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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Playing a Data Custodian

Presenter 1
Chiu-Chuang (Lu) Chou
Data and Information Service, University of Wisconsin, Madison

The National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH) is a prominent longitudinal study on family life. NSFH was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute on Aging (NIA). The total amount of federal grant for NSFH was 14.5 million dollars. Three waves of surveys were conducted in 1987-1988, 1992-1994 and 2001-2003. According to ICPSR Related Literature database, there are 1,053 publications based on NSFH data. Researchers continue to use NSFH to study family living arrangement, marriage, cohabitation, fertility, parenting relations, kin contact and economic and psychological well-being. The Center for Demography of Health and Aging (CDHA) took over user support for NSFH, after this project ended in summer of 2006. Without the expertise of the original NSFH project team, how does CDHA staff help NSFH researchers? In this paper I will share the challenges and rewards we have in providing user support for the complex NSFH studies. Our enhancement on disseminating NSFH data using an online analysis tool will be discussed. A plan of data repurposing for NSFH in the future will be presented also.

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