This project proposes to evaluate, process, organize and prepare all public-use data and documentation files at the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) project website ( and then to archive them in publicly- accessible archives at the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and the Data and Information Services Center (DISC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The process of data evaluation and preparation for archiving will be performed systematically according to the guidelines described in Guide to Social Science Data Preparation and Archiving: Best Practice throughout the Data Life Cycle, 5th edition ( published by the Inter- University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). All three waves of NSFH data and documentation files will be checked, processed and prepared in compliance with the archival standard for preservation and dissemination. In addition, this project will produce Data Documentation Initiative (DDI) XML documentation files, which can be utilized by developers to build new tools for data discovery and online analyses of the NSFH. In response to requests from many researchers, this project will create a geo-coded file based on the addresses of the respondents for wave 3. Geo-coded files from three waves of NSFH will be deposited at ICPSR as a restricted-use dataset. Researchers who want to use the geo-coded data will need go through a stringent procedure to access restricted data at ICPSR. Until arrangements can be made with ICPSR to deposit the restricted geo-coded files, the Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) at the University of Wisconsin will continue to provide a value-added geo-merge service to researchers who want to merge their geographical level contextual data to NSFH data file without directly accessing the geo-coded data. NSFH is a prominent longitudinal study on family life in the United States. The research was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Three waves of surveys were conducted in 1987-1988, 1992-1994 and 2001-2003. A total of $14.5 million in federal grant funds were awarded to field NSFH survey overtime. According to ICPSR's Related Literature Database ( 1), 1,093 scholarly publications have used NSFH data since the late 80s. NSFH is a rich data source for researchers studying family living arrangements, marriage, cohabitation, fertility, parenting relations, kin contact, health and economic and psychological well- being. Archiving all three waves of NSFH data will preserve this important social science study and make it more accessible to current and future researchers studying issues related to families and households in the U.S.

Public Health Relevance

This project will archive, preserve and disseminate public-use data and documentation files resulting from three waves of the National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). In addition, this project will begin the process of depositing the three waves of geo-coded with ICPSR on a restricted use basis. This longitudinal study provides an extremely rich data resource for secondary data analyses of family experience from various theoretical perspectives. Archiving NSFH will ensure that current and future researchers can readily utilize the data to investigate various public health issues related to household composition, family dynamics, marriage, cohabitation, childbearing and marital disruption, adult family transition, parent-child interactions, education and work, health, aging, economic and psychological well-being. Its broad contents and longitudinal coverage provide researchers ample possibilities in examining how family structure influences health outcome and the correlation between health and family change. In particular, NSFH allows researchers to examine how respondents'physical health (ex. mental health, drinking, smoking, drug use, caregiving responsibility etc.) impacts their family dynamic.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAG1-ZIJ-3 (M1))
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Haaga, John G
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University of Wisconsin Madison
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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