We propose here to introduce a dyadic component to the second wave of data collection in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP). NSHAP Wave 1 obtained questionnaire and biomeasure data on a nationally-representative sample of 3,005 community-dwelling adults ages 57-85 in 2005/6. Wave 2 will reinterview all Wave 1 respondents, beginning in early 2010. The partner component of Wave 2 would consist of in-depth, in-home interviews with a co-resident spouse (if married) or romantic/sexual partner (if available) for each referent NSHAP respondent. NSHAP's objective is to provide longitudinal data on health, sexuality, and social life among older adults, focusing especially on the links between the nature of an individual's intimate relationships (or lack thereof) and his or her health trajectories. A marriage or co-resident romantic/sexual partnership is one of the most important intimate relationships, and adding partners to the sample would permit researchers to study each individual in the relationship directly, as well as the dyad as a unit. Analyses would fill a crucial gap in our knowledge of how individuals'health trajectories are linked to those closest to them, and would inform new approaches to reducing morbidity and preventing disability and dysfunction associated with aging. As with NSHAP Wave 1, these data would be released together with the rest of the Wave 2 dataset through the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) within one year of the close of the field period. Specifically, we aim to 1) increase the scientific value of the NSHAP dataset through collecting questionnaire and biomeasure data from co-resident romantic partners, 2) provide data to allow us and other researchers to examine the within-couple association in health and well-being and 3) provide data to allow us and other researchers to examine, using couple-level data, the role of the relationship itself in health and well-being.
We propose here to introduce a dyadic component to the second wave of data collection in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP).
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