employers from prior to the date of the last interview to determine if the respondent has returned to a previous employer. At this point in round 3, Emma reported that she went back to work at the Smalltown Press for a 6-month period between rounds 2 and 3. Both employers retained their original ID numbers, 9801 for the diner and 9701 for the newspaper, despite the break in Emma's employment at the latter.

Roster creation and roster sort. The roster is again sorted according to the stop date of each job. As Emma's current employer, Steed's Diner is listed as job #01 on the round 3 roster. The Smalltown Press becomes job #02 since Emma left that job before the round 3 interview date. Jobs where employment ended before round 2 are not listed on the round 3 roster.

  Example: Emma's Round 3 YEMP Roster
  Employer UID Round 1 Roster Line # Round 2 Roster Line # Round 3 Roster Line #
  Steed's Diner 9801 - 01 01
  Smalltown Press 9701 03 - 02

Roster use in the interview. The roster line numbers are then used for the duration of the interview, as described above for rounds 1 and 2. In the example, information about Emma's employment at the diner is recorded in the "Employer #01" questions, while data about the newspaper are recorded in the "Employer #02" series.