UC Berkeley Social Networks Study (UCNets), San Francisco Bay Area, 2015-2018 (ICPSR 36975)

Version Date: Jul 22, 2020 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Claude S. Fischer, University of California, Berkeley


Version V2 ()

  • V2 [2020-07-22]
  • V1 [2018-01-31] unpublished
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The University of California Social Networks Study

Understanding How Personal Networks Change: Wave 1 (UCNets) is the University of California Berkeley Social Networks Study, a longitudinal study with the objective of understanding how network composition changes over time as a result of life course transitions - e.g., graduation, marriage, retirement or widowhood - and how these changes are related to health status and outcomes. Using mostly addressed-based sampling from six San Francisco Bay Area counties, the study recruited participants in two age groups (cohorts) - 21-30 year-olds and 50-70 year-olds -- to maximize the possibility of experiencing a life transition. There are 3 waves of interviewing. The first interview, Wave 1, was May 2015 through January 2016. The re-interview for Wave 2 was conducted in Feb-June 2017, and Wave 3 was during Feb-May 2018. In Wave 1, the majority of respondents completed a face-to-face (FTF) survey, with the rest filling out a comparable web survey. In Wave 2 about half completed the FTF survey, and in Wave 3, about one-quarter. The survey contains items regarding households, personal networks, family milestones, employment, health status and behavior, personality and demographic characteristics.

Fischer, Claude S. UC Berkeley Social Networks Study (UCNets), San Francisco Bay Area, 2015-2018. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-07-22. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36975.v2

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United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Aging (R01AG041955-01)


Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

2015 -- 2016, 2017, 2018
2015-04 -- 2016-01, 2017-02 -- 2017-06, 2018-02 -- 2018-05
  1. For additional information on the Understanding How Personal Networks Change study, please visit the UCNets Web site.

Using an address-based sampling (ABS), potential respondents were sent a letter inviting them to participate in the survey. The letter directed them to call a toll-free number or visit a website to take a screener survey to confirm age group, as well as randomize the selection by age group and within age group. Then qualifying respondents were randomly selected such that 3 out of 4 were directed to a face-to-face (FTF) survey and the others to a web survey.

Longitudinal: Panel

Adults in two cohorts, age 21-30 and 50-70 years old at the time of enrollment.


Among the older population, the cumulative response rate was about three percent.



2020-07-22 This update includes the addition of new waves of data and an updated wave 1 data set. New and updated documentation has also been added.

2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Fischer, Claude S. UC Berkeley Social Networks Study (UCNets), San Francisco Bay Area, 2015-2018. ICPSR36975-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2020-07-22. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36975.v2

2018-01-31 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:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

There are two variables for each case in the Public Use Ego Wave data sets. The first weight variables (WEIGHT_DEMO, WEIGHT_W2_DEMO, WEIGHT_W3_DEMO) matches the conjoint sociodemographic distributions of six attributes in the sample to that of the six Bay Area counties (using the 2014 American Community Survey) for each age group. The second weight variables include WT_W1_DEM_95_INF, WT_W2_95_INF, and WT_W3_95_INF which represents the variable WEIGHT_DEMO trimmed by 5%, respectively.



  • 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.

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This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).