Codes and Frequencies
For sample persons whose hearing is not excellent and who indicated their hearing was worse in one ear than the other (2007 and 2008), those who are not deaf but have a little or a lot of trouble hearing (1999), and those who are deaf in one or both ears, or have other trouble hearing or use a hearing aid (1971, 1977, 1990-1991), HRRIGHT indicates the quality or functional level of hearing in the right ear. Please refer to the codes tab for more information on response categories.
This variable is part of the Hearing Supplement in 1971, 1977, 1990, and 1991 and is part of the Sample Adult Questionnaire in 1999, 2007, and 2008. For related variables and more information about these supplements, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.
HRRIGHT is not completely comparable over time. Apart from changes in the universe, substantial changes in the question wording occurred, where in 2007 and 2008, the surveys did not include the text "without a hearing aid" in the question.
The presence of proxy reporting in 1971, 1977, 1990-1991, but not in the 1999, 2007 or 2008 surveys, also somewhat reduces comparability. In the earlier years, a respondent representing the family could answer this question for other adult family members. From 1999 forward, except in rare cases where disability precluded self-reporting, sample adults themselves answered the question. Because self-reporting is likely to be more accurate than proxy reporting, researchers should exercise caution when comparing results between the earlier years and 1999 forward.
Further, as indicated above, changes in response categories reduce comparison over time. Starting in 2007, response categories of "excellent" and "moderate" were added to the survey. The IHIS provides a composite recoding that combines excellent or good (IHIS code 10) while also allowing researchers to select excellent (11) or good (12). Similarly, little or moderate are combined into one category (IHIS code 20) while little (21) and moderate (22) are also available.
A change in the question format also occurred between the 1971, 1977, 1990 surveys and 1991 forward. Respondents were handed a card with the responses, whereas in later years, the response categories were read to them by the interviewer. This should not substantively affect responses.
- 1971 1977: Persons who are deaf in one or both ears, have other trouble hearing with one or both ears, or use a hearing aid.
- 1990-1991: Persons who now have deafness in one or both ears, who have trouble hearing with one or both years, or now use a hearing aid.
- 1999: Sample adults age 18+ who are not deaf but have a little or a lot of trouble hearing.
- 2007-2008: Sample adults age 18+ who have other than excellent hearing or whose hearing status is unknown AND whose hearing is worse in one ear than the other.
- 1971, 1977, 1990-1991, 1999, 2007-2008