[R] problem with 'svyby' function from SURVEY package

From: Roni Kobrosly <slyron84_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2010 00:14:35 -0400


Hello,

I'm using a complex survey dataset and my goal is to simply spit out a bunch of probability-weighted outcome variable means for the different levels of covariate. So I first define the structure of the study design (I'm using the CDC's NHANES data):

dhanes <- svydesign(id=~PSU, strat=~STRATA, weight=~lab_weight, data=final, nest=TRUE)

No problem there.
Now I use the "svyby" function as follows:

svyby(~outcome, ~covariate, design=dhanes, svymean, na.rm=T) -> haha print(haha)

   covariate outcome se.outcome

1        1   0.4961189 0.08828457
2        2   0.4474706 0.22214557
3        3   0.5157026 0.12076008
4        4   0.6773910 0.20605025
NA      NA   0.8728167 0.15622274

...and it works just fine. I get a nice table of the mean and standard error for each level of the covariate. I started writing a custom function to automate this and I had problems. Consider this really basic custom function (that does not seem very different from the above code):

this_is_a_test <-function(outcome, covariate) {

svyby(~outcome, ~covariate, design=dhanes, svymean, na.rm=T) -> haha                         

print(hah)

        }

I get the following output:

Error in `[.survey.design2`(design, nas == 0, ) :   (subscript) logical subscript too long

I really don't understand this because I haven't done anything too different. Before I can even start writing up the rest of the function, I have to settle this. Any ideas?

-Roni

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