Secondary Activity Filter

Secondary activities occur at the same time as primary activities. Secondary activites available in the ATUS include child care (2003+), eating (2006-2008, 2014-2016) and drinking (2006-2008 only), and eldercare (2011+). By applying secondary activity filters, only time spent during the primary activities in which the secondary activity also occurred will be aggregated to create a time use variable. Secondary activity filters may not be applied together. Users who are unfamiliar with how the secondary activity filters work should consult the additional documentation provided.

Duration of entire activity is the default selection for the secondary activity filter. No secondary activity filter is applied unless a user specifically requests one. Therefore, given the default selection, the time spent in the specified activities (given other filter selections) is returned regardless of whether the respondent was engaged in secondary child care or secondary eating and drinking during any of the activities.

Applying a secondary activity filter restricts the time use variable being created to times during which respondents were engaged in the specified secondary activity at the same time as any primary activities selected. For example, when a secondary child care filter is applied, only times spent in the activities with the secondary child care restrictions selected are added together to create a time use variable.

SECONDARY CHILD CARE (SCC_ALL_LN) is care for children under age 13 that is done while the respondent is doing something else as a primary activity. Secondary child care data are collected as part of a series of summary questions after the main diary has been completed. For respondents with a child under age 13 on the household roster, the interviewer asks the respondent during which times or activities household or own, non-household children were in the respondent's care. All respondents are asked whether a non-own, non-household child under 13 was in their care at any time during the diary day.

If "Duration of time spent during activity on secondary child care of all children" is selected, all time that meets other specified criteria during which any secondary child care of children under age 13 occurred will be included. You may also specify that you are interested only in secondary child care provided to particular groups of children by clicking the appropriate box or boxes. For example, users may select "Time spent during activity on secondary child care of own, household children" or "Time spent during activity on secondary child care of own, non-household children." Users should note that the available categories of children were expanded between 2003 and 2004. For 2003, only two groups of children are available: Household and own, non-household children and Non-own, non-household children. Beginning in 2004, four distinct groups are available: Own household children, Non-own, household children, Own, non-household children, and Non-own, non-household children.

Not all primary activities are eligible to be combined with secondary child care. Secondary child care is only recorded during times when the respondent is awake, and, for household children, secondary child care can only take place when at least one household child is awake. Further, secondary child care cannot take place if the respondent's primary activity is also a child care activity.

Secondary child care is assumed to last for the entire duration of the primary activity during which it occurs, with one exception. If the first household child wakes up or the last household child goes to bed during the primary activity, then secondary child care for household children time is assumed to begin at the wake time or end at the bed time, rather than at the beginning or end of the respondent's primary activity.

SECONDARY EATING AND DRINKING (SED_ALL_LN) allows users to restrict the time use variable being created to times during which respondents were engaged in secondary eating and/or drinking, other than drinking plain water. When a secondary eating and drinking filter is applied, only times spent in the activities with the secondary eating and/or drinking restrictions are added together. Users should note that SED_ALL_LN is only avaialble in 2006-2008.

Information on secondary eating and drinking is collected through the Eating and Health Module, conducted at the conclusion of the main ATUS interview. During the module, the interviewer asks the respondent if there were any times during the day when the respondent was eating while doing something else, and for how long during that activity the respondent was eating. Those questions are repeated for drinking, although drinking plain water is specifically excluded.

Secondary eating and drinking can take place during any primary activity except sleeping and eating and drinking as a primary activity.

If "Duration of time spent during activity on secondary eating and drinking" is selected, all secondary eating and drinking time that meets other specified criteria will be included. Because secondary drinking is only available in 2006-2008 while secondary eating is available in 2006-2008, 2014, and 2015, use of this filter will return all zero values for 2014-2015. If you are interested only in secondary eating or only in secondary drinking, you may use the secondary eating and secondary drinking filters. Note that secondary drinking is only available in 2006-2008 while secondary eating is available in 2006-2008 and 2014-2016.

The Eating and Health Module data do not specify when during the primary activity the secondary eating and drinking took place. In cases where the amount of time spent eating or drinking as a secondary activity is less than the amount of time in the primary activity, the ATUS-X system assumes that the secondary eating or drinking occurred in the middle of the primary activity. For example, if a respondent reports secondary eating for 10 minutes during a primary activity that lasted from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the ATUS-X will place the secondary eating from 1:55 p.m. to 2:05 p.m. This is most likely to be relevant when a time of day filter is also being used.

The data also do not specify the amount of overlap between time spent in secondary eating and time spent in secondary drinking. If the secondary eating and drinking option is selected and either secondary eating or secondary drinking is equal to the duration of the primary activity, then the ATUS-X returns the entire duration as the amount of time in secondary eating and drinking. If neither secondary activity is as long as the primary activity, the minimum amount of time during which one or the other could have occurred is the larger of the two times; the maximum amount of time during which one or the other could have occurred is either the sum of the two times or the total length of the activity, whichever is less. ATUS-X takes the average of these minimum and maximum times to be the duration of secondary eating or drinking during the activity. For example, if a respondent reports 10 minutes of secondary eating and 20 minutes of secondary drinking during a primary activity that lasts more than 30 minutes, the ATUS-X will return a total secondary eating and drinking time of 25 minutes for that activity. This is the average of the minimum time (20 minutes) and the maximum time (10 minutes plus 20 minutes).

Researchers who use the secondary eating and drinking filter should be sure to use an alternative weighting variable, EHWT rather than the standard estimation weighting variable WT06. The reason a different weight is needed is that the Eating and Health Module has a slightly lower response rate than the main ATUS interview.

SECONDARY ELDERCARE (SEC_ALL_LN) is care for an adult who needs help because of a condition related to aging. Only respondents who provided unpaid assistance more than once in the past 3-4 months to a person who needed help becuase of an aging-related condition were eligible to report elder care during the diary day. Information on secondary eldercare started being collected in January 2011. When a secondary eldercare filter is applied, only times spent in the activities with the secondary eldercare condition is true are added together.

Secondary eldercare can take place during any primary activity except personal care activities (01xxxx) and eprsonal care services (0805xx).