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Number of days cut down activities due to feeling bad, past 30 days

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FBADCUTDOWN reports responses by sample adults to the question, "Besides those days when you were unable to carry out your usual activities, how many days out of the past 30 days did you have to cut down on what you did because of these feelings?"

Kessler Scale Variables

The indicators of sample adults' feelings used to determine who was asked this question were based on variables from the Kessler 6 Scale, which was developed by Ronald C. Kessler to measure nonspecific psychological distress over a 30-day reference period.


Specifically, Kessler's instrument asks how often, during the past 30 days, the respondent felt:

  • So sad that nothing could cheer you up? (ASAD)
  • That everything was an effort? (AEFFORT)

For each of these questions, respondents selected one of the following responses from a flashcard: "none of the time," "a little of the time," "some of the time," "most of the time," "all of the time."

Follow-up Questions to Kessler Scale 

Sample adults who responded "some of the time," "most of the time," or "all of the time" to any of these questions were asked about how such feelings interfered with their lives. Specifically, interviewers asked, "Altogether, how much did these feelings interfere with your life or activities: a little, some, a lot, or not at all?" Those who answered "a little," "some," or "a lot" were asked about how many days during the last 30 days they were totally unable to work or carry out their usual activities (FBADUNABLE). Those who reported a number lower than 30 were asked the aforementioned question for FBADCUTDOWN. These follow-up questions were not part of the tool designed by Kessler to measure nonspecific psychological distress or severe mental illness.


This variable is only available in 1999.


  • 1999: Sample adults age 18+ who said their feelings interfered with their usual activities, and who were able to do their usual activities for at least 1 day during past 30 days.


  • 1999