Baby's First Years (BFY), New York City, New Orleans, Omaha, and Twin Cities, 2018-2020 (ICPSR 37871)

Version Date: Apr 11, 2022 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Katherine A. Magnuson, University of Wisconsin--Madison; Kimberly Noble, Columbia University. Teachers College; Greg J. Duncan, University of California, Irvine; Nathan A. Fox, University of Maryland, College Park; Lisa A. Gennetian, Duke University; Hirokazu Yoshikawa, New York University; Sarah Halpern-Meekin, University of Wisconsin--Madison

https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37871.v3

Version V3 ()

  • V3 [2022-04-12]
  • V2 [2020-11-16] unpublished
  • V1 [2020-11-03] unpublished
Household Income and Child Development in the First Three Years of Life

The overall goal of the Baby's First Years study is to assess the causal role played by household income in affecting children's early cognitive, socio-emotional, and brain development. Recent advances in developmental neuroscience suggest that experiences early in life have profound and enduring impacts on the developing brain. Family economic resources shape the nature of many of these experiences, yet the extent to which they affect children's development is unknown. The Baby's First Years project is the first randomized controlled trial to provide estimates of the causal impacts of unconditional cash gifts on the cognitive, socio-emotional, and brain development of infants and toddlers in low-income U.S. families.

Specifically, 1,000 recruited mothers of infants with incomes below the federal poverty line from four diverse U.S. communities are receiving monthly cash gift payments by debit card. Mothers were initially told the gifts would last for the first 40 months of their child's life, but we have secured funding to continue the payments for at least an additional year (i.e., for a total of 52 months). Parents in the high cash gift group (n=400 in the study sample) are receiving a cash gift of $333 per month ($4,000 per year), while parents in the low cash gift group (n=600) are receiving a nominal monthly gift payment of $20 ($240 per year), also for 52 months.

In order to measure the impacts of the unconditional cash gift income on children's cognitive and behavioral development, we are assessing high and low cash gift group differences at ages 3 or 4 (and, for a subset of measures, we capture interim development at ages 1 and 2) in measures of cognitive, language, memory, self-regulation, and socio-emotional development. In order to understand the processes by which child impacts emerge, we are measuring a host of family process measures summarized in our pre-registration chart. Our four data collection points are referred to as: "baseline", "age 1", "age 2," "age 3" and "age 4."

Additional information on the project, survey design, sample, variables, and Covid-19 pandemic adjustments are available from:

  • The User Guides for Baseline and Age 1, which are included under the "Data and Documentation" tab
  • The project's website: babysfirstyears.com

The researchers request that all peer-reviewed papers using BFY Data:

  • be submitted to PubMed https://publicaccess.nih.gov immediately upon acceptance for publication
  • include the following citation to the data in their bibliography:

Citation

Magnuson, Katherine A., Noble, Kimberly, Duncan, Greg J., Fox, Nathan A., Gennetian, Lisa A., Yoshikawa, Hirokazu, and Halpern-Meekin, Sarah. Baby's First Years (BFY), New York City, New Orleans, Omaha, and Twin Cities, 2018-2020. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-04-11. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37871.v3

  • and include the following in their acknowledgements:

Acknowledgement

This research uses data from the Baby's First Years study. Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01HD087384. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. This research was additionally supported by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation; Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund; Annie E. Casey Foundation; Arrow Impact; BCBS of Louisiana Foundation; Bezos Family Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Bill Hammack and Janice Parmelee, Brady Education Fund; Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Silicon Valley Community Foundation); Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies; Child Welfare Fund; Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund; Ford Foundation; Greater New Orleans Foundation; Heising-Simons Foundation; Jacobs Foundation; JPB Foundation; J-PAL North America; New York City Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity; Perigee Fund; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Sherwood Foundation; Valhalla Foundation; Weitz Family Foundation; W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and three anonymous donors.

Principal Investigators

Katherine Magnuson, PhD; University of Wisconsin-Madison, lead PI social and behavioral science

Kimberly Noble, MD, PhD; Teachers College, Columbia University, lead PI neuroscience

In alphabetical order:

Greg Duncan, PhD; University of California, Irvine

Nathan A. Fox, PhD; University of Maryland

Lisa A. Gennetian, PhD; Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy

Hirokazu Yoshikawa, PhD; New York University

Principal Investigators of Qualitative Substudy

Sarah Halpern-Meekin, PhD; University of Wisconsin-Madison

Katherine Magnuson, PhD; University of Wisconsin-Madison

Study Management

Lauren Meyer, Teachers College, Columbia University; National Project Director

Andrea Karsh, University of California, Irvine; Administrative Director

Study Co-Investigators

Sarah Black, PhD; University of New Orleans

William Fifer, PhD; Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychobiology, Columbia University Medical Center

Michael Georgieff, MD; University of Minnesota

Joseph Isler, PhD; Columbia University Medical Center

Connie Lamm, PhD; University of Arkansas

Dennis Molfese, PhD; University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Victoria Molfese, PhD; University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Jennifer Mize Nelson, PhD; University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Timothy Nelson, PhD; University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Sonya Troller-Renfree, PhD; Teachers College, Columbia University

Study Data Collectors

Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under a contract from the University of California, Irvine, running from September 2017 through July 2023. SRC data collection operations are overseen by: Stephanie Chardoul, Director of Survey Research Operations and Piotr Dworak, Senior Survey Specialist, Survey Research Operations.

Contact

To contact the study investigators, email them at info@babysfirstyears.com

Website: babysfirstyears.com

Magnuson, Katherine A., Noble, Kimberly, Duncan, Greg J., Fox, Nathan A., Gennetian, Lisa A., Yoshikawa, Hirokazu, and Halpern-Meekin, Sarah. Baby’s First Years (BFY), New York City, New Orleans, Omaha, and Twin Cities, 2018-2020. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2022-04-11. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR37871.v3

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01HD087384), United States Department of Health and Human Services. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (RHD087384A), Annie E. Casey Foundation (214.0183), Andrew and Julie Klingenstein Family Fund, Arrow Impact, Bezos Family Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1185312), Bill Hammack and Janice Parmelee, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, Brady Education Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (Silicon Valley Community Foundation) (2017-177918), Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies (13080), Child Welfare Fund (13-1624202), Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund, Ford Foundation (0170-0832), Greater New Orleans Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation (542569), Jacobs Foundation (102535), JPB Foundation (1132), J-PAL North America (S5341), Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) North America (S5341), New York City Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity (CT1 069 20201415397), Perigee Fund, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (75592), Sherwood Foundation (4288), Valhalla Foundation, Weitz Family Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation (P3031579), Three anonymous donors

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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2018-05-01 -- 2019-06-30 (Recruitment/Baseline), 2019-07-01 -- 2020-06-30 (Age 1 Data Collection)
2018-05-01 -- 2019-06-30 (Recruitment/Baseline), 2019-07-01 -- 2020-06-30 (Age 1 Data Collection)
  1. Please see the wave-specific User Guides, located under the "Data and Documentation" tab, for technical details and other characteristics of the data collection, including measures taken to maintain participant confidentiality.

  2. All papers resulting from the use of Baby's First Years data must be submitted to PubMed upon acceptance for publication. Publications must include the study citation and acknowledgment as worded in the Summary.

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The overall goal of the Baby's First Years project is to provide the first definitive understanding of the extent to which household income plays a causal role in affecting children's cognitive, socio-emotional, and brain development early in life for children born into low-income families. Recent advances in developmental neuroscience suggest that experiences early in life have profound and enduring influences on the developing brain. Family economic resources shape the nature of many of these experiences, yet the extent to which they affect children's development is unknown. The Baby's First Years project is designed to fill important gaps in scientific knowledge about the role of economic resources in early development.

The Baby's First Years project is a randomized controlled trial that will estimate the causal impacts of unconditional cash gift payments on the cognitive, socio-emotional, and brain development of infants and toddlers in low-income U.S. families. Mothers of infants with incomes below the federal poverty line from four diverse U.S. communities (New York City, NY; New Orleans, LA; Omaha, NE; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) were recruited after giving birth at one of 12 hospitals across the four study sites. Screener and baseline interviews were administered verbally at the respondent's hospital bedside, with responses recoded by the interviewer on a laptop computer.

Mothers who agreed to participate in the study will receive monthly cash payments for the first 52 months of the child's life. Mothers were randomly assigned to high and low cash gift groups. The high cash gift group mothers (n=400) received $333 per month, while the low cash gift group mothers (n=600) received $20 per month. Quantitative data are collected at five points: baseline after child is born, at one year old, two years old, three years old, and four years old.

At follow-ups for year 1, mothers are invited to participate in an at-home visit. At years 2 and 3 they are asked to complete a phone interview. The year 4 follow-up will take place at local university settings. All consent forms and data collection instruments will be available on the study website: babysfirstyears.com.

Additional data collection modes that cannot be listed under "Mode of Data Collection" due to controlled vocabulary include:

  • video (parent child interaction)
  • audio (word count and conversational turns)
  • biomarkers: hair (cortisol) and saliva (epigenetic aging)
  • EEG (brain development)

Between May 2018 and June 2019, 1,003 mothers with incomes below the poverty threshold in four metropolitan areas in the United States were recruited in 12 hospitals shortly after giving birth. "Recruited" here means that they were judged to be eligible based on the information they provided in the screening interview, consented to and were administered a baseline interview, and were offered and agreed to receive a debit card with the monthly cash gift deposit. Within several days of recruitment, three mothers declined further participation in the study.

The intention was to recruit 250 mother/infant dyads in each of the four sites. Due to a number of IRB and other hospital-related recruiting challenges, the sample is distributed as follows: 121 mother-infant pairs in MN, 295 in LA, 295 in NE, and 289 in NY.

Longitudinal

Mothers of infants with incomes below the federal poverty line from four diverse U.S. communities (New York City, NY; New Orleans, LA; Omaha, NE; and Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN) who gave birth at one of 12 hospitals across the study sites during the baseline data collection period.

Individual, Household, Other

Baseline measures include newborn birth weight; mother and biological father race, ethnicity, education level, and relationship status; maternal work history before and after pregnancy; child care assistance; a household roster with demographics for all adults and children (relationship to respondent, age, sex, contribution to household income); income and net worth; maternal mental health; neighborhood safety; social services receipt; and use of alcohol and cigarettes before and during pregnancy.

Mother-focused measures include: household economic hardship, social services receipt, labor market and education participation, expenditures for child, housing and neighborhoods, family and maternal perceived stress, happiness and optimism, physiological stress, mental resources, physical and mental health, substance abuse, chaos in the home, relationships, parent-child interaction quality, epigenetic age, DNA methylation, frequency of parent-child activity, and discipline. Child-focused measures vary across waves but will include: language development, executive function and self-regulation, socio-emotional processing, IQ, brain function, health (BMI, physiological stress, sleep, etc.), epigenetic age and DNA methylation, and school achievement and behavior.

The construction of the sample is represented in the Consort diagram (Appendix Figure 1) in the User Guide. Its complicated nature precludes a simple response rate calculation, so instead a full description is presented. A total of 13,482 mothers who had given birth in the maternity ward at one of the study recruitment hospitals were identified for assessment of study eligibility and 8,243 were assessed through a Screener interview. Some 6,839 did not meet the inclusion criteria (described below), 341 did not sign consent forms, and 12 did not start the baseline interview for other reasons. Both the Screener and Baseline interviews were administered verbally at the respondent's hospital bedside, with responses record by the interviewer on a laptop computer. Baseline interview data were obtained from 1,051 mothers. After completing this interview, mothers were offered and asked to agree to receiving cash gifts of unspecified monthly amounts "from charitable foundations that want to help support families with new babies".

Of the 1,051 mothers who completed the baseline interview, 47 mothers did not agree to receive the gift and an additional mother refused to provide any contact information for follow-up and therefore was not offered the cash gift. The remaining 1,003 accepted the cash gifts and were randomized into the high or low cash gift groups. Of the 1,003 mothers who were randomized by site, 3 mothers were excluded because they notified the interviewer within a few days after completing the baseline interview that they wanted to withdraw from the study, and had not spent any of the money on their debit cards.

The result is a sample of 1,000 mothers. The n=1,000 sample is referred to in this documentation as the target sample.

Age 1 data collection wave: Between July, 2019, and July, 2020, we attempted to contact as many of the 1,000 study participants as possible and interview them close to their children's first birthdays. We completed interviews with 931 participants. Our performance on the age-1 data collection is summarized in the age-1 CONSORT diagram in Appendix Figure 1 of the Age-1 User Guide.

Across the entire year, six mothers refused to be interviewed, 50 mothers were not found or were unavailable to be interviewed, and 3 mothers started and immediately interrupted the interview. A small number of mothers were ineligible for the Age 1 follow-up, including sample exclusions due to infant deaths (4) mother-child separations (2), and maternal incarcerations (4). Adjusting the denominator for ineligibility, our response rate for the age-1 data collection was 94%.

The baseline data collection included one scale - the CES-D index for maternal depression [Cole, J. C., Rabin, A. S., Smith, T. L., and Kaufman, A. S. (2004). Development and validation of a Rasch-derived CES-D short form. Psychological assessment, 16(4), 360]. All scales used for outcomes at ages 1 through 3 are listed in Appendix Tables 1 and 2 in the User Guide. Please refer to the User Guide and P.I. Codebook, available under the "Data and Documentation" tab, for details.

Age 1 Common Scales

Squires, J., Bricker, D. D., and Twombly, E. (2009). Ages and stages questionnaires. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.

Briggs-Gowan, M. J., Carter, A. S., Irwin, J. R., Wachtel, K., and Cicchetti, D. V. (2004). The Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment: screening for social-emotional problems and delays in competence. Journal of pediatric psychology, 29(2), 143-155.

Yu, L., Buysse, D. J., Germain, A., Moul, D. E., Stover, A., Dodds, N. E., ... and Pilkonis, P. A. (2012). Development of short forms from the PROMIS sleep disturbance and sleep-related impairment item banks. Behavioral sleep medicine, 10(1), 6-24.

Food Insecurity: https://www.ers.usda.gov/media/8282/short2012.pdf

Cohen, S., Kamarck, T., and Mermelstein, R. (1994). Perceived stress scale. Measuring stress: A guide for health and social scientists.

Global Happiness: The General Social Survey from NORC at the University of Chicago, retrieved from: http://gss.norc.org/Get-Documentation/questionnaires

Maternal Agency: Snyder, C.R., Harris, C., Anderson, J.R., Holleran, S.A., Irving, L.M., Sigmon, S.T., Yoshinobu, L., Gibb, J., Langelle, C., Harney, P. (1991). The will and the ways: development and vaildation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60(4), 570-585.

Kroenke, K. and Spitzer, R.L. (2002). The PHQ-9: a new depression diagnostic and severity measure. Psychiatric annals, 32(9), 509-515.

Steer, R.A. and Beck, A.T., (1997). Beck Anxiety Inventory. In C.P. Zalaquett and R.J. Wood (Eds), Evaluating stress: A book of resources (pp. 23-40). Lanham, MD, US: Scarecrow Education

Evans, G.W., Gonnella, C., Marcynyszyn, L.A., Gentile, L, and Salpekar, N. (2005). The role of chaos in poverty and children's socioemotional adjustment. Psychological Science, 16(7), 560-565.

Maternal Global Health: Idler, E. L., and Benyamini, Y. (1997). Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies. Journal of health and social behavior, 21-37.

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2020-11-03

2022-04-11 Added two Spanish instruments to the Baseline Data documentation and released Age 1 Data and documentation files.

2020-11-16 The ICPSR codebook was updated.

2020-11-03 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.
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There was no oversampling of population subgroups and assignment to cash gift group was predetermined by an algorithm embedded in the computer-assisted interview software. Thus, no weighting is necessary to obtain Intent-To-Treat estimates for births to low-income women in the twelve hospitals distributed across four sites. The timing of interviewer shifts in the 12 hospitals was based on administrative convenience rather than any attempt to obtain a formal population sample from the hospitals. The random nature of births across interviewer shifts contributes to the population diversity of the sample.

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Notes

  • 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.