Support #973


Added by Philipp Rehm about 6 years ago. Updated almost 6 years ago.

Start date:
% Done:



To whom it may concern,
I am working with the BHPS data and came across what might be a data error. Very briefly put, items wOPSOCB and wYPOPSCB in the adult and youth file, respectively, are very closely related. (It’s the same question, but preceded by different prompts; they are also preceded by different items). But the response patterns to these same items are dramatically different, comparing the youth and adult files. This can easily be seen when comparing the descriptive statics made available in the online documentation (links below). Breaking the response pattern down by age suggests that this isn’t an age-progression in attitudes. There simply is a clear break. (The attached figures show that). In contrast, other items that are available in both the youth and adult files do not experience a break. (I’ve checked wOPFAMB vs. wYPOPFB and wOPFAMF vs. wYPOPFF – happy to send details).

It’s entirely possible that the different patterns in wOPSOCB and wYPOPSCB is a finding, not a bug. But before I rely on the items, I’d like to double-check with someone who is familiar with the construction of the BHPS.

Many thanks,
Summary statistics, youth file:

Summary statistics, adult file:


Binder_one-law.pdf (35.5 KB) Binder_one-law.pdf Philipp Rehm, 05/09/2018 02:53 PM

Updated by Stephanie Auty about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from New to In Progress
  • Assignee changed from Philipp Rehm to Stephanie Auty
  • % Done changed from 0 to 10
  • Private changed from Yes to No

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.

Best wishes,
Stephanie Auty - Understanding Society User Support Officer


Updated by Stephanie Auty about 6 years ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Feedback
  • Assignee changed from Stephanie Auty to Philipp Rehm
  • % Done changed from 10 to 70

Dear Philipp,

We have checked the original data and there are no problems, and the data are consistent within instruments over time, so it may be a real attitudinal shift. There might have been an effect on responses as the adult interview had the additional response option “can’t choose”, which was not available to youth respondents. The answer formats for the other questions you mention are the same. There are no data issues which would stop you from analysing these responses.

It's possible that youths may not be overly familiar with the concepts of injustice underpinning the question and may have interpreted the question more factual as y/n instead of agree/disagree [Are there two different sets of law? No, hence I say that I strongly disagree]. The numbers are low, but it seems that 15 and 16 year-olds have slightly lower mean values which could suggest that these respondents have first-hand knowledge of injustice based on wealth/income or that the concept is as least more familiar to them. The only year where a direct comparison can be made is in BHPS Wave7 though, as this is the only wave where the question is in both the adult and youth questionnaires.

Best wishes,
Stephanie Auty - Understanding Society User Support Officer


Updated by Stephanie Auty almost 6 years ago

  • Status changed from Feedback to Resolved
  • % Done changed from 70 to 100

Also available in: Atom PDF