Add Health Parent Study
The Add Health Parent Study is a collaborative research study between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University that seeks to gather and analyze social, behavioral, and health data on the parents of the members of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). Parents were interviewed during the first wave of Add Health in 1995. The follow-up Add Health Parent Study interview will occur between 2015 and 2018.
What will the Add Health Parent Study do?
Leveraging the rich data that have been and will continue to be collected on the original Add Health respondents, the Add Health Parent Study will collect and analyze, for the first time, behavioral and social context data on two linked generations. The study will gather survey data on the social, economic, and psychological circumstances of the parents as well as their health and behavioral histories and geographical data. This unique set of data will support analyses of intergenerational transmissions of (dis)advantage that have been heretofore impossible. The Add Health Parent Study will improve our understanding of the role that families play through socioeconomic channels in the health and wellbeing of the older, parent generation and that of their offspring. Through these channels, project data will permit the examination of both short-term and long-term linkages and interactions between parents and their adult children.
The Add Health Parent Study will inform the following research domains:
How are health risks and behaviors transmitted across generations or clustered within families? What roles do transmitted environmental and genetic liabilities play in shaping individuals’ health and health risk factors and how do these genetic and environmental factors interact?
What role does the intergenerational transmission of personality and locus of control play in generating intergenerational persistence in education, family status, income and health? How do the personality traits of parents and children, and how they interact, influence the extent and quality of intergenerational relationships and the prevalence of assistance across generations?
Do intergenerational correlations in risk preferences represent intergenerational transmission of preferences? If so, are the transmission mechanisms a factor in biological and environmental vulnerabilities? Does the extent of genetic liability vary in response to both family-specific and generation-specific environmental pressures?
How does family complexity affect intergenerational obligations and the strength of relationship ties? As parents near retirement: What roles do they play in their children’s lives and their children in their lives? What assistance are they providing to their adult children and grandchildren? What do they receive in return? And how do these ties vary with divorce, remarriage and familial estrangement?
Principal Investigators Kathleen Mullan Harris, Ph.D., James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology at UNC and Joseph Hotz, Ph.D., Arts and Sciences Professor of Economics at Duke University lead this collaborative project together with a team of interdisciplinary researchers from across the country with experience in the research domains of social and health inequality, health behaviors, cognitive functioning and non-cognitive personality traits, economics and family support and relationship quality. The Parent Study gratefully acknowledges the support of the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under the following Awards: The Add Health Parent Study: Phase I (Award RO1AG042794) and Locating the Parents of Add Health (Award 21 AG042663-01).
For more information please contact:
Kathleen Mullan Harris
V. Joseph Hotz
Francesca Florey Eischen
Kathleen Mullan Harris, James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology, UNC
V. Joseph Hotz, Arts and Sciences Professor of Economics, Duke University
Study Design Team: