Study Description

Study of American Families, 1994

Table of Contents

Unique Identification Number
Bibliographic Citation
Study Description
Introduction
Notes
Update Notice, January 29, 1998
Module 1: SAF respondents
Module 2: SAF respondents' parents
Module 3: SAF respondents' spouses and spouses' families
Module 4: SAF respondents' children
Module 5: SAF respondents' siblings (including the GSS respondent)
Module 6: SAF respondents' most and least economically successful living relatives
Module 7: Recodes of occupations in the 1994 GSS.



Unique Identification Number

SB-013-001-1-2-United States-DPLS-1994

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Bibliographic Citation

Publications based on this data should acknowledge those sources by means of bibliographic citations. To ensure that such source attributions are captured for social science bibliographic utilities, citations must appear in footnotes or in the reference section of publications. The bibliographic citation for this data collection is:

Hauser, Robert M. and Robert D. Mare. Study of American Families, 1994 [computer file]. Madison, WI: Data and Information Services Center [distributor], 1997; http://www.disc.wisc.edu/archive/SAF/index.html.

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Study Description

In 1994, Robert M. Hauser and Robert D. Mare fielded a topical module for the General Social Survey (GSS) that focused on the role of families in the transmission and maintenance of socioeconomic inequality. Specifically, the module supplemented the usual GSS socioeconomic variables by collecting information on family structure and socioeconomic achievement of respondents and their kin, including siblings, parents, offspring, and spouses. In addition, the topical module included a second short test of cognitive ability, an abstract reasoning module from the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS).

This supplement module on families and social mobility identifying information for one randomly selected sibling for each of the 2,992 GSS respondents who had at least one living sibling above the age of 25. Using this information about siblings' addresses and telephone numbers, the Study of American Families (SAF) then conducted a telephone interview with 1,155 of those siblings, asking essentially the same questions that were asked of 1994 GSS respondents in person. The SAF went beyond the GSS interview, however, by collecting information about a second selected sibling (in addition to the GSS respondent) and by asking about the educational and occupational attainments of a much larger number of relatives. Support for the SAF came from the Sociology Program of the National Science Foundation (SBR-9320660).

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Introduction

From 1972 to 1994 (except in 1979, 1981 and 1992) the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted the annual General Social Survey (GSS) using a national sample of approximately 1500 people. Since 1994 GSS has been administrated every other year. GSS includes demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal questions. It has a set of core questions which have been repeated since 1972 and allow trends study of American society. NORC over the years have invited outside investigators to field supplemental survey questions about a particular issue with GSS. In 1994, Robert Mare and Robert Hauser fielded a topical module on families and social mobility.

This special module is also known as the Study of American Families (SAF), 1994. It supplements the usual GSS socioeconomic variables by collecting information about GSS respondents' first occupations, GSS respondents' mother's occupations when respondents were young, and respondents' first spouses (if married more than once). In addition, the topical module included a second test of cognitive ability, a subset of abstract reasoning items from the Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). Specifically NORC obtained identifying information for one randomly selected sibling for each of the 2992 GSS respondents who had at least one living sibling above the age of 25 for SAF.

With information about siblings' addresses and telephone numbers provided by NORC, the SAF used conventional tracing procedures like directory assistance, calling kin, calling people with the same surname and calling neighbors to find these siblings. Once these siblings were located, SAF staff mailed them materials about the study and conducted a telephone interview.

Only 2662 of the 2992 respondents in the 1994 GSS had siblings who were eligible to participate in the SAF[1]. Because NORC's identifying information for potential respondents was insufficient, the SAF staff could only conduct a telephone interview with 1155 of those siblings. SAF staff asked essentially the same questions that were asked of 1994 GSS respondents in person. However WORDSUM, a test of cognitive ability, was omitted from the SAF because it can only be administered in person. The SAF went beyond the GSS interview by collecting information about a second selected sibling and by asking about the educational and occupational attainments of a much larger number of relatives like the respondents' father's sibling who is closest in age to him, and the respondents' spouse's sibling who is closest in age to him or her.

GSS 1994 and SAF have different industry and occupation classification codes. NORC used the standards of the 1980 Census Industry and Occupation classification codes for GSS 1994 while SAF was coded according to the standards of the 1990 Census Industry and Occupation classification. Because the 1980 and 1990 classifications are so similar, however, the GSS occupation codes can be converted to 1990 standards very easily.

SAF did not use GSS occupation codes because there were concerns about the quality of occupation codes in GSS expressed in several publications (Nakao and Treas, 1994[2]; Hauser and Warren, 1997[3]; Warren, Sheridan, and Hauser, 1998[4]). The SAF staff carefully reviewed the text of responses to occupation questions in the 1994 GSS and then systematically revised more than 28% of them[5]. The SAF staff worked very closely with the staff of the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) at the time. SAF uses the same occupation and industry coding scheme as the WLS. To learn about the WLS occupation coding procedure, please review this WLS document, Coding Occupations in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study: 1992-94 Follow-Ups.

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Notes

[1]J. R. Warren. 2001. "Changes with Age in the Process of Occupational Stratification." Social Science Research 30: 264-288.
[2]K. Nakao and J. Treas. 1994. "Updating occupational prestige and socioeconomic scores: How the new measures measure up," in Sociological Methodology, 1994 (P. Marsden, Ed.), pp. 1–72, American Sociological Association, Washington, DC.
[3]R. M. Hauser and J. R. Warren. 1997. "Socioeconomic indexes of occupational status: A review, update, and critique," in Sociological Methodology 1997 (A. Raftery, Ed.), pp. 177–298, Blackwell, Cambridge.
[4]J. R. Warren, J. T. Sheridan, and R. M. Hauser. 1998. Choosing a measure of occupational standing: How useful are composite measures in analyses of gender inequality in occupational attainment? Sociological Methods and Research 27, 3–76.
[5]J. R. Goldstein and J. R. Warren. 2000. "Socioeconomic Reach and Heterogeneity in the Extended Family: Contours and Consequences." Social Science Research 29: 382-404.

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Update Notice

On January 29, 1998 the following changes were made to the data and documentation for the 1994 Study of American Families:

  1. The value of the variable SB1CW ("Respondent's First Selected Sib's Occupation: Self-Employed or Worked for Someone Else") was changed for ID #2508. In that case, the prior (April 2, 1997) release of the data classified that respondent as having a value of "3" for the variable SB1CW. The correct value is "2." The data file and codebook for the January 29, 1998 release reflect this change.
  2.  

  3. The prior (April 2, 1997) release of the data file MODULE7.DAT contained an additional (237th) column of data, and this has been corrected. That is, despite the fact that the codebook indicates that MODULE7.DAT contains 236 columns, the prior (April 2, 1997) release of MODULE7.DAT actually consisted of 237 columns. The superfluous final column has been removed from the January 29, 1998 release. NOTE: This change does not alter column locations for any variables in any module of the data; since the superfluous column was the 237th column, this change is very minor for all practical purposes.

My thanks to Adrian Harvey-Beavis of the Australian Council for Educational Research for identifying these problems in the April 2, 1997 release of the data!

Rob Warren

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MODULE I: RESPONDENT

RESPONDENT
SOCIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
MARITAL HISTORY
EDUCATION
MILITARY, EMPLOYMENT, AND UNEMPLOYMENT HISTORIES
FIRST FULL-TIME CIVILIAN OCCUPATION
CURRENT OR LAST OCCUPATION
EARNINGS
ABILITY TEST SCORES
SOCIAL CONTACTS AND EXPOSURE TO MEDIA
ATTITUDES REGARDING WORK AND FINANCIAL SITUATIONS
ATTITUDES REGARDING CHILDREN
ATTITUDES REGARDING RACIAL ISSUES AND SOCIAL TOLERANCE
ATTITUDES REGARDING POLITICS AND PUBLIC POLICY
ATTITUDES REGARDING MARRIAGE AND GENDER ISSUES

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MODULE 2: RESPONDENT'S PARENTS

RESPONDENT'S MOTHER
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION
 
RESPONDENT'S FATHER
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION
 
RESPONDENT'S FATHER'S SIBLING
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION

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MODULE 3: RESPONDENT'S SPOUSES AND SPOUSES' FAMILIES

RESPONDENT'S FIRST SPOUSE
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
 
RESPONDENT'S FIRST SPOUSE'S FATHER
EDUCATION
 
RESPONDENT'S FIRST SPOUSE'S MOTHER
EDUCATION
 
RESPONDENT'S CURRENT SPOUSE
SOCIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT
CURRENT OR LAST OCCUPATION
EARNINGS
 
RESPONDENT'S CURRENT/LAST SPOUSE'S MOTHER OR FEMALE SUBSTITUTE
EDUCATION
 
RESPONDENT'S CURRENT/LAST SPOUSE'S FATHER OR MALE SUBSTITUTE
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION
 
RESPONDENT'S CURRENT/LAST SPOUSE'S SIBSHIP INFORMATION
 
RESPONDENT'S CURRENT/LAST SPOUSE'S SELECTED SIBLING
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT
OCCUPATION

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MODULE 4: RESPONDENT'S CHILDREN

RESPONDENT'S CHILDREN
GENDER OF CHILDREN
CHILDREN'S YEAR OF BIRTH
CHILDREN'S RELATION TO RESPONDENT
ARE CHILDREN ALIVE?
EDUCATION
 
RESPONDENT'S FIRST SELECTED CHILD
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION
 
RESPONDENT'S SECOND SELECTED CHILD
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
OCCUPATION

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MODULE 5: RESPONDENT'S SIBLINGS

RESPONDENT'S SIBLINGS
GENDER OF SIBLINGS
YEAR OF BIRTH OF SIBLINGS
SIBLINGS' RELATION TO RESPONDENT
ARE SIBLINGS ALIVE?
 
RESPONDENT'S FIRST SELECTED SIBLING (THE GSS RESPONDENT)
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT AND MILITARY SERVICE
OCCUPATION
 
RESPONDENT'S SECOND SELECTED SIBLING
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT AND MILITARY SERVICE
OCCUPATION

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MODULE 6: MOST AND LEAST ECONOMICALLY SUCCESSFUL LIVING RELATIVES

MOST ECONOMICALLY SUCCESSFUL LIVING RELATIVE
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT
OCCUPATION
 
LEAST ECONOMICALLY SUCCESSFUL LIVING RELATIVE
DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
EDUCATION
EMPLOYMENT
OCCUPATION

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MODULE 7: RECODES OF OCCUPATIONS IN THE 1994 GENERAL SOCIAL SURVEY

RECODES
GSS RESPONDENT'S CURRENT OR LAST OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S FIRST FULL-TIME OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S MOTHER'S OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S FATHER'S OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S SELECTED SIBLING'S OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S SELECTED CHILD'S OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S SPOUSE'S OCCUPATION
GSS RESPONDENT'S SPOUSE'S HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD'S OCCUPATION

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