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Detroit Area Study, 1955: A Description of Urban Kinship Patterns and The Urban Family (ICPSR 7319)

Principal Investigator(s): Axelrod, Morris; Blood, Robert


This collection provides information on 731 married wives of couples living in the Detroit metropolitan area in 1955. Data are provided on the frequency and interaction of respondents with their relatives, as well as their attitudes on family. The collection is a combination of two studies: A DESCRIPTION OF URBAN KINSHIP PATTERNS by Morris Axelrod, and THE URBAN FAMILY by Robert Blood. Data are provided on the frequency of and reasons for large family gatherings, the nature of help that the respondent's family received from relatives, the nature of help that the respondent gave to relatives, and the nature of the relationship with the respondent's relatives on both sides of the family. Other questions explored respondents' family attitudes. They were asked about the division of labor and decision-making processes in their homes, their interactions with their spouses, including communication between them and the causes and methods of handling disagreements, and their attitudes toward marriage in general. In addition, the respondents were asked about expected family size and what they felt the advantages were of having children. Also probed was their use of leisure time. Demographic variables specify age, sex, race, education, marital status, occupation, family income, length of residence in the Detroit area, home ownership, and religious preferences.

More information about the Detroit Area Studies Project is available on this Web site.

Series: Detroit Area Studies Series

Access Notes

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Detroit Area Study, 1955: A Description of Urban Kinship Patterns and The Urban Family - Download All Files (25.138 MB)
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Study Description


Axelrod, Morris, and Robert Blood. Detroit Area Study, 1955: A Description of Urban Kinship Patterns and The Urban Family. ICPSR07319-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2010-08-20.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    birth expectations, cities, economic behavior, extended families, families, family life, family relations, family size, interpersonal communication, leisure, political affiliation, political attitudes, political participation, spouses, urban areas

Geographic Coverage:    Detroit, Michigan, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1955

Date of Collection:   

  • 1955 (spring)

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Persons aged 21 or older living in households in Wayne County, Michigan.

Data Collection Notes:

The data available for download are not weighted and users will need to weight the data prior to analysis.

Although this study also included a sample of interviews conducted in Macomb and Oakland Counties, this data is not included in this collection.

More information about the Detroit Area Studies Project is available on the Detroit Area Studies Project Web site.

Variables V125, V386, V389-V396, V398-V399, V401-V402, V404-V405, V407-V411, V415-V416, V418-V425, V428, V430-V436 and V525-V526 contain unknown codes.


Sample:    A cross-section sample of wives of married couples living in the Detroit metropolitan area in 1955.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview

Data Source:

personal interviews

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

Version History:

  • 2010-08-20 SPSS, SAS, and Stata setup files and ready-to-go files were released with variable labels and value labels. Online analysis capabilities with question text were also added.

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