Online Data Archive

National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH), Wave 3 (2001-2003)

Due to budget constraint, only a subset of the original sample was interviewed in NSFH wave 3. The subset consists of main respondents 45 and older by January 1, 2001 with no focal children and respondents who have a focal child, wave 1 spouses or partners of main respondents and respondents’ eligible focal children (age 18-34 in wave 3). For main respondents who were deceased or too ill to be interviewed and who did not have a spouse/partner to be interviewed, proxy interviews were conducted. The instruments for respondents and their spouses/partners were the same. The focal child’s questionnaire was shorter and very similar to that used in the older focal child interview in wave 2. The proxy interview used the same instrument from the wave 2 proxy interview. When all the interviews were completed, information on the 2nd follow-up survey was collected from 4,600 respondents, 2,677 spouses/partners, 1,952 focal children and 924 proxy interviews. Information collected in wave 3 included living arrangements, histories of marriage, cohabitation, education, fertility, employment, marital and parenting relationships, kin contact, and economic and psychological well-being. NSFH was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute on Aging (NIA). Its three waves of surveys collected a considerable amount of life-history information. It covers the respondent's family living arrangements in childhood, departures and returns to the parental home, and histories of marriage, cohabitation, education, fertility, and employment. Its survey design permits the detailed description of past and current living arrangements and other characteristics and experiences, as well as the analysis of the consequences of earlier patterns on current states, marital and parenting relationships, kin contact, and economic and psychological well-being.