Understanding Society: design overview
Keywords:Understanding Society, household panel study, design
AbstractUnderstanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study, builds on the success of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). This paper describes some of the key elements of the design and conduct of the study and suggests how Understanding Society is distinctive as a longitudinal survey. Its large sample size offers new opportunities to study sub-groups that may be too small for separate analysis on other studies. The new content included in Understanding Society, not least the bio-measures, provides exciting prospects for interdisciplinary research across the social and medical sciences. The Innovation Panel is already proving to be an invaluable resource for research in longitudinal survey methodology. Finally, the inclusion of the BHPS sample within Understanding Society enables this long running panel to continue into the future, opening up inter-generational research and the opportunity to look at very long-term trajectories of change. This paper also describes the four sample components: the general population sample, ethnic minority boost sample, the Innovation Panel, and participants from the BHPS. Each component has a multistage sample designs, mostly with stratification and clustering. A complex weighting strategy is being developed to support varied analyses. This overview also describes the instruments, methods of data collection, and the timetable for data collection. A summary of the survey content’s is provided. With the data becoming available the user community is beginning to benefit from this investment in longitudinal studies.
Authors who published with Longitudinal and Life Course Studies Volumes 1–9 agreed to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal right of first publication with the work, simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Following first publication in this Journal, Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal, provided always that no charge is made for its use.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g. in institutional repositories or on their own website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.