The Add Health study has collected data of interest to investigators from many disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences and from many theoretical traditions, making it a global data resource for over 50,000 researchers. The Add Health data is available in two forms, public-use data and restricted-use data, and offer endless options in the types of analysis, choices of data, and presentation.
Public-Use Data Sets
The public-use data sets are currently available for Waves I-V.
The public-use data sets contain all the survey data from In-Home Interviews but only for a subset of the full Add Health sample. We release a smaller sample through the public-use data set to limit deductive disclosure risk. Public-use data doesn’t contain ID numbers of friends, siblings or romantic partners, nor does it contain files on Obesity and Neighborhood Environment, genetics, disposition, political context and alcohol density. These files require a restricted-use contract.
Getting Public-Use Data
Public-use data are available from three different sources: The Odum Institute at UNC, the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA). Users may obtain the data from any of these sources, depending on their needs.
The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) distributes the Add Health public-use data at no charge through its Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR) project. Public-use data are available for download from the DSDR website. To download the data, returning users must log in to their MyData account; new users are required to create a MyData account. MyData is the user registration and authentication system for the ICPSR and DSDR websites. The system uses an email address as a login ID and requires a password.
Restricted-Use Data Sets
The extensive restricted-use data, available by contractual agreement, contains data for all study participants and will be distributed only to certified researchers who commit themselves to maintaining limited access. To be eligible to enter into a contract, researchers must have an IRB-approval letter, security plan for handling and storing sensitive data, and sign a data-use contract agreeing to keep the data confidential. Please note that data linkages are not allowable with a restricted-use contract. Please see the Ancillary Studies section below.
To learn more about the restricted-use data and how to apply for restricted-use data, please access the CPC Data Portal.
Ancillary Study collaborations have added rich datasets to Add Health that have been used by thousands of researchers and greatly contributed to scientific knowledge. Add Health has established a set of requirements for investigators seeking to add supplemental, contextual or biological data to Add Health, under the auspices of an Add Health Ancillary Study. Visit the Ancillary Studies page to learn about procedures and guidelines for adding contextual or biological data to the Add Health data sets, including data linkages. A full list of completed and approved ancillary studies is available for reference.
To help determine which data may suit your needs best, please refer to the Data Decision chart below.