In January 2008, 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 Polina Sheldeshova.
Family Life Project: A Longitudinal Adoption Study, 1969-1989 by Chicago Child Care Society; Shireman, Joan; and Vroegh, Karen.
Chicago Child Care Society; Shireman, Joan; and Vroegh, Karen, 1999, "Family Life Project: A Longitudinal Adoption Study, 1969-1989", hdl:1902.1/01610 Murray Research Archive [Distributor]
To examines the influence of adoption on child and family development in intraracial, transracial, single-parent, and two-parent adoptive and biological families.
Principal investigators: Joan Shireman and Karen Vroegh.
Years of data collection:
1969-1970 (20-year longitudinal study).
Waves and ages of participants at each wave: continuous data collection (over 20 years):
1969-1972 across groups at Time I, (0-2 years old);
1973-1976 for all groups at Time II;
1977-1981 at Time III;
1982-1987 for Time IV;
1987-1989 for Time V.
Types of data:
interviews (child, parent, and family);
psychological tests (child),
questionnaires about racial and gender identity (e.g., Doll Puzzle, Doll Test, Semantic Differential Pictures, Toy Preferential Pictures, Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale, and the Personal Attributes Questionnaire), intelligence (e.g., Preschool Attainment Record, Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test, and the Slosson Intelligence Test for Children and Adults), and social maturity (i.e., the Vineland Social Maturity Scale).
Strengths of the data set:
big sample size;
longitudinal (five-waves) kind of data;
Weaknesses of the data set:
originally only kids from birth to two age were included, thus a greater proportion of kids above the age two were not considered; only African-American children were represented in the sample, although by that time the Korean adoption was also on the rise.
Accessibility of the data:
One can get an access to the documentation overview (abstract, research methodology, publications, and other info) or to the detailed usage terms only after signing legal agreement between data depositor and Murray Archive.
Usefulness for family research:
The data may be useful for those who are interested in single-parent, transracial (White and African-Americans), and traditional adoptive placements. As well as for those who are focused on racial and gender adoptive identities, adopted child development (intelligence, social maturity) through the childhood to early adolescence and adoptive family development over 20 years.
Murray Research Archive