February 6, 2007

Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)

In January 2007, each student in FSoS 5014, Introduction to Quantitative Family Research Methods, was asked to summarize and evaluate information about a secondary data set used in the family field. The following summary was prepared by Jinhee Lee. [

Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)

2) Study purpose: Designed to provide information on children’s health and development in the early years of life. Issues addressed by the ECLS-B are children’s growth and development, children’s health status, and school readiness.

3) Principal investigators:
- The ECLS-B represents the efforts of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and several health, education and human services agencies such as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Economic Research Service (ERS).

4) Years during which data were collected
- Data collection for the ECLS-B is longitudinal. The same children are followed from birth through kindergarten entry. Information about these children was collected when the children were approximately 9-months, 2-years (2003), and in preschool (one year away from kindergarten, Fall 2005). In the Fall of 2006, data are collected from all participating sample children, 75% of whom are expected to be age-eligible for kindergarten. In the Fall of 2007, data will be collected from the remaining 25% of participating sample children

5) Number of waves of data, and ages of participants at each wave
- National sample of 10,688 children
- Wave I for 9 months; Wave II for 2 years; Wave III for 4 years; Wave IV for K; Wave V for Grade 1 (Response Rates: Wave I – 74%)

6) Participants (type and numbers) from whom data were directly collected:
- National sample of 10,688 children selected from birth certificates among population of U.S. children born in 2001; minorities oversampled
- Interviewed with primary caregiver, father, child-care provider, teacher, and child.

7) Types of data (survey, interview, observation, records, etc.)
- In-person interviews and assessments (Proxy reports were used through parent reports on child)

8) My assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the data set
- The main strength of the data set is that the longitudinal data provides chances for understanding child development over time. Also data about children, their parents, their child care providers, their teachers and school administrators provide opportunities for understanding children development across multiple settings such as home, school, and child care in terms of children’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical aspects.
- The weakness of the data set is that it does not include diverse ethnic/racial subgroups for multicultural study.

9) Accessibility of data to the research community
- Researchers who are interested in these data can use those data set. The first release, which includes the 9-month (1) parent interview data, (2) child assessment data and (3) father questionnaire data were released at the end of 2004. NCES will release data on subsequent waves approximately one and one half years after data collection ends.

10) My assessment of how useful this data set would be for family research
- This data set provides family researchers with chances for studying fathers’ parenting roles and influences on their children’s development. In this study, fathers' involvement in their children's lives is examined by directly gathering information from the fathers themselves.

11) Web site, and what kind of information is there:
- http://www.nces.ed.gov/ecls/birth/- Study Information / Instruments and Assessments / Data Information / Publications etc.

12) How does one gain access to the data?
- Due to NCES' confidentiality legislation, scholars need to obtain (or amend) a restricted data license to access restricted data from ECLS.

Posted by hgroteva at February 6, 2007 1:20 PM