Firm Data User Support for the Fragile Families Study

For nearly 15 years now, researchers at Princeton and Columbia Universities have been collecting data from 20 cities on the lifestyles, health, and wellbeing of unmarried parents and their children. This ongoing project, known as the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, began by interviewing parents when their children were born and has continued with follow-up interviews at their children’s first, third, fifth, and ninth birthdays. Researchers are now making preparations for the 15-year wave to examine adolescent wellbeing, behavior and peer influence, and once again follow-up with parents.

As the Fragile Families study continues moving forward, new findings are constantly emerging from the data. The Future of Children published a volume on Fragile Families summarizing many of these findings. In addition, hundreds of publications, including journal articles, books and book chapters, working papers, and research briefs have been made available for easy access on the Fragile Families publications website. Topics include family structure, employment and earnings, incarceration, child care, mental health and stress, parenting, relationship quality, race/ethnicity and nativity, religion, and much more. Keep your eyes peeled as these publications reveal the newest findings from the 9-year wave.

Researchers and Fragile Families staff members at Princeton seek to maximize the use of the rich data that has come out of the Study by making data files available for public use. Novice and experienced data users can email the FFDATA team ( with questions about the Study and receive help with downloading and using the various files. They can also inquire about the three-day Fragile Families data users’ workshop that will be held in July at Columbia University.

Note: Chang would like to thank the FFDATA team members for the interesting and enlightening conversation on how much they do in order to support their data users. The study recently released the 9-year wave public-use data through OPR Data Archive.

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