October 8, 2013

Parents' Time with Kids More Rewarding Than Paid Work — and More Exhausting

Appendix 2: How Does the American Time Use Survey Measure People’s Feelings?

Sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Aging, the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) introduced a new well-being module in 2010 to collect data on quality of life. After respondents completed a 24-hour diary, they were asked about how they felt during the time they engage in three randomly selected activities (to be eligible for selection, the activity had to be at least five minutes in duration, and sleeping, grooming and personal activities were not included).

Below are questions extracted from the ATUS Well-being Module questionnaire:

Now I want to go back and ask you some questions about how you felt yesterday. We’re asking these questions to better understand people’s health and well-being during their daily lives. As before, whatever you tell us will be kept confidential. The computer has selected three time intervals that I will ask about.

Between [START TIME OF EPISODE] and [STOP TIME OF EPISODE] yesterday, you said you were doing [ACTIVITY]. The next set of questions asks how you felt during this particular time.

Please use a scale from 0 to 6, where a 0 means you did not experience this feeling at all and a 6 means the feeling was very strong. You may choose any number 0,1,2,3,4,5 or 6 to reflect how strongly you experienced this feeling during this time.

1. Happy: First, from 0 – 6, where a 0 means you were not happy at all and a 6 means you were very happy, how happy did you feel during this time?
2. Tired: From 0 – 6, where a 0 means you were not tired at all and a 6 means you were very tired, how tired did you feel during this time?
3. Stressed: From 0 – 6, where a 0 means you were not stressed at all and a 6 means you were very stressed, how stressed did you feel during this time?
4. Sad: From 0 – 6, where a 0 means you were not sad at all and a 6 means you were very sad, how sad did you feel during this time?
5. Pain: From 0 – 6, where a 0 means you did not feel any pain at all and a 6 means you were in severe pain, how much pain did you feel during this time if any?
6. Meaningful: From 0 to 6, how meaningful did you consider what you were doing? 0 means it was not meaningful at all to you and a 6 means it was very meaningful to you.

[ITEMS 1-5 WERE RANDOMIZED].