Protocol - Educational Attainment - Individual
The interviewer asks the respondent or proxy about his or her education completed to date. The respondent is asked to indicate the highest grade level or degree received at the time of the interview. A card with the categories printed on it is provided to the respondent for him or her to indicate one of the applicable categories.
Although the question doesn't include the words "to date" after highest level of education completed, it is implied. The respondent may give a questionable response such as "I am almost finished with my GED." In this situation, the question should be repeated and the interviewer should ask the respondent the grade he or she completed before he or she returned to>
What is the highest grade or level of school you have completed or the highest degree you have received? [HAND CARD, READ HAND CARD CATEGORIES IF NECESSARY. ENTER HIGHEST LEVEL OF SCHOOL.]
0[ ]NEVER ATTENDED/KINDERGARTEN ONLY;
1[ ]1ST GRADE;
2[ ]2ND GRADE;
3[ ]3RD GRADE;
4[ ]4TH GRADE;
5[ ]5TH GRADE;
6[ ]6TH GRADE;
7[ ]7TH GRADE;
8[ ]8TH GRADE;
9[ ]9TH GRADE;
10[ ]10TH GRADE;
11[ ]11TH GRADE;
12[ ]12TH GRADE, NO DIPLOMA;
13[ ]HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE;
14[ ]GED OR EQUIVALENT;
15[ ]SOME COLLEGE, NO DEGREE;
16[ ]ASSOCIATE DEGREE: OCCUPATIONAL, TECHNICAL, OR VOCATIONAL PROGRAM;
17[ ]ASSOCIATE DEGREE: ACADEMIC PROGRAM;
18[ ]BACHELOR'S DEGREE (EXAMPLE: BA, AB, BS, BBA);
19[ ]MASTER'S DEGREE (EXAMPLE: MA, MS, MEng, MEd, MBA);
20[ ]PROFESSIONAL SCHOOL DEGREE (EXAMPLE: MD, DDS, DVM, JD);
21[ ]DOCTORAL DEGREE (EXAMPLE: PhD, EdD);
99[ ]DON'T KNOW
Protocol Name from Source
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Demographics Module, 2019-2020
Personnel and Training Required
No specific training is needed if data are collected through a self-administered questionnaire. If interviewers administer the questionnaire, the interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population and found competent to administer these particular questions (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of this training. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don't know" response is provided.
The PhenX Working Group acknowledges these questions can be administered in a computerized or noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and-pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer/handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Infant, Toddler, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Senior, Pregnancy
Any age. May be asked of a proxy.
Education is correlated with occupation and income, which taken together are useful epidemiologic predictors of health status. Vetted against education questions found in other instruments, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) question was selected because it included the most comprehensive list of response categories.
|Common Data Elements (CDE)||Person Education Level Type||2674076||CDE Browser|
|Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC)||Current educ attainment proto||63056-6||LOINC|
Process and Review
The Expert Review Panel #2 (ERP 2) reviewed the measures in the Demographics, Environmental Exposures, and Social Environments domains.
Guidance from ERP 2 includes:
- Changed the name of the measure
- Updated protocol
Back compatible: no changes to Data Dictionary
Previous version in Toolkit archive (link)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), Demographics Module, 2019–2020. Atlanta, GA: Author. Question number: DMQ.141.
Public Population Project in Genomics (P3G) Data Shaper.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||dbGaP Mapping|
Educational Attainment - Individual
August 1, 2020
Question asking the respondent for his or her highest educational attainment at the current time.
Education is correlated to occupation and income and is one of the key components of combined measures of "socioeconomic status."
Demographics, National Center for Health Statistics, NCHS, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, education, school, college, university, graduate, student, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES