The Northern Ireland Social Attitudes (NISA) survey series began in 1989, and was conducted every year in which the British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey was fielded until 1996. Supported initially by the Nuffield Foundation, the Central Community Relations Unit (CCRU) and the Policy Planning Research Unit (PPRU - now the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency), the NISA series is currently funded by all of the main Northern Ireland Departments. NISA has not been conducted since 1996, but was replaced by the Northern Ireland Life and Times Survey series (NILT), held at UKDA under SN:33312, which began in 1998, and its corresponding Young Life and Times Survey (YLT) series (held under GN:33313), which surveys young people aged 12-17 living in the households of adults interviewed for NILT.
Like its companion survey, British Social Attitudes, NISA was designed to complement large-scale government surveys (such as the Continuous Household Survey and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey) which collect mainly factual and behavioural data. Its main purpose was to allow the monitoring of patterns of continuity and change, and the examination of the relative rates at which attitudes, in respect of a range of social issues, change over time. NISA thus allows direct comparison of the attitudes, values and beliefs held by UK citizens on either side of the Irish Sea. Data users should, however, note that the two sets of data cannot be combined to produce UK data.
Alongside a `core' number of questions on (for example) public spending, welfare benefits, the labour market and community relations - and all the demographic and other classificatory variables - the NISA surveys also contained many of the questionnaire modules asked in that year's BSA survey, including questions (modules) on a range of social, economic, political and moral issues - some asked regularly, others less of ten. In addition, each year the NISA questionnaire included a special module of questions on topics close to the particular concerns of the province, such as constitutional arrangements, security measures, the perceived evenhandedness of institutions and community relations. Some of these questions were asked in Great Britain too, so allowing comparison of the attitudes of those living in Northern Ireland with the attitudes of people in Great Britain. See GN:33168 for the BSA surveys.
The 1996 questionnaire covered health, housing, and political trust. The questionnaire also included the module on role of government devised by the International Social Survey Programme.
The questionnaires contain three scales developed by researchers involved in the British Social Attitudes survey series and the British Election Study (BES) series. These are: `libertarian/authoritarian'; `left/right'; and `welfarist '. For details see the documentation.
Northern Ireland Social Attitudes Survey, 1996
|Social and Community Planning Research|
|Lizanne Dowds of the Centre for Social Research, the Queen's University of Belfast for developing the community relations section of the questionnaire.
The Central Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency for help with questionnaire design and piloting and for conducting the fieldwork.
Social Statistics Laboratory at the University of Strathclyde for writing the SPSS setup file and managing the link to the MIDAS database. The survey was sponsored by several government departments in Northern Ireland
Copyright National Centre for Social Research
|ESDS Government||University of Manchester. Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research|
|National Centre for Social Research|
Project Number: P ; 1525
Repeated cross-sectional study. The study was undertaken every year from 1989 to 1996, except in 1992 when BSA core funding was devoted to the British Election Study series.
(A) 1,400 (target) 786 (obtained);(B) 786 (obtained) Weighted sample size
Face-to-face interview; Self-completion; Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) from 1993
It is not possible to use the rating list to select addresses in Northern Ireland with probability proportionate to the size of the household. So eligible adults living in larger households have a lower chance of being included in the sample than adults living in smaller households. To compensate for this potential source of bias, the data have to be weighted according to information derived from the details of household structure recorded by the interviewers. The data should therefore be weighted in all analysis using the weighting variable WTFACTOR. Please refer to section 3 of the Technical Report for further information regarding the weighting process.
The data were processed to the UK Data Archive's 'A*' standard. This is the Archive's highest standard, and means that an extremely rigorous and comprehensive series of checks was carried out to ensure the quality of the data and documentation. Briefly, the most important procedures were as follows. Firstly, checks were made that the number of cases and variables matched the depositor's records. Secondly, checks were made that all variables had comprehensible variable labels and all nominal (categorical) variables had comprehensible value labels. Where possible, either with reference to the documentation and/or in communication with the depositor, labels were accordingly edited or created. Thirdly, logical checks were performed to ensure that nominal (categorical) variables had values within the range defined (either by value labels or in the depositor's documentation). Lastly, any data or documentation that breached confidentiality rules were altered or suppressed to preserve anonymity.
ESDS Government, UK Data Archive; Data online via UKDA Download
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Study Description: English; Study Documentation: English
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