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SHPPS 2012 Data Files and Documentation Data User's Guide

SHPPS 2012 data include 13 questionnaires, 15 data files, and 15 codebooks. Files are grouped by administration level (state and district) and by component.

Data Files and Methods

School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) data are available in three file formats: Access®, SPSS® and ASCII. The Access, SPSS, and ASCII data can be downloaded and used as is. Additionally, SAS® programs are provided to convert the ASCII data into SAS datasets for use in those packages. See the How to Use SHPPS Data Files for more information.

File Names

File names include SHPPS_ followed by three parts. The first part identifies the component, the second part identifies the level, and the third part indicates the survey year.

Component Part
Health education hlthed
Physical education and activity physed
Health services hlthser
Mental health and social services mental
Healthy and safe school environment env
Nutrition services nutr
Faculty and staff health promotion faculty
Status status
Level Part
State s
District d

The questionnaire and codebook files use the same naming convention but add the words "questionnaire" or "codebook" to the file name.

For example, the files for health education at the state level would be:

Health education file Name
SPSS data SHPPS_hlthes2012.sav
Questionnaire SHPPS_hlthes2012questionnaire.pdf
Codebook SHPPS_hlthes2012codebook.pdf

How to Use SHPPS Data Files

Using Access Files:

  1. Save the Access file to a folder on your computer.
  2. Uncompress the Access file.

Note: The file is stored in compressed form to improve download time; it will need to be uncompressed before it can be used. See File Formats Help for more information on uncompressing the file.

Using SPSS Files:

  1. Save the SPSS data file to a folder on your computer.
  2. Open the SPSS data file in SPSS.

Using ASCII Files

  1. Save the ASCII data file to a folder on your computer.
  2. Specify column locations for each variable as needed by the software you are using.

Note: How to use the ASCII data varies from one software package to another. Column positions for each variable usually have to be specified. Column positions for each variable can be found in the documentation for each year’s data. Consult your software documentation for more information.

Using SAS Files

  1. Download the SHPPS 2012 SAS Format Program.
  2. Save the SAS Format Program, SAS Input Program, and the ASCII data files to a folder on your computer.
  3. Open the SAS Format Program in SAS and edit it according to the instructions included in the comments in the program.
  4. Run the program. This will create a permanent format library in the folder specified in the SAS program.
  5. Open the SAS Input Program in SAS and edit it according to the instructions included in the comments in the program.
  6. Run the program. This will read the ASCII data file and convert it into a permanent SAS dataset for the particular year in the folder specified in the SAS program.

Note: Each year of SHPPS data should go in its own folder because each year has its own format library. Format libraries are not comparable across years. See “How do I use the SAS format library?” in the SHPPS FAQs for more information.

Status Files

The status files contain additional information for the component-specific datasets. There are four status files, one for each level (state and district). The status files contain

  • Enrollment information
  • Region of country
  • Overall weight variable to be used when the datasets are combined across components

Each status file contains a specific variable that needs to be used to link its associated dataset. For example, to link the state status file with another SHPPS state-level dataset, the variable STCMSID is used.


Level Variable

The questionnaires are available in PDF format.


The codebooks are available in PDF format. The codebooks contain the

  • Variable names*
  • Variable labels
  • Values
  • Formatted values
  • Unweighted counts

*The first three letters of the variable name identify the questionnaire. The number at the end of the variable names represents the question number from the associated questionnaire. The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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