National Survey of Children: Waves 1, 2, and 3, 1976-1987
Investigators: Nicholas Zill, James L. Peterson, Kristin A. Moore, and Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr.
Publication Date: March 23, 2016
About This Product
In 1976, the Foundation for Child Development sponsored the first nationally representative survey of children to be conducted in which the child was the focus of study and was personally interviewed. The purpose of the survey was to assess the physical, social, and psychological well-being of different groups of American children; develop a profile of the way children live and the care they receive; permit analysis of the relationships between the condition of children's lives and measures of child development and wellbeing; and replicate items from previous national studies of child and parents to permit analysis of trends over time.
The focus of the 1981 survey was the effects of marital conflict and disruption on children. The goals of this wave of the survey included developing a profile of the behavioral and mental health of children at various stages in the marital disruption process and examining the influence of child, parent, and family factors that are thought to influence the risk of childhood problems associated with marital disruption. Most of the background and outcome measures employed in Wave 1 were repeated in Wave 2. In addition, new data were gathered on patterns of parent-child interaction and on outcome areas more relevant for teenage children, including dating and sexual activity, drinking, smoking, drug use, and delinquency. For families that had experienced a marital disruption, the follow-up interviews contained a number of questions concerning the relationship between the child and the parent living outside the home. In addition, if the custodial parent's former spouse was not the child's father, questions were asked about the child's relationship with the former spouse.
The purpose of collecting a third wave of data was to examine the social, psychological, and economic well-being of sample members as they became young adults. In particular, their sexual and fertility behavior were a focus of interest. Accordingly, numerous questions were included in the questionnaire regarding sexual activity, contraception, pregnancy, and childrearing. Further, the third wave queried the respondents on such areas as the receipt of child support and welfare; pregnancy decision-making; family receipt of welfare as the youth was growing up; the establishment of paternity; and attitudes regarding marriage, child support, and welfare. Wave 3 also included questions on health, employment, and children born to teenage mothers. Finally, data on the family's zip code in 1976 (Wave 1), 1981 (Wave 2), and 1987 (Wave 3) were added to the computer file to create the possibility of doing contextual analyses of the data.
- 4,118 variables
- 1,423 cases
- Raw Data, SPSS Program Statements and Portable Files, and Instruments
- User’s Guide to the Machine-Readable Files and Documentation