Health and Medical Care Archive

This study is maintained and distributed by the Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA). HMCA is the official data archive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Memphis New Mothers Study, 1990-1994 (ICPSR 6782)

Principal Investigator(s): Olds, David, University of Rochester. Department of Pediatrics and School of Nursing; Kitzman, Harriet, University of Rochester. Department of Pediatrics and School of Nursing


This study was a randomized trial that tested the effectiveness of home visitation by nurses as a means of enhancing the health and well-being of socially disadvantaged women and their first-born children. Low-income, pregnant women bearing first babies were randomly assigned to four treatment groups: (1) subjects that received free transportation to prenatal care, (2) subjects that received transportation to prenatal care and developmental screening for the children, (3) subjects that received transportation to prenatal care and developmental screening, plus prenatal home visits by nurses, and (4) subjects that received transportation to prenatal care, developmental screening, prenatal home visits, and postnatal home visits by nurses. Assessments of the women covered health-related behaviors, mother's care-giving environment, child's health and development, levels of social support, mother's psychological resources, personal life-course development, and costs of health care. Variables measuring health-related behaviors included the use of cigarettes and illegal drugs and the presence of sexually-transmitted diseases. The mother's care-giving environment and the child's health and development were evaluated by the Bavolek adult-adolescent parenting interview score, the Caldwell home observation scale, the Bayley mental development index, the Achenbach child behavioral problems inventory, and other indices. Levels of social support were evaluated by the amount of support expected to be received from a boyfriend or husband and the mother's mother. Assessments of maternal psychological resources included the Pearlin mastery scale, the Shipley IQ score, and the Bandura self-efficacy score. Personal life-course development was assessed by the respondents' educational and occupational achievements, and the numbers of subsequent pregnancies and children. Variables measuring the effect of the program on the cost of health care include number of hospital emergency room visits, number of hospitalizations, total length of stay, number of well-child and ill-child doctor visits, and use of community social services. Other variables provide information on age at birth, pre-pregnancy weight, birth weight and gender, race, employment status, income, housing density, and education.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    Variable DELVDATE (child's date of birth) is restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to these data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal, which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any 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.


Dataset - Download All Files (20.346 MB)

Study Description


Olds, David, and Harriet Kitzman. Memphis New Mothers Study, 1990-1994. ICPSR06782-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1998.

Persistent URL:

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF: 17934)
  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Insititute of Nursing Research (NCNR: 1-RO1-NRO1691-01A1)
  • William T. Grant Foundation (WTGF: 88-1246-88 and 91-1246-88)
  • Pew Charitable Trusts ( Pew: 88-02011-000)
  • Carnegie Corporation (Carnegie: B5027 andB5492)
  • Smith Richardson Foundation (Smith Richardson: 1034-9102 and 1298-92-10)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    health behavior, health care services, prenatal care, visiting nurses

Geographic Coverage:    Memphis, Tennessee, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1990-06-01--1994-04-30

Date of Collection:   

  • 1990-06-01--1994-04-30

Universe:    Low-income primiparas who were residents of Memphis, Tennessee, were registered in the study prior to the 29th week of pregnancy, and had no more than one of the following characteristics: (1) high school diploma, (2) married, (3) currently employed.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data, clinical data, survey data

Data Collection Notes:

The SAS transport file was produced with the SAS XPORT engine.

This data collection comprises an analysis dataset that represents only a subset of the variables generated by this study.


Sample:    Sampling was limited to patients registered for care in the Regional Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee.

Data Source:

(1) personal interviews, (2) home observations, (3) abstracts from clinic and hospital medical records and child developmental tests, (4) Tennessee Department of Human Services tape files of charges for welfare services, food stamps, and Medicaid, and (5) telephone interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1996-11-21

Version History:

  • 1998-10-05 The data have been augmented with 13 new cases and 45 new variables, on topics such as employment, education, well-child and ill-child doctor visits, pre-pregnancy weight, and baby's gender.
  • 1998-01-12 Documentation for this study is now available as a PDF format.

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