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Had major depression, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For all persons in 1989, and persons ages 18 and older in the National Health Interview Survey-Disability Survey (NHIS-D) Phase I sample in 1994 and 1995, CMIMAJORD reports whether the person had any major depressions in the past 12 months. If necessary, the interview would explain to the respondent that a major depression is "a depressed mood and loss of interest in almost all activities for at least two weeks."


In 1989, CMIMAJORD is part of the Mental Health Supplement that collected information on the amount and distribution of illness, its effects in terms of disability and chronic impairments, and the kinds of services that people received. For more information about this supplement and other related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.

In 1994 and 1995, this variable is part of the Disability Supplement (NHIS-D) that collects information on disability. NHIS-D included two household interviews: in Phase I all members of sample families were screened for any indication of disability; in Phase II persons with any indication of disability were followed-up for additional information. Phase I includes sensory, communication, and mobility problems; health conditions; activities of daily living and independent activities of daily living; functional limitations; mental health; services and benefits; special health needs of children; early child development; education; relationship to respondent; and perceived disability. Phase II includes four Disability Followback Survey (DFS) questionnaires: one for children, one for adults, one for elderly persons (69 years of age and over) without any indication of disability (also called the Supplement on Aging or SOA; only in 1994), and one for persons with a history of polio.


In 1989, this question applied to all persons. In 1994 and 1995, this question was asked only of persons ages 18 and older in the NHIS-D Phase I sample. In both years, this question was answered by a family respondent who acted as proxy for all other family members.


  • 1989: All persons.
  • 1994-1995: Persons aged 18 years and older in the NHIS-D Phase I sample.


  • 1989, 1994-1995