Fragile Families: Sample and Design

Nancy E. Reichman, Julien O. Teitler, Irwin Garfinkel, Sara S. McLanahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

737 Scopus citations


This paper provides important background information on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, and is the first and only paper to provide detailed information on the research methodology and sampling strategies employed. The bulk of the paper is devoted to a detailed description of the three-stage sampling process that was used to obtain a nationally representative sample of non-marital births in large US cities. First, it was necessary to sample cities that, collectively, were nationally representative and had maximum variation in policy regimes. Next, it was necessary to sample hospitals so as to be representative of non-marital births in each city. Finally, we sampled births in order to be representative of those at each hospital. The paper concludes with some general information about the study and a simple description of the baseline non-marital sample from the first seven cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-326
Number of pages24
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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