Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Public Use, United States, 1998-2017 (ICPSR 31622)
Version Date: Sep 26, 2019 View help for published
Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Sara McLanahan, Princeton University; Irwin Garfinkel, Columbia University; Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University; Kathryn Edin, Princeton University
Version V2 (see more versions)
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The ICPSR catalog contains variable-level metadata for the public data associated with this study, which enables data discovery and comparison. The public data associated with ICPSR 31622 are available through the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study website.
The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) follows a cohort of nearly 5,000 children born in large U.S. cities between 1998 and 2000 (roughly three-quarters of whom were born to unmarried parents). These parents and their children are referred to as "Fragile Families" to underscore that they are families and that they are at greater risk of breaking up and living in poverty than more traditional families.
The FFCWS was originally designed to address four main questions of great interest to researchers and policy makers: (1) What are the conditions and capabilities of unmarried parents, especially fathers?; (2) What is the nature of the relationships between unmarried parents?; (3) How do children born into these families fare?; and (4) How do policies and environmental conditions affect families and children?
The FFCWS consists of interviews with mothers, fathers, and/or primary caregivers at birth, and again when children are ages one, three, five, nine, and fifteen. The parent interviews collect information on attitudes, relationships, parenting behavior, demographic characteristics, health (mental and physical), economic and employment status, neighborhood characteristics, and program participation. At ages nine and fifteen, children were interviewed directly during home visits or on the telephone. The direct child interviews collect data on family relationships, home routines, schools, peers, and physical and mental health, as well as health behaviors.
Many of the measures used in this study overlap with measures from other large-scale studies such as the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), Early Head Start, the Teenage Parent Demonstration, and the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study--Birth Cohort 2000 (ECLS-B).
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This national study uses a stratified random sample of all United States cities with 200,000 or more people. The stratification was not geographic; rather, it was according to policy environments and labor market conditions in the different cities. The sampling occurred in three stages: First, cities; second, hospitals within cities; and third, births within hospitals. The total sample size is 4,700 families, made up of 3,600 unwed couples and 1,100 married couples. The data are representative of non-marital births in each of 20 cities, and is also representative of non-marital births in United States cities with populations over 200,000. Follow-up interviews with both parents were conducted when the child was one, three, five, nine, and fifteen years old.
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Unwed parents and their children in U.S. cities with populations over 200,000.
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PPVT/TVIP, Walk-A-Line, Q-Sort, Woodcock-Johnson Letter-Word Recognition Test, Attention Sustained Task
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2019-10-10 The variable-level metadata provided in FFMetadta_v02.csv was released.2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
- McLanahan, Sara, Irwin Garfinkel, Jane Waldfogel, and Kathryn Edin. Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Public Use, United States, 1998-2017. ICPSR31622-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2019-09-26. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR31622.v2
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
This study was originally processed, archived, and disseminated by Data Sharing for Demographic Research (DSDR), a project funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).