Applied Missing Data Analysis Methods


  • In 2006, the US experienced 17,000 deaths through DWI representing slightly over 40% of all traffic deaths in the USA.
  • Most states in the US have 0.08% BAC content as the maximum level under which a person can legally operate a machine or motor vehicle.
  • Albuquerque is the US’s 32nd largest city with a population totaling slightly over 545, 800 people.
  • The four dominant ethnicities in Albuquerque’s population include non-Hispanic whites, Hispanic whites, Native Americans and Blacks at 46.7%, 42.1%, 4.6% and 3.3% respectively.
  • 25-44 year olds form the most dominant age group in the city of Albuquerque followed by 0-18 years.
  • According to Mothers against Drunk Driving, an average drunk driver drives about 80 times while under the influence before he/she gets arrested.
  • The US recorded in 2009, 10, 893 fatalities directly involving drivers with a BAC exceeding the legal limit. New Mexico reported 114 fatalities.
  • In 2008, police in Albuquerque made slightly over 10,000 arrests associated with DWI.
  • 17% of all car related deaths in the US are teenage crashes with a big proportion being as a result of drunk driving.
  • There are more males than females involved in DWI though the number of males is steadily rising.

Most of the data in the above summary captures the problem of DWI in Albuquerque. However, it is necessary to carry out a detailed study specifically targeting the city of Albuquerque concerning violation of DWI laws in order to determine prevalence of the problem. Collection of these data will take place through the interviews of city personnel and police involved in DWI activities. According to Hair & Anderson (2010, p. 289) interviews used in triangulation with questionnaires will offer a better insight to the problem being investigated. Additionally, the two methods have proved to be useful in bridging data inconsistencies in various research studies.

Plan for identifying Missing Data

Normally, social scientists carry out tests to determine two kinds of missing data (Manski, 2003, p. 114). Manski adds that the two types of missing data include missing data within a record and, missing records. In this study involving DWI problem in Albuquerque, the former will mostly apply. As said earlier, there may be some data within a record that is missing from the DWI report which is necessary in determining prevalence of the problem.


The best way to detect for missing data is to carefully examine the data source to determine its content, then compare it with data available at hand (Molenberghs & Kenward, 2007, p. 221). In this case, however, checking for missing data will take place through the comparison of the performance data contained in the DWI report to a different external standard. In effect, that will involve comparing the statistical figures as listed by different sources e. g. national census bureau to the statistical figures listed in the report. The above comparison will take place against a predetermined checklist that will highlight all variables necessary to determine the DWI prevalence in Albuquerque. This method will detect missing data through inconsistencies raised by a mismatch in the variable listed in the data source and data report.

Besides the above method, Enders (2010, p. 327) contends that it is possible to detect missing data through plausibility of data presented. In essence, it will involve careful studying of the DWI report and making judgments on whether data presented is plausible or not. Any implausible data in the report will raise red flags, hence, present a situation where a case of missing data is possible.

Priority Diagnosis

The priority diagnosis emphasizes the presence of DWI problem in Albuquerque community that touches on almost every aspect of the demographic arrangement of the area of study. Data in the DWI report and also as summarized above paint a rough picture of prevalence of the problem in Albuquerque as captured through the community’s felt need in the interviews and observation by the researcher. The priority diagnosis presents a problem characterized by the high male and teenage DWI offenders. Additionally, there is a concern among the key figures in the community that still a high number of people engage in DWI regardless of penalties put in place. It is revealed through the priority diagnosis that the community continues to incur loses especially loss of lives and property through DWI. Relying on epidemiological data, the priority diagnosis points to a problem affecting the social fabric of Albuquerque community through legal proceedings, vehicle forfeitures or injuries that traumatize the immediate family of anyone involved in DWI.

In a nutshell, the priority diagnosis is a reflection of the problem under study and a problem widely prevalent in Albuquerque as demonstrated by the statistics presented in the report. However, it is important to note that not all the data presented is epidemiological as the problem under investigation are more or less of a sociological problem.

Diagnosis intervention

The priority diagnosis calls for the intervention in DWI in Albuquerque. It is important to note that success of any intervention is dependent on availability of resources from authorities and other sources. The problems identified in the diagnosis will require costly solutions, hence, unhindered availability of resources is inevitable.

As highlighted in the report, there are already numerous interventions put in place by the state of New Mexico and Albuquerque community to combat DWI. It is needless to say that there is a need for intervention to the problem highlighted by the priority diagnosis. There are sufficient resources to tackle the problem especially through programs put in place by city authorities. The forfeiture program, for instance, fetches slightly less than what is spent implementing it. However, the fact that the state avails funds for such a program is a pointer to the sufficiency of resources to tackle the problem as highlighted in the priority diagnosis. It is important to note that the forfeiture program is so far the most expensive of the initiatives put in place to address DWI issues.


As mentioned above, the monetary resources are crucial for success of DWI programs put in place. It is important to note that there is an availability of monetary resources from all levels of government which all interested parties can access. Monetary resources include direct funding of DWI initiatives by both federal and state authorities. It also involves direct contributions to private organizations by donors, aimed at funding activities addressing DWI. Besides monetary resources, there are human resources in terms of trained experts, volunteers and activists who represent different initiatives collectively aimed at addressing DWI. Monetary and non monetary resources will complement each other through education and policing solely aimed at reducing DWI cases.

Community will

Successful program implementation greatly depends on willingness of the concerned community to implement it (Hitchcock et al., 2003, p. 370). When looking at the community’s will in addressing the DWI problem, it is important to ensure specificity. Community’s will in combating DWI is almost universal in the US. It is, therefore, correct to assert that community’s will in addressing DWI issues is almost assured anywhere in the country. Interviews with different stakeholders in Albuquerque community present a community highly concerned about DWI and very much willing to put in place initiatives to address the problem. Community’s will is very evident through the availability of non-governmental organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving and other anti-DWI initiatives such as vehicle forfeiture program by authorities. Besides, there are many people directly and indirectly affected by DWI activities, who have expressed willingness to participate in both metropolitan and statewide activities meant to reduce DWI. Successful implementation of initiatives to address community diagnosis is evident through the community characteristics including:

  • Willingness on the part of the state to fund both governmental and non-governmental programs aimed at combating DWI;
  • Readily available volunteers committed to authorities and non-governmental organizations’ drive against DWI in Albuquerque;
  • Willingness on the part of families and victims of DWI to come out and publicly campaign against DWI;
  • High support among the population of the state of controversial but tough anti-DWI measures especially vehicle forfeiture program;
  • Common desire among the entire population to reduce the number of fatalities as a result of DWI not only in the population of Albuquerque but all also the entire US population.


Enders, K. C. (2010). Applied Missing Data Analysis. New York: Routledge.

Hair, F. J. & Anderson, R.E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis. New York: Cengage Learning.

Hitchcock, E.J. et al. (2003). Community health nursing: caring in action: Volume 1. New York: Thomsons Learning.

Manski, F.C. (2003). Partial identification of probability distributions. London: Sage Publicatons.

Molenberghs, G. & Kenward, G.M. (2007). Missing data in clinical studies. Chicago: Springer.

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