January 31, 2007

National Survey of Families and Households

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 Julie A. Zaloudek.

Name of Study: National Survey of Families and Households

Purpose: To provide a broad range of information about families and family life that could be used as an interdisciplinary research resource.

Content: Includes life-history such as living arrangements in childhood, leaving and returning home, marriage, cohabitation, education, fertility, and employment as well as some items on relationships, kin contact, economic well-being, and psychological well-being.

Principal Investigators: James A. Sweet, Larry L. Bumpass, and Vaughn R. A. Call from the Center for Demography and Ecology, University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Funding: Funded by the Center for Population Research of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Waves of Data Collection:
Wave One: 1987-1988
Wave Two: 1992-1994
Wave Three: 2001-2003

Wave One:
Participants were from randomly selected households with a randomly selected adult in each household participating in the interview as a primary respondent. The spouse or cohabiting partner of the primary respondent was given a shorter self-administered questionnaire.

Wave Two:
N=10,007 original respondents
N=5,624 current spouse of cohabiting partners
N=789 spouses or partners for relationships that ended
N=1,090 children who were ages 13-18 at first wave and 18-23 at second wave
N=1,415 children who were ages 5-12 at first wave and 10-17 at second wave
N=802 proxy interviews with spouse or other relative when original respondent had died to was to ill to interview
N=3,248 parents (one randomly selected per respondent)

Wave Three:
N=9,230 main respondent, spouse, and focal child interviews
N=924 proxy interviews

Types of Data: Interviews, some self-administered sections

Strengths: This is a very large study with a nationally representative sample and broad range of questions. It was intended to be useful to researchers across many social science disciplines. It was very thoroughly done with a lot of multiple reporting (e.g. primary respondent, partner/spouse, child, kin).

Weaknesses: As with any longitudinal project, attrition is an issue. The overall response rate for Wave Three was 57%. Also, although there were many detailed questions asked, they might not be the kinds of questions that researchers might need for their particular research questions.

Accessibility: Data are accessible via the website as well as information for navigating the data, creating tables, conducting analysis, etc. There is also an email address for receiving support in using these data.

Usefulness: These data could be very useful to family scholars. There are many questions about family history and life. It has potential to address many research questions. The website, however, seems a bit outdated with several expired links. Also, the data set is so large that one really needs to have some specific questions going into it. Without a specific purpose, it would be easy to get lost in the data.

To access data got to http://nesstar.ssc.wisc.edu/webview/index.jsp

The website is useful but plain. Don’t expect to be dazzled but to find some good information on the survey and potential for conducting research based on the survey.

Gaining Access: There do not appear to be any barriers to accessing the data. Data from the Wave Three (2001-2003) are not yet available on the website.

Posted by vonko002 at 4:29 PM

Welfare, Children, & Families: A Three City Study

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 Jane Newell.

1. Official name of study: Welfare, Children, & Families: A Three City Study

2. Study purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the consequences of policy changes resulting from the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). 2,402 children and their caregivers in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio were interviewed in Wave I between March –Dec, 1999.

3. Principal investigators: Andrew J. Cherlin, Ronald Angel, Linda Burton, P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, Robert Moffitt, William Julius Wilson

4. Years during which data were collected:
Wave I: March-December 1999
Wave II: September 2000 – June 2001
Wave III: February 2005 – February 2006

5. Number of waves of data, and ages of participants at each wave:

i. Longitudinal
Wave I: focal child age 0–4 or 10-14 & child’s primary female caregiver
n=2,400 households
Wave II: focal child age 1-6 or 11-16 & child’s primary female caregiver
n=2,158 focal children, n=2,187 caregivers, n=63 separated caregivers
Wave III: focal child age 5-10 /15-20 & child’s primary female caregiver
79.7% focal child at Wave I at Wave III, n=229 separated caregivers, n=114 independent youth

ii. Embedded Developmental Study n=737
a. additional mother/child tasks & interview n=626 (85% response rate)
b. primary care providers at Wave I, n=249 (70% response rate)
c. child’s biological father: n=272 (37% response rate)

iii. Ethnography
a. n=256 additional families with children age 2 -4, or 0-8 with a moderate to severe disability
b. not in survey sample, but resided in same neighborhood

6. Participants (type and numbers) from whom data were directly collected:
As outlined above

7. Types of data (survey, interview, observation, records, etc.):

Longitudinal: interview caregivers, test children, interview older children

Embedded Developmental Study: detailed process-oriented measures
1. an additional home visit: including videotaped tasks, additional mother interview
2. a visit to the child’s primary care provider: rating of care observed & interviews
3. child’s biological father: interview

Ethnography N=256 additional households: “structured discovery? in-depth interviews and observations

8. Strengths and weaknesses of the data set: Strengths: Lots of information: data files for 38 different topics and assessments gathered longitudinally; eleven additional topics gathered in Embedded Developmental Study & ethnography provided additional information from 256 non-randomly selected households. Large samples. Variety of methods used. Weaknesses: primary caregivers interviewed are females only. Small sample size of biological fathers interviewed. Time to understand data. Using data formed by another’s research questions: i.e., no impact on the development of the research questions or design.

9. Accessibility of data to the research community: Available through Sociometrics, Inc. at www.socio.com toll free phone: (800) 846-3475. Those belonging to Sociometrics data library may access data free of charge (others for a fee) - Must sign Use Agreement: data set is not downloadable

10. Assessment of how useful this data set would be for family research: An examination of the topics for data gathered reveals a fairly comprehensive overview of the lives of families who are involved in the governmental welfare system, as well as a number of useful methods: longitudinal, embedded developmental study, and ethnography.

11. Web site information:
This is a very informative web site with study design, principal investigators, publications, funders, and links to other sites available for review.

12. How does one gain access to the data: access to the data is through Sociometrics, Inc. (see above)

Posted by vonko002 at 4:16 PM

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

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 Jessie Everts Tripoli.

Study Purpose: The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development was designed to study the relationship between child care and children's development.

Principal Investigators: Willard Hartup (UMN) Steering Committee chair, 31 Principal and Co-Principal investigators from universities around the US and England.

Years during which data were collected: Phase I: 1991-1994, Phase II: 1995-2000, Phase III: 2000-2005, Phase IV: currently underway.

Number of waves of data: 3 completed, fourth underway.

Ages of participants at each wave: Phase I: birth through three years, Phase II: 54 months through first grade, Phase III: second through sixth grade, Phase IV: ages 14 and 15.

Participants (type and number) from whom data were directly collected: 1364 families with healthy newborns were recruited from hospitals associated with 10 US universities. The researchers followed a random sampling plan, to ensure representation of families in which mothers did and did not plan to work or go to school within the baby's first year of life; economic, educational, and ethnic diversity; and one- and two-parent families. Families were excluded if the mother was under 18, the family planned to move from the area within 3 years, the child was born with disabilities (or was kept in the hospital for more than 7 days), or the mother did not speak conversational English. 1103 of these families continued to Phase II of data collection, and 1077 continued to Phase III.

Types of data (survey, interview, observation, records, etc.): observation, interview, questionnaire, and assessment.

Strengths of data set:
1) Data collected in a variety of environments (home, child care, (later, school), and lab), and with a variety of measures: observations in home, child care, school, and lab; phone interviews every 3 to 6 months; and assessments given in all four environments.
2) The study followed an explicit, complex schedule of assessments in order to ensure consistent data collection.
3) The researchers gave 68 entire assessments to the family within the first 36 months of the child's life, 70 assessments during ages 54 months through first grade (about 17% repeated measures, 83% new (age-appropriate) measures), and 116 assessments between grades 2 and 6 (about 28% repeated measures). There is a wealth of data.
4) The study includes data across many areas--physical health, environment, parent-child relationships, academic functioning, social skills, daily routines and activities, ethnic identity, parental relationship, family finances, parenting philosophies, spirituality, etc.

Weaknesses of data set:
1) So many measures were given, the study as a whole lacks a cohesive purpose. Major hypotheses of the study are not available through the website, but would be helpful in conceptualizing and organizing information about the data.
2) Only 3 assessments were used in all three phases (Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (H.O.M.E.) Inventory, and Personal Assessment of Intimacy in Relationships (PAIR))--other patterns must be extrapolated from results of different assessments over different ages.
3) Details of sample not available--demographics, description of retained families vs. non-retained, how sample sites were selected (these may be available with the data, but are not outlined on the website).

Accessibility of data to the research community: The data can be used by any doctoral level researcher associated with a university (or supervisee of such). There is a lengthy application with 16 pages of stipulations, guidelines, and subagreements, which must be completed by potential researchers for use of the data.

Usefulness of data set for family research: This data set is potentially extremely useful. There is a wealth of information available within this data set. Even without using the data, the forms and manuals for the study are helpful for other researchers. The breadth of assessments, schedule for completion, and variety of environments, seem to have been well-planned and justified. Over 140 publications and presentations have used this data set since the first phase data became available in 1993.

Information on website: Study summary, information on investigators, application for data, information about phases (collection instruments and timelines, instrument charts, instrument documentation, assessment forms, manuals)

How to gain access to data: The application can be obtained from http://secc.rti.org/apply.cfm

Posted by vonko002 at 4:11 PM

January 30, 2007

The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods

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 Annie Toueng

The Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods is designed to understand the causes of delinquency, crime, substance abuse, and violence. Researches were interested in positive and negative social behavior. Specifically, this research focuses on the developmental and environmental factors that effect criminal behavior in order to develop crime prevention strategies. The researchers followed criminal behavior to better understand the course of juvenile delinquency, adult crime, substance abuse and violence in urban Chicago.

The principal investigators of the project are Felton J. Earls, M.D. (Director), Albert J. Reiss. Jr. (Co-director), Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Ph.D., Stephen Raudenbush, Ed.D., and Robert J. Sampson, Ph.D. Three waves of data have been collected and a fourth wave of data collection is in-progress. Wave I occurred January 1995-June 1997, Wave II from February 1997 to January 2000, and Wave III from January 2000 to December 2001.

There were over 6,000 participants in the study. There are five data components of the study. There was the community survey that was conducted in the year of 1995-2000 (household interviews) about the structural conditions and organization of neighborhoods, the dynamic structure of the local community, neighborhood organization, political structures, culture values, formal social control, and the social cohesion. The survey had three stages, first, city blocks were sampled within each neighborhood cluster, then dwelling units were sampled within blocks, lastly, the adult resident was sampled within each selected dwelling unit. There were 80 neighborhood clusters that were involved in data collection.

The second component is the observational study of neighborhoods (1996 and 2000). The purpose was to observe the effects of neighborhood characteristics on the young child’s development. In order to do that, the researchers videotaped of city blocks, one at a time, to observe the physical, social, and economic characteristics. The project ended up in having 27,734 of recordings but 15,141 were coded. There was also a neighborhood expert survey to collect data by interviewing community leaders on community social life and the decision that are made (1996).

The last two types of data are the longitudinal cohort study and administrative data. I The administrative data is not discussed here. The longitudinal cohort study, waves 1 - 3, is the central part of this project. It included an infant assessment. It was designed to examine the effects of prenatal and postnatal conditions on the health and cognitive functioning of infants their first years of life. Researchers were interested in linking early development processes to antisocial behavior. The cohort study includes three waves of data collected over seven years. The sample includes adolescents, young adults, and primary caregivers. There were seven randomly sampled cohorts. Measures also examine family and peer influence. Participants will be followed for eight years so data span from birth to 26 years old.

Strengths of the data set:
- Looks at all aspects according to the participants’ context including the social environment, resources, neighborhood, and the behavior of the individuals
- Also researched about Chicago’s environment, resources, community leaders

Weaknesses of data set:
- The project only collected certain data at one time, such as interviewing the community leaders only in 1996
- Only collected data from Chicago so it might be difficult if potential study was in a smaller population and less diverse area

The website is a very helpful guide to the project. You can retrieve the data directly from the website by variable or type of data. You can log in as a guest to look at the data or to create an account. There are helpful links, including publications, announcements, and a web site map.

Posted by vonko002 at 8:30 PM

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)

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 Sunmi Lee.

1. Official name of study:
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97)
2. Study purpose:
To document the transition from school to work and from adolescence to adulthood
3. Principal investigators:
The National Longitudinal Surveys (NLS) of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
4. Number of waves of data, and ages of participants at each wave:
Eight waves of data from 1997 to 2005 were collected annually
5. Participants (type and numbers) from whom data were directly collected:
Participants were 8,984 youths who were 12 to 16 years old as of December 31, 1996 and one of their parents. Two samples were drawn—a sample of 6,748 respondents representative of youth born between January 1, 1980, and December 31, 1984; and a supplemental sample of 2,236 Hispanic or Latino and black youth born during the same period.
6. Types of data (survey, interview, observation, records, etc.):
A personal interview, the screener, household roster, and nonresident roster questionnaire; the youth questionnaire; the parent questionnaire; and the computer adaptive form of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (CAT-ASVAB)
7. Your assessment of strengths and weaknesses of the data set:
One strength is that the data set is longitudinal. Weaknesses include a) lack of a representative sample of siblings and b) only one parent participated.
8. Accessibility of data to the research community:
These data care easily accessible.
9. Your assessment of how useful this data set would be for family research:
These data would be useful for family research in areas such as the effect of poverty on family well-being or the effect of family economic condition on child outcomes. The data also include family environment and family formation variables.
10. What kind of information is on the web site:
There is a summary of variables and an overview of the NLSY97. In the overview, there is information about the samples, measures, and major data elements. In addition, there is information about how to access these data, the sampling procedures, and a list of published articles using these data.
11. How does one gain access to the data?
These data are accessible on-line.

Why family scholars might want to use it:
These data are representative of a population of school age youth. Scholars can examine long-term effects. In addition, researchers can easily access these data saving effort and money required during data collection.

Posted by vonko002 at 7:55 PM

Goldmines of Data - Two Major Sources of Many Datasets

In addition to the many individually-archived data sets that are being summarized in blog entries this week, I would like to call attention to two organizations that archive many data sets. Sociometrics, Inc. is a commercial venture whose goal is to preserve high-quality data sets for use by the research community. According to their website, Sociometrics (www.socio.com) currently has almost 600 data sets available from over 250 studies. Of special interest is their American Family Data Archive, (www.socio.com/afda_home.htm), which contains 122 data sets from 20 studies. Sociometrics cleans and archives data sets, using standard conventions for codebooks and variables.

The Henry Murray Research Center at Radcliffe University (www.murray.harvard.edu/mra/index.jsp) is an endowed permanent repository for quantitative and qualitative research data. A unique feature of the Murray Center's archive is that it includes videotapes, audiotapes, transcripts, raw coding sheets and other research artifacts that social scientists might want to work with. Researchers can apply for funding to visit the Murray Center and work with data on site, either for a short term or for longer stays such as a sabbatical.

Both Sociometrics and the Murray Center contribute significantly to the sharing of social science data within the research community. NIH is very supportive of data sharing. They recently published a "Data Sharing Workbook," which discusses different types of data sharing as well as data-sharing issues relevant to the protection of the rights and privacy of human subjects.

Posted by hgroteva at 5:48 PM

January 29, 2007

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Kindergarten Cohort 1998-99

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 Holly Carmichael.

The study aims to ascertain information about the knowledge of and skills of young children as they enter kindergarten and progress through early education. It also helps researchers understand what is going on in early education to help explain the outcomes related to later education. Further, it is expected to enable researchers to study the influence of contextual factors on school performance.

The study is sponsored and conducted by the National Center of Education Statistics. The following federal agencies have supported the study in various ways as well:

· Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
· Economic Research Service (ERS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
· Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), U.S. Department of Education
· Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education
· Policy and Programs Studies Services, U.S. Department of Education
· National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), IES, U.S. Department of Education

Data was collected in both the fall and spring of kindergarten (1998-999), the fall and spring of 1st grade (1999-2000), the spring of 3rd grade (2002), 5th grade (2004) and expect to be administered in the spring of 8th grade (2007) as well.

Six waves of data have been collected and an additional one is scheduled to be conducted later this year. The age of the participants was not a factor of inclusion, rather the grade of school that the participants were in were considered. Data was collected when participants were in kindergarten, in 1st grade, in 3rd grade, in 5th grade, and researchers expected to collect data while they are in 8th grade as well.

The children in ECLS-K come from both public and private schools and attended both full-day and part-day kindergarten programs. They come from diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. Also participating in the study are the children's parents, teachers, and schools. The initial sample was 22000 kindergarten students.

Data was collected through teacher questionnaires, parent interviews, school administrator questionnaires, student records, student questionnaires, student interviews, facilities checklists, and fact sheets.

Assess strengths and weakness of data:
The data are taken from a number of perspectives and a number of methods, providing a potential for triangulation. Given that this is a longitudinal study, I assume (though I cannot find proof) that many blanks are embedded in the responses and would need to be considered before a researcher chose to use the data. I think that it would also take a good amount of time for a researcher to become comfortable with all of the nuances of the measurements, given the vast number of them and the many relationships that I assume are set up. The data cover many variables of child progress, but may not cover any one variable extensively given the large number of supporting agencies (and thus, contradicting agendas).

Though a restricted data license is required to access restricted data, the majority of the data from the study are available for public use. Data is released on CD-Rom by sending an email to ecls@ed.gov. There is no mention of the cost of the data.

Assessment of how useful the data set is for family research:
I think the dataset could be very useful to studies created with a family perspective. Parents and children are both respondents, thus allowing researchers to understand patterns and trends between the two. It would be interesting to connect the parent/child data to sibling data as well, but this seems to be out of scope.

Website: http://nces.ed.gov/ecls/Kindergarten.asp
Full of information and easy to maneuver around on.

Posted by hgroteva at 6:58 PM

January 19, 2007

New - Journal of Mixed Methods Research

Thanks to Yvette for calling this to my attention. Sage has just launched a new journal - the Journal of Mixed Methods Research (i.e., qualitative + quantitative). The first issue is available online, and you can obtain a free subscription to the first year's issues. The following information is taken from Sage's announcement.

The Journal of Mixed Methods Research (JMMR) is the only journal that focuses on empirical, methodological and theoretical articles about mixed methods research across the social, behavioral, health and human sciences. Supported by the premier researchers and practitioners in mixed methods research, such as John Creswell, Abbas Tashakkori, Alan Bryman, Michael Fetters, Donna Mertens, David Morgan, Michael Patton, and Charles Teddlie (to name only a few), each issue explores

* Original mixed methods research that explicitly integrates the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the study
* Methodological and theoretical topics

The First Issue is Now Online

Listed below are the contents of the first issue. To introduce this landmark new journal, SAGE Publications is pleased to offer you free online access to this issue, plus three more in 2007. All you need to do is register today for the free trial.

* Editorial: The New Era of Mixed Methods
* Abbas Tashakkori and John W. Creswell

* Barriers to Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Research
* Alan Bryman

* Social Influences on Fertility: A Comparative Mixed Methods Study in Eastern and Western Germany
* Laura Bernardi, Sylvia Keim, and Holger von der Lippe

* Paradigms Lost and Pragmatism Regained: Methodological Implications of Combining Qualitative and Quantitative Methods
* David L. Morgan

* Mixed Methods Sampling: A Typology With Examples
* Charles Teddlie and Fen Yu

* Media Review: Foundations of Multimethod Research: Synthesizing Styles (2nd ed)
* Manfred Max Bergman

* Media Review: Atlas.ti Software to Assist With the Qualitative Analysis of Data
* Graham R. Gibbs

Posted by hgroteva at 2:50 PM

January 18, 2007

David Kenny on family level analyses

I mentioned in class that you might want to explore the Kenny web site to learn about nonindependence and family level analyses. Here are two links to his web site you could use to begin exploring: http://davidakenny.net/u_o_a.htm and http://davidakenny.net/dyad.htm#Top5.

Posted by vonko002 at 1:19 PM