Support #1601

SF-12 Physical and Mental Component Scores

Added by Karen Mak almost 2 years ago. Updated almost 2 years ago.

Derived variables
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Dear UKHLS support,

Hope you are well.

I am currently working on a research looking at the longitudinal association between volunteering and wellbeing. I would like to use the SF-12 physical and mental component scores from UKHLS data. I have been reading the Stata do-file which shows how these 2 scales were derived, and was wondering if they were generated using means and standard deviations from the general United States population? If so, would this affect the analysis?

The link of the do-file can be found here:

Please do correct me if I misunderstand the syntax.

Best wishes,


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team almost 2 years ago

  • Status changed from New to Feedback
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As stated in the syntax file you have mentioned for further details about the scoring method used please see:
Ware, J.E., Kosinski, M., Turner-Bowker, D.M. and Gandek, B. (2001), How to Score Version 2 of the SF-12® Health Survey
(With a Supplement Documenting Version 1). , Lincoln, RI, QualityMetric Incorporated.
As is stated in this paper that these scales were produced by benchmarking to the US population scores at that time: "The advantages of the standardization and norm-based scoring of the PCS-12 and MCS-12 is that results for one can be meaningfully compared with the other and their scores have a direct interpretation in relation to the distribution of scores in the general US population. Specifically, all scores above and below 50 are above and below the average, respectively, in the general US population. Because the standard deviation is 10 for both PCS-12 and MCS-12 scales, each one point difference in scores also has a direct interpretation. A one-point difference is on-tenth of a standard deviation."

This should not affect your analysis but will affect the interpretation of your results.

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team almost 2 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Resolved
  • Assignee deleted (Understanding Society User Support Team)
  • % Done changed from 80 to 100

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