Fragile Families: The Third Generation

Project Details


ABSTRACT The intergenerational persistence of poor health and poverty and the quest to understand underlying processes underscore the importance of rich multigenerational data. Very few existing datasets contain comprehensive information on social, environmental, and biological factors over the life course and across generations; lack of such data has limited attempts to identify the processes shaping health disparities, economic inequalities, and causal linkages between the two. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FF) is the longest running birth cohort study in the U.S. that is based on a national probability sample. It follows parents (G1, for Generation 1)?both mothers and fathers?and their children (G2) who were born in 1998?2000. The G2 children are now having children of their own. We propose to expand the FF study by conducting a perinatal survey on the health of the third generation (G3) children, early parenthood experiences of G2, and the characteristics of households and families into which G3 are born, as well as collecting saliva samples from the G3 children and their non-FF parents and stool samples from the G3 children; we refer to this project as the FFG3 study. The augmented data will have many unique and valuable features, including: (1) three generations of sociodemographic, environmental, and biological data; (2) extensive data on parenting in two generations (G1 and G2); (3) data on siblings and half-siblings (in G3); (4) genetic data on trios (G3 children and both of their parents); and (5) comprehensive data on perinatal health (pre-pregnancy, prenatal, delivery, neonatal, and postpartum factors) and circumstances in two generations (G2 & G3). The FFG3 study will facilitate novel and important analyses of intergenerational transmission of health, intergenerational relationships within families, and gene*environment effects on health. It will also provide an essential foundation for future G3 data collection at subsequent developmental transitions including school readiness at the transition to school, and health and development in middle childhood, adolescence, and the transition to adulthood.
Effective start/end date8/19/214/30/22


  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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