This proposal seeks funds for a series of five summer workshops that will train a diverse group of early-career scholars on the use of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFS), a population-based, longitudinal, NIH-funded birth cohort survey developed to further understanding of the social and behavioral factors affecting the development of urban children. The rise in non-marital childbearing over the past forty years has motivated a growing literature on the capabilities of, and challenges facing, unmarried parents with children, often referred to as "fragile families." Biomedical and population scientists have identified the social environment as integral to the effective delivery f health and social services, and raised a multitude of questions about the extent to which parental and environmental factors affect child wellbeing, the extent to which they may moderate children's genetic predispositions toward health or behavioral challenges, and the mechanisms that govern any causal effects. Concerns about fragile families and their children have taken on added salience in light of the Great Recession, which began in 2007 and has significantly altered the economic conditions in which families live. The FFS has played an important role in addressing these questions;however, much remains to be learned, and the ongoing collection of FFS data stands to further advance the research literature. As such, the proposed workshops will each focus on a thematic area relevant to the above mentioned concerns and will discuss different aspects of the FFS data not covered in prior training workshops, including: macroeconomic data in respondent cities, genetic data, and data on the neighborhood environment. The proposed series of workshops will train a new generation of researchers from a variety of disciplines in the social and biomedical sciences on the capabilities of the FFS data and will result in the dissemination of the Fragile Families data, an improved understanding of the issues facing fragile families, and opportunities for mentorship and collaboration for a new generation of social, behavioral and biomedical scientists.
This proposal seeks funds to develop and operate a 5-year series of summer workshops to train a diverse group of early-career scholars on the use of data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study. The workshops will present substantive findings from the data, discuss the measurement of key constructs for population research, and provide hands-on training with the Fragile Families data. In so doing, the proposed workshop will support a cohort of emerging scholars and further the understanding of behavioral and social functioning relevant to the health and wellbeing of children and families.