I recently used IPUMS to find data from the 2016 ATUS, and I had a question about the universe for the eldercare data. I was using the “ecprior” variable to see whether someone had provided eldercare in the last three months, and then the “relater” to see the relationship between the eldercare recipient and their provider. However, I found that there was no overlap between the two variables. Are they from a different universe? And what variable would “relater” have overlap with?
RELATER is an eldercare-level record, while ECPRIOR is a person-level record; you will only be able to include both variables if you create a hierarchical data extract. Elder-care records are nested within persons and each person record may be associated with multiple eldercare records. RELATER will overlap with other eldercare-level records, but you will need to manipulate the data structure in some way to get RELATER values on person records (or person record information onto the eldercare records). You may be interested in the syntax for creating timeuse variables from hierarchical files at the bottom of the IPUMS ATUS Training Materials page; while these aren’t explicitly about eldercare records, the logic of summarizing information and appending it to person-level records may be helpful.