This application requests funds to support work by NACDA in the development of enhanced archival research materials and extraction tools that facilitate the study of the social context of health, economic behavior and cognition across the life course in the United States. The American's Changing Lives (ACL) represents a foundation study that covers a wide array of variables that touch on sociological, psychological, mental and physical health items. The proposed collaboration between the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) and the ACL research team will allow us to apply our expertise in addressing this important task under the review of established experts of the ACL content. The current application focuses on core enhancements that will enhance the structure of the four waves of the ACL. We propose to implement a focused archival delivery system that will allow us to address four distinct research needs: 1. Enhancements to Data Structure: We will update and standardize the four panels of data constituting the American's Changing Lives to meet current archival standards for complex longitudinal data collections. 2. Enhancements to Documentation: We will extensively revise the documentation on the ACL to include user- friendly versions of codebooks and questionnaires instruments. 3. Enhancements to Restricted Data content: We will work with the ACL research team to review their collection of contextual data files and suggest protocols to allow the qualified researchers access to the files. 4. Enhancements to Value Added Support Services: We will provide the ACL a full suite of support tools and value added products. Included in this suite of tools will be a dynamic online bibliography of the study that is searchable and will have stable links to all electronically available publications. Additionally we will attempt to identify and add additional technical material on the use, potential applications, and history of the ACL. These goals, while far reaching, are realistic for NACDA under the Archival R-03 mechanism as the application builds upon a preexisting infrastructure that allows us to develop and deliver focused archival systems. By leveraging technology developed with existing funding, the resources requested in this application will maximize our ability to enhance the ACL in ways that were impractical if not impossible only a few years ago.
This project will enhance the American's Changing Lives public use data files. These enhancements will allow researchers to examine the relationships of social and economic behaviors on health outcomes among adults aged 25 and older in the United States. ? ? ?