This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.

Patterns of Family Change, 1960 (ICPSR 7436)

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


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).

Access Notes

  • One or more data files in this study are set up in a non-standard format, such as card image format. Users may need help converting these files before they can be used for analysis.

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.


DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Adult Unit - Download All Files (7.414 MB)
DS2:  Family Unit - Download All Files (7.446 MB)
DS3:  Spending Unit - Download All Files (8.46 MB)

Study Description


Morgan, James N., Martin H. David, Wilbur J. Cohen, and Harvey Brazer. Patterns of Family Change, 1960. ICPSR07436-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1976. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07436.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07436.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • Ford Foundation

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    economic conditions, employment, families, family history, financial management, household expenditures, household income, income, investment returns, investments, lifestyles, personal finances, personal income, psychological wellbeing, social life, social stratification, standard of living, work, work attitudes

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 1960

Date of Collection:   

  • 1960

Universe:    Adult population of the United States.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

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


Sample:    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.

Data Source:

personal interviews


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

Version History:

  • 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.

Related Publications


Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics