Need to join 5 disability variables in the 2010 - 2012 ACS so that there is just one yes/no disabled variable

In the 2010 - 2012 ACS I don’t see a single variable identifying disability status unless I am missing something. If there is in fact not then I need to make one so I am trying to figure out how to do that so if any of the 5 variables: diffsens, diffcare, diffmob, diffphys, diffrem = 2 then disability variable should = 2. Thanks.

You are correct that a single disabled variable is not available. You can create your own in a statistical package (e.g. SAS, STATA, SPSS), if you have downloaded a data extract with those five disability variables.

You can then combine the five disability variables into one composite variable. If all of the disability variables are coded as “0: N/A”, then you will want your disabled variable to also be 0. If the person has at least one disabled variable coded as “2: Yes”, then your disabled variable will also be coded as 2. Otherwise, a person who was in the Universe, but did not respond Yes to any of the five questions, should be coded as a “1:No”.

In STATA, that would look like something along these lines, although the exact syntax is up to the researcher’s discretion:

gen disabled = 0

replace disabled =1 if diffsens > 0 | diffcare > 0 | diffmob > 0 | diffphys > 0 | diffrem > 0

replace disabled=2 if diffsens == 2 | diffcare == 2 | diffmob == 2 | diffphys == 2 | diffrem == 2

Hope this helps.