What are “weights” in ATUS-X?
Weights are necessary to produce meaningful summary statistics based on the ATUS data. There are several features of the sampling and data collection process that make weights necessary. First, people and households with some characteristics are over-represented in the data, while others are underrepresented. Second, weekend days are oversampled - half of the respondents report activities that occurred on a weekend day while the other half reported on activities that occurred on a weekday. In addition, response rates differ across demographic groups and days of the week. For these reasons, some ATUS records represent more cases than others and weights allow you to take this into account when analyzing the data.
Most statistical packages have an option that allows you to specify a weight to be used for calculations you carry out. For most person-level analyses of data extracted using ATUS-X, the WT06 variable should be specified. WT06 gives the number of person-days in the calendar quarter represented by each survey response. Exceptions are analyses that use data from special modules including the Eating and Health Module and the Well-Being Module.