ASSIGNMENT 3
PRODUCING DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

Resources Needed:  To complete this assignment you need to download the required data set.  Click here to go to the list of data sets, or click on "Downloadable Data Sets" on the SOC 3050 index page.  Once you see the list of downloadable files, download and save the files "patient_data.sav" and "patient_codebook.xls" to your storage device. 

Producing Descriptive Statistics:  Open "patient_codebook.xls" using Excel to see the data definition information for "patient_data.sav."  Print the codebook and close Excel.  Next, use SPSS to open "patient_data.sav" and produce frequency tables, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, and an appropriate graph for age, sex, race, marital status, education level, and length of stay.  Look over the output. As you do, consider whether the statistics calculated are appropriate given the level of measurement of each variable and whether the tables and graphs produced adequately summarize the data.  Next, recode the variable race by collapsing all non-whites into a single category; recode marital status by collapsing divorced and separated into a single category; recode education into three categories (less than high school, high school graduate, and higher education); recode age into three categories (<75, 75-84, and 85+), and recode length of stay into four categories (0-14 days, 15-30 days, 31-90 days, 90+ days).  When recoding, create new variables so that data from the original variables are retained.  Add variable and value labels to the new recoded variables as appropriate.  Save the changes you have made to data set.  Finally, produce frequency tables, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, and an appropriate graph for the newly recoded variables.  Edit your output to remove the original frequency tables and graphs for all recoded variables.  Print and save your output. 

Using the output, write a narrative summary of the five variables.  Include tables and/or charts to support your narrative.  Either export the SPSS output as a rich-text file or cut and past the output into your word processor.  Be sure to edit the SPSS output to make it more presentable and space efficient.  I have written a summary of the variable "number of beds" from the data set used in Assignment 2 as an example.  It can be seen by clicking here.  Samples of tables that consolidate information from several variables can be seen by clicking here.

Turn in a your written narrative and a printout of your output on the due date announced in class.