National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging
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Americans' Changing Lives: Waves I and II, 1986 and 1989 (ICPSR 6438) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):


This study is part of a larger research program designed to investigate (1) the ways in which a wide range of activities and social relationships that people engage in are broadly "productive," (2) how individuals adapt to acute life events and chronic stresses that threaten the maintenance of health, effective functioning, and productive activity, and (3) sociocultural variations in the nature, meaning, determinants, and consequences of productive activity and relationships. Focusing especially on differences between Black and white Americans in middle and late life, these data constitute both the first and second waves in a national longitudinal panel survey covering a wide range of sociological, psychological, mental, and physical health items. Among the topics covered are interpersonal relationships (spouse/partner, children, parents, friends), sources and levels of satisfaction, social interactions and leisure activities, traumatic life events (physical assault, serious illness, divorce, death of a loved one, financial or legal problems), perceptions of retirement, health behaviors (smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight, rest), and utilization of health care (doctor visits, hospitalization, nursing home institutionalization, bed days). Also included are measures of physical health, psychological well-being, and indices referring to cognitive functioning. Background information provided for individuals includes household composition, number of children and grandchildren, employment status, occupation and work history, income, family financial situation, religious beliefs and practices, ethnicity, race, education, sex, and region of residence.

Access Notes

  • This data collection has been deaccessioned; it is no longer distributed by ICPSR.

Study Description


House, James S. Americans' Changing Lives: Waves I and II, 1986 and 1989. ICPSR06438-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1997. doi:10.3886/ICPSR06438.v1

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 (P01 AG05561)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   African Americans, health, health behavior, health services utilization, hospitalization, institutional care, leisure, life events, mental health, physical condition, psychological wellbeing, retirement, social interaction, social life, White Americans

Geographic Coverage:   United States

Data Types:   survey data

Data Collection Notes:

This data collection incorporates data from the first wave of this survey (AMERICANS' CHANGING LIVES: WAVE I, 1986 [ICPSR 9267]) (ACLI), with data from a second wave carried out in 1989. Slight changes have been made in some Wave I variables in this updated version of the data. These changes were made primarily to take into account new information that was obtained during the second wave of interviewing. Past users of ACLI should compare this new version of the ACLI variables with the earlier version, to check for possible changes in variable distributions before proceeding with analyses involving ACLI variables.


Sample:   For Wave I, a multistage stratified area probability sample with oversampling of Blacks and those 60 years of age and over was used. For Wave II, an attempt was made to contact all the respondents from Wave I (N = 3,617). The cases responding to Wave II numbered 2,867.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 1997-11-04 The codebook and data collection instruments are being released as PDF files, and the SAS and SPSS data definition statements have undergone minor editing.