Patterns of Family Change, 1960 (ICPSR 7436)

Published: Jan 18, 2006

Principal Investigator(s):
James N. Morgan; Martin H. David; Wilbur J. Cohen; Harvey Brazer

Version V1

This study closely examined the distribution and redistribution of family income in the United States as well as family attitudes, histories, and motivations that might predict income. Data were collected on a wide range of demographic, economic, sociological, and psychological factors that affect the economic position of the family. These factors included information on present occupation and job history, the kinds of communities in which people grew up, type and adequacy of dwelling place, personality measures, religious preferences, political affiliation, family history, and data on the actions and decisions of family members. A long series of questions was asked about the educational level achieved by adults in the family and about parents' aspirations and plans for the educational and occupational attainment of their children. Also included were measures of geographic mobility, physical disabilities, labor force participation of wives, attitudes toward hard work, and achievement motivations, as well as demographic characteristics such as sex, age, and race. Detailed data were collected on three major components of family income: earnings, investments, and transfer payments. The study utilized a sample designed to provide reliable data on both low-income families and respondents with middle and high incomes for purposes of comparison. Interviews were taken with 2,997 spending units in 2,800 families comprising 3,396 adult units. The data can be analyzed using three different units: the adult unit (Part 1), in which adults were treated individually even if they did not keep separate finances, the family unit (Part 2), and the spending unit (Part 3).

Morgan, James N., David, Martin H., Cohen, Wilbur J., and Brazer, Harvey. Patterns of Family Change, 1960. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-18.

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To ensure representativeness of the sample, weights (V916 and V917) must be used in data analysis.

A cross-section sample representative of United States families was drawn for this study. In addition, a supplementary sample of low-income families was selected from the main sample used in SURVEY OF CONSUMER FINANCES, 1960 (ICPSR 7440), resulting in an over-representation of low-income families.

Adult population of the United States.

personal interviews

survey data



2006-01-18 File CB7436.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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