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Using Multilevel Modeling to Investigate Predictors of Literacy in the National Adult Literacy Survey

Using Multilevel Modeling to Investigate Predictors of Literacy in the National Adult Literacy Survey

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Published by mcsm1th
Statistical analysis paper.
Statistical analysis paper.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: mcsm1th on Oct 08, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/09/2009

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Using Multilevel Modeling to Investigate Predictors of Literacy in theNational Adult Literacy Survey.
Janet K. Sheehan-HoltM Cecil Smith Northern Illinois UniversityMarch 17, 2000
 
Multilevel Modeling 
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how multilevel analyses can be used with
large-scale
data
 sets
such as the
 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS 
). The results of 
ordinary least squares
(OLS) regression and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM)analyses were compared for modeling predictors of literacy from the
 NALS 
. Our resultsindicate that contextual factors, such as mean income of the neighborhood, are importantto take into account
when predicting adult literacy proficiencies
 
when studying racial and ethnic differences
.
 Also
, contextual effects estimates and their standard errors
were found to differ 
 between HLM and OLS.
 Finally
, contextual-effects studies of adultliteracy using OLS produced a different model of the predictors of adult literacy than didHLM. Statistical justification is given for the discrepant results between the two methodsand HLM is recommended as the appropriate statistical tool for studying predictors of literacy
when
using the NALS.
2
 
Multilevel Modeling 
Using Multilevel Modeling to Investigate Predictors of Literacy in theNational Adult Literacy Survey.
Recent advances in statistical methodology and computing power have mademore sophisticated data analytic tools such as hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) readilyavailable. This methodological tool is well suited for research using national databasessince (a) they often involve very large sample sizes and (b) complex sampling designs areoften used. The intent of this study was to investigate the use of these tools, with anemphasis on HLM, for use in investigating substantive problems of interest in the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS).The
 NALS 
(Kirsch et al., 1993) is the most recent and comprehensive surveyconducted of American adults’ literacy skills and practices. The NALS
data were
gathered on a nationally representative sample of 26,091 adults, ages 16 and older  between January and August, 1992. The sampling design for the NALS survey is amultistage cluster sample in which counties or groups of counties, i.e., probabilitysampling units (PSUs), are first randomly selected. From the PSUs census blocks or groups of census blocks, i.e., segments, are randomly selected. At this stage, segmentsthat were identified as high minority were over-sampled in order to ensure reliableestimates of Blacks’ and Hispanics’ literacy proficiencies. Households were thenrandomly selected from the segments, and one or two adults from each household wereselected for the survey. Further details regarding data collection are found in Kirsch et al.(1993).
3

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