Examining Translation and Respondents’ Use of Response Scales in 3MC Surveys

This chapter considers self-rated health (SRH) to illustrate the impact of translation on respondents' use of response scales. SRH is regularly asked in multinational, multiregional, and multicultural contexts (3MC) surveys and often compared across surveys, across nations or regions, and across key characteristics of respondents such as race and ethnicity, acculturation and immigration status. Two different types of response scales are used to measure SRH-an unbalanced scale ranging from “excellent”, “very good”, “good”, “fair”, to “poor” and a balanced scale that goes from “very good”, “good”, “fair”, “poor” to “very poor”. The chapter presents weighted distributions of answers to SRH from the five surveys and then results from linking SRH answers to health scores, followed by logistic regression modeling results. These surveys include Health and Retirement Study (HRS), China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), China Family Panel Study (CFPS), Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)-Germany, and SHARE-Sweden.