Longitudinal Study of Generations, 1971, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2005 [California] (ICPSR 22100)

Principal Investigator(s):


The Longitudinal Study of Generations (LSOG), initiated in 1971, began as a survey of intergenerational relations among 300 three-generation California families with grandparents (then in their sixties), middle-aged parents (then in their early forties), and grandchildren (then aged 15 to 26). The study broadened in 1991 and now includes a fourth generation, the great-grandchildren of these same families. The LSOG, with a fully elaborated generation-sequential design, allows comparisons of sets of aging parents and children at the same stage of life but during different historical periods. These comparisons make possible the investigation of the effects of social change on inter-generational solidarity or conflict across 35 years and four generations, as well as the effects of social change on the ability of families to buffer stressful life transitions (e.g., aging, divorce and remarriage, higher female labor force participation, changes in work and the economy, and possible weakening of family norms of obligation), and the effects of social change on the transmission of values, resources, and behaviors across generations. The LSOG contains information on family structure, household composition, affectual solidarity and conflict, values, attitudes, behaviors, role importance, marital relationships, health and fitness, mental health and well-being, caregiving, leisure activities, and life events and concerns. Demographic variables include age, sex, income, employment status, marital status, socioeconomic history, education, religion, ethnicity, and military service.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.


WARNING: This study is over 150MB in size and may take several minutes to download on a typical internet connection.

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Waves 1-7 - Download All Files (567 MB) large dataset
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DS2:  Wave 8 - Download All Files (208.3 MB) large dataset
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Study Description


Bengtson, Vern L. Longitudinal Study of Generations, 1971, 1985, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2005 [California]. ICPSR22100-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-07-16. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR22100.v3

Persistent URL:

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This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (2R01AG00799-21A2)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   activities of daily living, aging, caregivers, children, death, drug use, education, employment, ethnicity, family history, generations, grandchildren, grandparents, household composition, institutional care, intergenerational relations, interpersonal relations, life satisfaction, marital status, mental health, military service, parents, physical condition, political affiliation, religion, self concept, siblings

Smallest Geographic Unit:   None

Geographic Coverage:   California, Los Angeles, United States

Date of Collection:  

  • 1971--2005

Unit of Observation:   individual

Universe:   Families were drawn randomly from a subscriber list of 840,000 members of a California Health Maintenance Organization in Los Angeles.

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

At this time the datasets for part 1 (Waves 1-7) and part 2 (Wave 8) of the Longitudinal Study of Generations cannot be merged. Both datasets contain the variable ID, however, in the dataset for Part 1 the decimal values for ID are truncated resulting in several non-unique ID values and preventing merger based on this variable.


Sample:   Families were recruited by enlisting a grandfather over the age of 60 who was part of a three-generation family that was willing to participate.

Time Method:   Longitudinal

Kind of Data:   quantitative

Weight:   N/A

Mode of Data Collection:   computer-assisted self interview (CASI), face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire, self-enumerated questionnaire, telephone interview

Presence of Common Scales:   Affectual Solidarity Reliability, Consensual Solidarity (Socialization), Associational Solidarity, Functional Solidarity, Intergenerational Social Support, Normative Solidarity, Familism, Structural Solidarity, Intergenerational Feelings of Conflict, Management of Conflict Tactics, Rosenberg Self-Esteem, Depression (CES-D), Locus of Control, Bradburn Affect Balance, Eysenck Extraversion/Neuroticism, Anxiety (Hopkins Symptom Checklist), Activities of Daily Living (IADL/ADL), Religious Ideology, Political Conservatism, Gender Role Ideology, Individualism/Collectivism, Materialism/Humanism, Work Satisfaction, Gilford-Bengtson Marital Satisfaction

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2015-07-16 Wave 8 was added; including SPSS, SAS, and STATA datasets as well as an ICPSR Variable Description and Frequencies codebook. The codebook for part one was recompiled into a collection level codebook, including both parts one and two. A user guide for the collection has also been added.
  • 2009-05-12 Setup files have been updated.

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