Building the autonomy index

The Autonomy Index is a computed variable based on the Children qualities battery.

It uses only four variables (using WVS R6 variable naming and codes):

  • V19= Important Child Qualities: Religious Faith
  • V21= Important Child Qualities: Obedience
  • V12= Important Child Qualities: Independence
  • V18= Important Child Qualities: Determination, Perseverance

Only variables with answers to all v19,v21,v12,18 have an index.

The SPSS like formula is:

Compute Y003=-5.

if V19>=0 and V21>=0 and V12>=0 and V18>=0 then Y003=(V19 + V21)-(V12 +V18).

In other words, if the four variables have a valid answer (no DK/NA or missing), then add the positive answers of V19 and V21 and substract the positive answers of v12 and v18.

Since mentioned=1 and not mentioned=2, the index will be -2 if both Religious faith and Obedience are mentioned but NOT Independence and Determination-Perseverance (+1+1-2-2=-2).
and, on the other extreme +2 if both Independence and Determination-Perseverance are mentioned but NOT Religious Faith and Obedience (-1-1+2+2=+2).

Using the longitudinal aggregate coding, where mentioned=1 and not mentioned=0, the formula is the opposite:

COMPUTE Y003=-5.
if (A040>=0 and A042>=0 and A029>=0 and A039>=0) Y003=(A029 +A039)-(A040 + A042).


  • A029= Important Child Qualities: Independence
  • A039= Important Child Qualities: Determination, Perseverance
  • A040= Important Child Qualities: Religious Faith
  • A042= Important Child Qualities: Obedience

If Religious Faith and Obedience are mentioned (1 coded in them) and Independence and Determination, Perseverance are not mentioned (0 coded in them), then Y003=0+0-1-1=-2

If Independence and Determination are mentioned (1 coded in them) and Religious Faith and Obedience , Perseverance are not mentioned (0 coded in them), then Y003=1+1-0-0=+2