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Codes and Frequencies

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CALLFRIEND identifies sample adults who "talk[ed] with friends or neighbors on the telephone" during the past 2 weeks. Interviewers preceded this question with the statement, "The next questions are about various activities you may have participated in."

Related Variables 

The question for CALLFRIEND is one of a series included in the NHIS as part of the Healthy People 2010 initiative. To address 2010 Healthy People Objectives related to social support, the NHIS also collected information on whether sample adults participated in the following other activities during the past 2 weeks:

  • Got together socially with friends or neighbors (SAWFRIEND)
  • Got together with any relatives with whom they did not live (SAWRELS)
  • Talked on the telephone with any relatives with whom they did not live (CALLRELS)
  • Went to church, temple, or another place of worship for services or other activities (WORSHIP)
  • Went to a show or movie, sports event, club meeting, class or other group event (GROUPEVENT)
  • Went out to eat at a restaurant (ATEOUT)

Other variables used to track different aspects of social support for the Healthy People 2010 initiative, and included in the 2001 NHIS, are:

  • How often felt happy, past 30 days (HAPPY30)


In 1984, CALLRELS is asked only of sample persons ages 55 and over. In 2001 it is asked of sample persons ages 18 and over. Otherwise there are no comparability issues.


  • 1984: Sample persons age 55+.
  • 2001: Sample adults age 18+.


  • 1984, 2001