American Sociological Association

Public Data Resources for Sociologists Continued

1. General Social Survey
National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
Presenter: Tom W. Smith, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637; phone: (773) 256-6288; fax: (773) 753-7886; email:; homepage:

The General Social Survey (GSS) of the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, monitors social change in the United States. Since 1972, the GSS has gathered data on contemporary American society in order to monitor and explain trends and constants in attitudes, behaviors, and attributes of the adult population. These high quality data are easily accessible to a broad-based user community, including researchers, teachers in colleges and universities, students at undergraduate and graduate levels, business and corporate planners, journalists, and public officials who need to understand the pulse of our country in their work. The 23 national probability samples include interviews of over 40,000 respondents. Of the nearly 4,000 items that have been asked, there are time trends for over 1,000 items.

Two recent developments regarding the GSS are featured--the GSS Data and Information Retrieval System II (GSSDIRS) and the 2000 GSS. The GSSDIRS II is a new web product that links together code book, trends, bibliography, project reports, and other documentation; permits on-line analysis and data sub-setting; and provides the latest information via an announcement section, and contact with the GSS staff. The 2000 GSS contains supplements on religion, sexual behavior, internet and computer use, freedom, intergroup relations, childcare, and health and well-being.

2. International Social Survey
National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago
Presenter: Tom W. Smith, National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637; phone: (773) 256-6288; fax: (773) 753-7886; email:; homepage:

The International Social Survey Program (ISSP) is the cross-between the General Social Survey (GSS) and its counterparts in other countries. Studies have been conducted annually since 1985 dealing with such topics as the role of government, social support and networks, social inequality, gender, family, work, the environment, national identity, and religion. Over 200 surveys with over 250,000 respondents have been conducted. Topics are repeated every 5-8 years. This means that both over time and cross-national comparisons are possible. There are now 37 member countries participating in the ISSP. It is a valuable resource for researchers undertaking comparative analysis or studying attitudes, behaviors, and attributes of adult populations in other countries.

3. The Panel Study of Income Dynamics
University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research
Presenters: Sandra Hofferth, Hiromi Ono, and Jean Yeung, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248; phone: (734) 936-5166 or (734) 963-5166; fax: (734) 647-4575; email:; homepage:

Now in its thirty-first year of data collection, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is a longitudinal survey of a representative sample of U.S. men, women, and children and the families in which they reside. Data on employment, income, wealth, health, housing and food expenditures, transfer income, and marital and fertility behavior have been collected annually since 1968. From 5,000 families in 1968, the study has grown to include over 7,000 families and more than 50,000 individuals.

The study has collected high quality intergenerational data on economic capacity, income, and the transmission of wealth, as well as information on such issues as the long-term effects of life events (early childbearing, divorce, illness) on workers and their families, the relationship of business cycles to economic well-being, and the interaction of labor mobility and geographic mobility. In recent years, the value of the PSID has been further extended through matching PSID respondents to Census geocodes, permitting the addition of valuable neighborhood characteristics to individual files. The coverage of the PSID was expanded in 1997 with the addition of an immigrant refresher sample and a child development supplement covering children from birth through age 12.

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics homepage is available to Internet browsers worldwide. The most recent versions of all PSID data and supplements can be downloaded from this site. Documentation, errata, and a newsletter are also available.

4. The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
Center for Demography of Health and Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Presenters: Robert M. Hauser and Taissa S. Hauser, Center for Demography of Health and Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, WI 53706; phone: (608) 262-2182; fax: (608) 262-8400; e-mail:; homepage:

The Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) is a 43 year-old study of the social and economic life course among 10,000 men and women who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957, and who have been followed up at ages 25, 36, and 53-54. Data from the original respondents or their parents from 1957 to 1975 cover social background, youthful and adult aspirations, schooling, military service, family formation, labor market experience, and social participation. The 1992-93 surveys cover occupational histories; income, assets, and economic transfers; social and economic characteristics of parents, siblings, and children; and mental and physical health and well-being. Parallel interviews have been carried out with siblings in 1977 and 1993-94. WLS data and documentation are available on the world wide web.

Keywords of relevance to WLS are: ability, aging, alcohol, aspirations, assets, careers, caregiving, children, cognition,college, depression, divorce, earnings, education, employment, family, fertility, gender, health, households, income, insurance, intelligence, labor force, life course, marriage, menopause, mental health, mid-life, mobility, morbidity, occupations, pensions, personality, physical health, psychological well-being, religion, retirement, siblings, social participation, voting, and wealth.

5. National Survey of Families and Households
University of Wisconsin, Department of Sociology
Presenter: Larry Bumpass, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, 1180 Observatory Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53711; phone: (608) 262-2182; fax: (608) 262-8400; e-mail:

The first wave of the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households interviewed 13,007 respondents including an oversample of blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, single-parent families, families with stepchildren, cohabiting couples and recently married persons. Several portions of the main interview were self-administered to facilitate the collection of sensitive information and to ease the flow of the interview. In addition, a shorter self-administered questionnaire was given to the spouse or cohabiting partner of the primary respondent.

A considerable amount of life-history information was collected, including the respondent's family living arrangements in childhood, the experience of leaving the parental home, marital and cohabitation experience, as well as education, fertility, and employment histories. Substantive coverage has been kept broad to permit the holistic analysis of family experience from an array of theoretical perspectives.

Reinterviews were conducted in 1992-94 with the main respondents, with current and former spouses, and with a sample child and a sample parent. The sample child was in the parental household at T1. A third wave is scheduled for 2000 with telephone interviews with the parent-child dyads interviewed at T2 , and with the remainder of the sample age 45 and over at the time of interview.

6. The British Household Panel Survey
Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
Presenter: David Pevalin, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, UK CO4 3SQ; phone: +44 1206 873540; fax: +44 1206 873151; e-mail:

The British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) is being carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex, UK. The main objective of the survey is to further our understanding of social and economic change at the individual and household level in Britain, to identify, model and forecast such changes, their causes and consequences in relation to a range of socio-economic variables.

The BHPS is designed as a research resource for a wide range of social science disciplines and to support interdisciplinary research in many areas.

The BHPS was designed as an annual survey of each adult member of a nationally representative sample of more than 5,000 households, making a total of approximately 10,000 individual interviews. The same individuals were re-interviewed in successive waves and, if they split-off from original households, all adult members of their new households were also interviewed. Children are interviewed once they reach the age of 16; there is also a special survey of 11-15 year old household members from Wave Four onwards.

Thus the sample should have remained broadly representative of the population of Britain through the 1990s. Eight waves of data are now available

7. The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
Carolina Population Center The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Presenter: Francesca Florey, The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, 123 West Franklin Street, Suite 400A, Chapel Hill, NC 27516-3997; phone: (919) 962-8412; fax: (919) 966-7019; e-mail:; homepage:

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health) is a longitudinal study which provides data uniquely qualified to address the most important questions about adolescent health and health behaviors today. A national sample of 7th to 12th grade students completed 90,000 in-school questionnaires during the 1994-1995 school year. Twenty thousand students and a parent were interviewed in their homes during the summer of 1995 (Wave I); fourteen thousand of the adolescents were re-interviewed during the summer of 1996 (Wave II). Add Health provides a comprehensive view of adolescent health including: (1) physical, mental, and emotional health status, including self-reported and measured height and weight, injuries, physical disabilities, sleep disorders, self-esteem, suicide ideation; and (2) health behaviors, including eating disorders, substance use and abuse, weapon carrying and use, measures used to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, sexual behavior, contraceptive use, nutrition, exercise, and use of health services. The Add Health Study's unique design provides an unprecedented view of how an adolescent's health is shaped by characteristics of the world in which he or she lives. As well as the adolescent's view of his or her world, independent measures of the adolescent's social context are available, including family context, peer influence and school context. In Wave III of the Survey (2000-01), all eligible respondents who participated in Wave I, now young adults aged 18-26, will be re-interviewed. A sample of 2,000 of their romantic/sex partners will also be interviewed. This unparalleled sample will allow researchers to study the effects of adolescent friendship networks and the characteristics of the communities and neighborhoods in which adolescents mature on young adult employment, education, and health outcomes. Data from Wave III will also make it possible to model the structure of social, sexual, and romantic networks of a representative sample of young adults, a critical first step in understanding of STI diffusion in America today.

8. The Health and Retirement Study
University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research
Presenter: Heather Hewett, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Room 3250, Ann Arbor, MI 48104; phone: (734) 936-0314; fax: (734) 647-1186; email:; homepage:

The Health and Retirement Study is a nationally representative longitudinal study of the U.S. population age 50 and older. Public use data sets are available free of charge via the internet. Information on the use and analysis of these data will be featured in the exhibit session.

9. Mexican Migration Project
University of Pennsylvania, Population Center
Presenter: Nolan J. Malone, Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania/University of Guadalajara, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6298; phone: (215) 573-9388; fax: (215) 898-2124; e-mail:; homepage:

Each year the Mexican Migration Project surveys 4-6 Mexican communities using simple random sampling methods, generally including 200 households. In the course of interviewing, it quickly becomes clear where in the U.S. migrants from each community go, and several months later interviewers are sent to these U.S. destinations to survey 10-20 out-migrants who have settled north of the border and no longer return home frequently enough to be interviewed in the Mexican surveys. A weighting scheme has been developed to pool the U.S. and Mexican surveys into a single sample that accurately represents the binational migrant community. To date, 52 communities have been sampled and incorporated into the database, which contains seven basic datafiles. PERSFILE contains basic socioeconomic information on household members, including basic information on the first and last U.S. trips. HOUSFILE contains information on the socio-demographic composition and economic status of households. MIGFILE contains detailed information on the household head's border-crossing experience and last trip to the U.S. LIFEFILE and SPOUSEFILE contains a complete life history of all household heads and their spouses, which includes a complete migration and border-crossing history. The final two files are at the community level: COMCROSS contains cross sectional information on the survey at the time of the survey, and COMYEAR is an event history from 1940 to the survey year that records the changing social and economic setting in each community. All datafiles are publicly available via the internet from the Mexican Migration Project's home page.

10. Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Presenter: Jeffery Evans, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 6100 Executive Blvd., Room 8B07, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510; phone: (301) 496-1174, fax: (301) 496-0962; email:; homepage:

The Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB) of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), supports large-scale data collection activities that contribute to research on the determinants and consequences of demographic change. Surveys conducted in the United States with NICHD support include the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - Child Supplement, the National Survey of Family Growth, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics – Child Supplement, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD HEALTH), the Intergenerational Panel Study of Parents and Children, the National Survey of Families and Households, the New Immigrant Survey - Pilot, several ongoing studies of the impact of welfare reform on families and children, and more. The program also supports data collection activities for research in international settings. Investigators supported through DBSB are strongly encouraged to place data sets in the public domain.

11. Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
Presenters: Kristen Robinson, Behavioral and Social Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, Gateway Building, Suite 533, 7201 Wisconsin Avenue, MSC 9205, Bethesda, MD 20892-9205; phone: (301) 458-4460; fax: (301) 402-0051; email:; homepage:

The Behavioral and Social Research program of the National Institute on Aging supports basic social and behavioral research and research training on the aging process and the place of older people in society. This poster session will display information on NIA-funded data resources.

12. Sociometrics Corporation
Presenter: Michael Carley, Sociometrics Corporation, The Social Science Electronic Data Library and Automated Dataset Development Software, 170 State Street, Suite 260, Los Altos, CA 94022; phone: (650) 949-3282 ext. 208; fax: (650) 949-3299; e-mail:; homepage:

The Sociometrics Social Science Electronic Data Library (SSEDL) is a premium health and social science resource that consists of seven topically focused data archives. With over 300 data sets from 200 different studies comprising seven topically-focused collections, it is a unique source of high quality health and social science data and documentation for researchers, educators, students, and policy analysts. The Electronic Data Library was made available in 1999 on a set of CD-ROMs and includes an online membership with free access to datasets for downloading by members.

The Collections in SSEDL includes: AIDS/STD (11 Studies, 20 Data Sets, 14,400+ variables); Disability in the U.S. (16 Studies, 29 Data Sets, 15,800+ variables); American Family (14 Studies, 36 Data Sets, 20,000+ variables); Adolescent Pregnancy & Pregnancy Prevention (150 Studies, 234 Data Sets, 60,000+ Variables); Aging (3 Studies, 22 Data Sets, 19,400+ variables); Maternal Drug Abuse (7 Studies, 13 Data Sets, 5,000+ variables); and Contextual Data Archive (13 geographic levels from several sources, 20,000+ variables).

Sociometrics' Automated Dataset Development Software (ADDS) is an integrated software program that, when completed, will develop and document social science research studies. The program will perform the following functions: 1) Instrument generation—generate a fully formatted research instrument in print, ASCII, and other machine-readable formats. 2) Codebook generation—generate the data set documentation in a printed codebook (also in ASCII and other formats), flow chart (skip map), and data file map. 3) Data entry—provide for data entry from completed questionnaires, with simultaneous error checking. 4) Program file generation—produce a raw data file in ASCII format, and build the program statement files needed to transform the raw data file into SPSS and/or SAS system files. The software will automate tasks best done by computer, improve instrumentation and documentation by providing a complete, high-quality structure and format, and reduce the post data-collection effort of documenting a public-use data set. In addition, we are also building an item bank of high quality, commonly used questions, scales, and interviewing tools. This bank will be accessible within the program to permit users to select questions to develop their own research instruments. The item bank will be filled with several thousand questionnaire items drawn from the leading studies in family research.

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Last Updated on January 08, 2005