Data Collection

Wave III of the Add Health study targeted all Wave I respondents, and was conducted from July 2001- May 2002. Wave III respondents were asked to sign a Transcript Release Form (TRF) authorizing Add Health to request official transcripts from the high schools they last attended. Approximately 91% of Wave III respondents signed a valid TRF and from August 2001 through June 2002, AHAA collected high school transcripts for most respondents (N= approximately 12,000).

Importantly, the data collection procedure used for AHAA was student-based in that transcripts were collected from the final school respondents attended. This meant that transcripts were not just collected from the original Add Health schools, but from the more than 1,400 high schools Add Health respondents last attended. Transcripts were not collected from two original Add Health schools that served only special education students and did not keep transcript records; however, a few respondents who entered the Add Health sample through one of these two schools do have transcript records in the AHAA data base because they last attended another school that did keep transcript records.

Additional information was collected from the schools last attended by AHAA sample members. School administrators were asked to complete a school survey about grading practices, school policies, and any existing special programs offered at their school. Schools were also requested to send course catalogs, textbook lists and course syllabi for math and science courses, and other supplemental materials pertaining to course descriptions to aid in the coding of student transcripts. Further, secondary contextual data describing the schools and their districts were linked to the schools last attended by each AHAA sample member.