Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS) Series

The L.A. FANS public-use data will be made available through DSDR/ICPSR in summer 2019.

The Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS) is a two-wave study of adults and children in Los Angeles County and of the neighborhoods in which they live. A partial third wave was carried out by Robert Mare (UCLA) and Robert Sampson (Harvard) as part of their Mixed Income Project (MIP). The MIP data are not included here and inquiries about their availability should be directed to Sampson and Mare (http://www.contextandthecity.com/projects/mip/).

L.A.FANS was designed to enable research on neighborhoods themselves and on neighborhood effects on households and individuals, by collecting longitudinal data on neighborhoods, families, children, and on residential choice and neighborhood change. The first wave (L.A.FANS-1), which was fielded between April 2000 and January 2002, interviewed adults and children living in 3,085 households in a stratified probability sample of 65 neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles County. The samples of neighborhoods and individuals were representative of neighborhoods and residents of Los Angeles County. Poorer neighborhoods and households with children were oversampled. In Wave 2 of L.A.FANS, Wave 1 respondents living in Los Angeles County were reinterviewed and updated information was collected on Wave 1 respondents who had moved away from Los Angeles County. A sample of individuals who moved into each sampled neighborhood between Waves 1 and 2 was also interviewed, for a total of 2,319 adults and 1,382 children (ages <18 years). Additional information on the project is available at www.lasurvey.rand.org.

Additional information on the project, survey design, sample, and variables are available from:
Study Purpose

L.A.FANS was designed to enable research on neighborhoods themselves and on neighborhood effects on households and individuals, by collecting longitudinal data on neighborhoods, adults, and children, and on residential choice and neighborhood change. The survey provides data to answer key research and policy questions on a wide range of topics related to the population of Los Angeles and urban structure and change, including: adult health and health disparities, immigrant well-being, social ties and neighborhood interaction, marriage patterns, ethnic identity, family survival strategies, family dynamics, the interactions of individual behavior and neighborhood social and physical environments, and many others.

Study Design

Data were collected in two waves, in 2000-2001 and 2006-2008.

A partial third wave was carried out by Robert Mare (UCLA) and Robert Sampson (Harvard) in 2012 as part of their Mixed Income Project (MIP). The MIP data are not included here and inquiries about their availability should be directed to Sampson and Mare (http://www.contextandthecity.com/projects/mip/). The L.A.FANS follows neighborhoods over time, as well as children and families. Specifically, in the second wave of the survey, the L.A.FANS: (1) reinterviewed all children and adults sampled in Wave 1, even if they moved out of the neighborhood, (2) reinterviewed all sampled respondents who remained in the neighborhood, and (3) interviewed a sample of new entrants into each study neighborhood. Thus, the L.A.FANS combines the advantages of a panel study of children and adults with the advantages of a repeated cross-sectional sample of each neighborhood. This feature allows researchers to examine neighborhood selection, i.e., the process by which families select themselves into and out of neighborhoods.

L.A.FANS includes innovative data on many issues including an interactive event history calendar (measuring residence, labor force participation, occupation, earnings, health insurance), immigrant legal status, neighborhood racial/ethnic composition preference, health assessment vignettes, detailed geocoded information on key places in respondents’ lives, information on father involvement from co-resident as well as non-co-resident fathers, questions about individual interactions with those in other race/ethnic groups, detailed geospatial markers of key places in individual lives, and biomarkers of common health conditions. The survey was also designed to include items from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Child Development Supplement (PSID-CDS) and the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) to facilitate national and inter-city comparisons.

Sample

L.A.FANS is based on a stratified random sample of 65 neighborhoods (census tracts) in Los Angeles County, California. Poor neighborhoods were oversampled.

In Wave I, an average of 41 households were randomly selected and interviewed within each neighborhood, including an oversample of households with children under 18. Within each household, both adults and children were sampled and interviewed. Each sampled person was interviewed in the first wave and tracked and reinterviewed in the second wave, whether they remained in the neighborhood or moved elsewhere in Los Angeles County. Information on Wave 1 respondents who could not be reinterviewed in Wave 2 was collected from other household members. In the second wave, a fresh sample of households that had moved into the neighborhood in period between waves was also selected and interviewed. Each wave of L.A.FANS includes a household survey. In Wave I, sampled adults were asked to complete: (a) a household roster; (b) questions about household economic status, health insurance, assets, current and past participation in welfare programs (e.g., AFDC, TANF, GR, Medicaid, SSI, WIC, and housing assistance), use of private social service programs, and their neighborhood; and (c) questions about education, employment, income, migration and immigration, marital history, neighborhoods of residence, reasons for moving, and social ties and social support. Primary caregivers (usually the mother) of sampled children were asked to complete questions about themselves and the home environment. They were asked about the child's behavior problems, school-related performance and disciplinary problems, and current health and disability status, as well as child care history (including names and addresses of current providers), immigrant status, school enrollment, health and disability history, child support payments, contact with the absent parent, residence history, and use of public and private social service programs (e.g., SSI, school lunch, after-school and recreational programs, and Medicaid). Primary caregivers also completed cognitive assessments. Sampled adults and children in Wave 2 also completed a health assessment that included physical measurement of height, weight, blood pressure, lung function, salivary cortisol (for children), and collection of dried blood spots (for a subsample). Information on response rates for each wave are available in the Users’ Guides (https://www.rand.org/pubs/drafts/DRU2400z2-1.html) and (https://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WR240z20.html) and in the publication: Sastry and Pebley (2003) Non-Response in the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey. RAND Publications. (https://www.rand.org/pubs/drafts/DRU2400z7.html).

Restricted Data

Almost all L.A.FANS data are available in public use data sets. To protect respondent confidentiality and reduce the risk of deductive disclosure of respondent identity or geography, a limited set of potentially sensitive data are not available in the public use files, but are in a set of restricted data files available through a restricted data contract. Users are advised to attempt to conduct their analyses using the public use data before considering whether they need to apply for the restricted data. Users who need the restricted data for their analysis may only apply for the specific data that they need. To accommodate differing user needs, the L.A.FANS project created four version of restricted data. The availability of potentially sensitive variables in the public use and each version of restricted data is shown below in Table 1.

Comparison of different versions of L.A. FANS data

The four versions of L.A.FANS Restricted Data differ in the amount and detail of confidential information they include. A summary description of these three versions and the Public Use Data is provided in the table below.

Table 1. Comparison of different versions of L.A. FANS data

LA FANS chart