National Survey of Parents, 1999-2001 (ICPSR 4247)

Version Date: Mar 25, 2010 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Suzanne M. Bianchi, University of Maryland-College Park. Department of Sociology. Survey Research Center; John Robinson, University of Maryland-College Park. Department of Sociology. Survey Research Center

Version V2

The National Survey of Parents, 1999-2001 was designed to collect data on the activity patterns of American parents and on how they divide their time among work, household tasks, child care, and leisure activities. Information on feelings about various parenting activities was also ascertained.

Using established time-diary procedures with Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI), respondents were asked to complete "yesterday" time diaries. These diaries detailed respondents' primary activities from midnight to midnight of the previous day, their secondary activities (e.g., activities that occurred simultaneously with the primary activities), and when, with whom, and where they engaged in the activities. In addition to estimates of time use, the project elicited information on (1) age, race/ethnicity, family income, marital status, education, and employment status of the respondent and spouse (if married), (2) weekly estimates of time spent in different activities with children, (3) feelings of time pressure, and (4) enjoyment of certain parenting activities.

There are two different data files available. Part 1, Main Data, contains 1,200 respondent records that include respondent and household characteristics, questions about feelings and time pressure, and survey weights. This file also contains aggregated measures of minutes per day in 99 detailed primary time activities, time spent in 13 locations, and time spent with different categories of people. The Main Data Codebook documents the variables contained in Part 1.

Part 2, Time Diary Data, contains 24,814 activity records collected in the time diary. Each primary activity record also contains information on any simultaneous secondary activity, the location code for where the primary activity took place, and the "with whom" code for each primary activity. The Time Diary Codebook and Time Diary Questionnaire document the variables contained in the Part 2.

Users who wish to link the two files should use the variable pid contained in both data files.

Bianchi, Suzanne M., and Robinson, John. National Survey of Parents, 1999-2001. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-03-25.

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Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (SRC Project Number 1352)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1999 -- 2000
1999-05 -- 2000-06

The original coding of the time diaries and the final dataset preparation did not include respondent age. An attempt to recontact households and get respondent ages was made in late March and early April 2001. The missing information was obtained for 803 households. Age was imputed for the remainder of the sample from other information (e.g., age of spouse). Details are provided in the discussion of constructed variables and imputation flags.

The sample was selected from a One Plus list-assisted Random Digit Dial (RDD) frame and was designed to yield approximately 1,200 interviews from the 48 states plus the District of Columbia with approximately equal numbers of completed interviews done for each day of the week.

Parents age 18 or older who were living with at least one of their children under age 18 and residing in a household with a telephone in the contiguous United States.

individuals (adult)

The estimated response rate is 63.5 percent.


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Bianchi, Suzanne M., and John Robinson. National Survey of Parents, 1999-2001. ICPSR04247-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-03-25.

2010-03-25 A few of the Main Data variables (newinc, ageimp, finalwt, weight) were modified to include decimal places.

The National Survey of Parents, 1999-2001 data include two analysis weights. The first weight (WEIGHT) is included in the main data file and is needed to account for households with more than one nonbusiness telephone number. The weight was calculated as the reciprocal of the respondent's to a question about the number of nonbusiness telephone lines in a household, and it served as the correction for multiple nonbusiness telephones in a household. This weight should be used for all analysis involving the telephone data and for the construction of any post stratification weights.

The second weight (FINALWT) is a combined variable that adjusts for survey design, post-stratification, and the day of the week that the interview occurred. This weight was normed so that it sums to the number of completed interviews. Post-stratification adjustments were made to correct discrepancies between the sample distribution on sex, age, education, race/ethnicity, and census region, as well as 2000 Current Population Survey distributions. The day of the week adjustment corrects for the unequal number of interviews collected on each of the seven days of week and was calculated using a ratio of 14.3 percent (i.e., one-seventh) to the actual percentage of the interviews completed on that day of week.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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This study is maintained and distributed by the Child and Family Data Archive (C&F Data Archive). C&F Data Archive hosts datasets about young children, their families and communities, and the programs that serve them. The C&F Data Archive is supported by Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE), an office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.