I want to assess veteran status 2007-2014 by combining armfev and hondscg but can't figure out how. Suggestions?


I want to assess veteran status in the 2007-2014 NHIS by combining armfev (2011-2014) and hondscg (2007-2010) but can’t figure out how. Suggestions?



ARMFEVand HONDSCGare the most helpful measures to identify veterans among NHIS respondents between 2007 and 2014. To help understand the limitations of these variables in representing veteran status, make sure to thoroughly read over the variable documentation for both ARMFEV and HONDSCG. In addition, since you are interested in combining variables that measure two different things, please note that they will not be fully comparable over time. For example, the universe statement for HONDSCG indicates that this question was not restricted to only veterans, so the response “Not ever honorably discharged” includes individuals who did not serve at all as well as those who served but were not honorably discharged. It seems like the most clear indicators of veteran status are ARMFEV=2 (Yes, ever served in U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves, or National Guard) and HONDSCG=1 (Yes, honorably discharged), and it will be up to the researcher to decide how to handle the inconsistencies between the two variables.

It is possible to merge these variables in the statistical package of your choice. One way this can be accomplished is to create a new variable such as VETSTAT. Then you can write syntax indicating that in years 2007-2010 HONDSCG=VETSTAT, and in years 2011-2014 ARMFEV=VETSTAT. This will combine the two variables into one veteran status variable.

I hope this helps.