When to use weights with the ATUS well-being activity-level data.

I am using the well-being module from the ATUS to look at gender differences in affect during childcare activities. I am confused about the formulas presented in the codebook for this type of analysis. The handbook gives instructions for creating inverse probability weights based on the frequency that respondents engage in certain activities (in this case childcare). My problem is that the probability of engaging in childcare activites differs systematically by gender so I’m not sure that I should use them for multivariate anlyses with gender as a predictor. Is the formula in the handbook only designed for getting population level averages rather than for analysis? I.e. for determining that the average woman reports x during childcare and the average man reports y during childcare? Should I just use the person-level well-being module weights to account for the probability of being in the sample?


The AWBWT weight variable cannot be used to analyze affect during an activity, such as childcare in your case. You can, however, generate an unbiased estimator for such an analysis, as outlined in the Well-Being Module Data Dictionary (pg. 6). For each childcare activity-level observation, you will want to create a new weight variable equal to AWBWT multiplied by the total amount of time the respondent spent on childcare activities. For each non-childcare activity-level observation, this new weight variable should be set to zero. You can then use this new weight variable, instead of AWBWT, to generate estimates for average affect during childcare activities. This new weight variable will be appropriate for analyzing differences in affect by gender.

Hope this helps.