Portraits of American Life Study, 2nd Wave, 2012

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > General Population > National > PALS > Summary

Emerson, M. O., & Sikkink, D. H. (2020, April 25). Portraits of American Life Study, 2nd Wave, 2012.
The Portraits of American Life Study (PALS) is an extensive, national-level panel study focused on religion in the U.S., with a particular focus on capturing ethnic and racial diversity. PALS seeks to understand the impact of religion in everyday life, and ultimately the connections between religious change and other forms of change in individuals and families over the course of their lives and across generations. It includes substantive modules on family relationships, deviance, health, civic participation and volunteering, moral and social attitudes, and race and ethnic issues. It currently includes 2 waves, collected in 2006 and 2012. This file refers to the cases in the second wave only. Of the 1,417 respondents in Wave 2, 1,314 were from Wave 1 and 103 were new respondents.
Data File
Cases: 1,417
Variables: 861
Weight Variable: NWEIGHT, PSWEIGHT
In order to compensate for known biases, such as non-response, which can vary for different subgroups of the population, the sample data are weighted. The demographic weighting parameters are derived from a special analysis of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 2005 and 2011. These analyses produced population parameters for the demographic characteristics of adults 18 or older, which were then compared with the sample characteristics to construct sample weights. The "raking" technique was used, meaning it adjusts the weights to match the population proportions through an iterative process (i.e., it performs the same set of steps multiple times). The variable NWEIGHT is sample scaled and the variable PSWEIGHT is population-scaled. Use PSWEIGHT for population estimates.
Data Collection
Date Collected: April to October, 2012
Funded By
Lilly Endowment Inc.
Kinder Institute, Rice University
University of Notre Dame
Collection Procedures
Approximately 75 percent via web, 17 percent via phone, and eight percent via face-to-face interviews.
Sampling Procedures
The target population for this study is defined as the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the U.S. who are 18 years of age or older at the time of the survey.

Wave 2 (2012) was conducted by Abt SRBI. The goal was to survey as many of the original sample as possible. Advance letters were mailed to all households informing respondents of the upcoming survey. Most respondents were given a choice of whether they would like to conduct the interview via the web or telephone. The interview averaged 75 minutes in length. Respondents received a gift for their time -- $30 for a telephone interview, and $50 otherwise.
To test for mode effects, however, some respondents were randomly assigned the web or telephone mode of interview. Subsequent analysis of mode effect found very small bias and only for a few select variables (see mode effect document for detailed analysis).

To increase the response rate to more than 50 percent, interviewers were sent across the country to find 2006 respondents who had not completed the 2012 interview. Approximately 100 interviews were completed in this manner.

In addition to the original PALS respondents, 103 now-adult-children of 2006 respondents were interviewed. These were children of 2006 PALS respondents who were in 2012 age 20 or more. These 103 are not part of the 1314 total of 2006 PALS respondents re-interviewed in 2012. They are new additions.

The 2012 response rate of 50.3 percent is calculated based on all respondents in the 2006 Wave. However, slightly more than four percent of the 2006 respondents had either died by 2012 or were so severely mentally incapacitated that they were incapable of responding to the survey. The adjusted response rate, removing these cases, is 53 percent.
Principal Investigators
Michael O. Emerson, Rice University

David H. Sikkink, University of Notre Dame
When citing this study, the following information should be included:
Emerson, Michael O., and David Sikkink. Portraits of American Life Study, 2nd Wave, 2012.

For the longitudinal data:
Emerson, Michael O., and David Sikkink. Portraits of American Life Study, 2006-2012.
Bookmark and Share