Determing end date of cohabitation spell
In our research, we are trying to compute a variable for duration (in months) since end of cohabiting spell.
In order to compute this, we need to know the end date of each cohabitation spell. Our question relates to cases in which a respondent was in a cohabiting relationship at wave t of Understanding Society, but is no longer in a cohabiting relationship at the next wave in which he participated. Which variable can we use to determine the end date of the cohabitation in which the respondent was involved at wave t?
By the way, we noticed that there is a variable which relates to the end date of a cohabiting spell (lmcbm), but we noticed that this variable has valid responses only for persons who were in a cohabiting spell at wave t and were in a cohabiting spell with a different partner in the next wave in which he participated. (See variable description attached)
In a related question, we were curious about the meaning of the abbreviation ml, which is used in the variable description for the variable lmcbm, as well as other variables.
Updated by Stephanie Auty about 2 years ago
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Many thanks for your enquiry. The Understanding Society team is looking into it and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Stephanie Auty - Understanding Society User Support Officer
Updated by Stephanie Auty almost 2 years ago
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Apologies for the delay in responding to your question.
You are correct that the date of the end of the cohabitation spell is not recorded if the spell ended within three months of the last interview date. In the partnership history files these dates will be imputed. You can do the same imputation. If the respondent was cohabiting last year but is not cohabiting at this wave then you can impute the end date by taking a date between the two interview dates. The most common strategies are either taking the mid-point between the two interview dates, or the month after the last interview date. This is your decision.
If the cohabitation ended and another started which lasted for more than 3 months (and subsequently ended because of which the person is currently not cohabiting) then dates for that will be asked. Look at the questions in the questionnaire: cohab, cohabn, lmcbm,…..
Ml looks to be an abbreviation of marital or possibly marital/living and the question title was not updated. We will look in to updating it in the online documentation to be clearer.