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Tracking Family Structure in ALSPAC David W Lawson & Ruth Mace Human Evolutionary Ecology Group University College London.

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Presentation on theme: "Tracking Family Structure in ALSPAC David W Lawson & Ruth Mace Human Evolutionary Ecology Group University College London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tracking Family Structure in ALSPAC David W Lawson & Ruth Mace Human Evolutionary Ecology Group University College London

2 Tracking Family Structure in ALSPAC 1. Family Structure Data in ALSPAC 2. An Example of Using the Data Lawson, D.W. & Mace, R. (submitted). Trade-offs in modern parenting: a longitudinal study of sibling competition for parental care. Evolution and Human Behavior - Fathers - Siblings

3 400+ variables reference family structure. Most data unevenly distributed across 6/7 key points: (mother questionnaires) (Child questionnaires) With other relevant data spread in between. A GHJMQN?? KBKDKQ KU Distribution of Family Data in ALSPAC

4 Tracking Fathers: A. Parental Relationship at Birth 75% married and cohabiting 16% unmarried cohabiting 5% unmarried not cohabiting i. Mothers Relationship to Childs Father in Pregnancy A (Mothers Questionnaire A: a520, a521)

5 Tracking Fathers: A. Parental Relationship at Birth A ii. Prior Length of Relationship to Childs Father at Pregnancy (Mothers Questionnaire A: a523yy) Mode: 3 years

6 Tracking Fathers: B. Father Presence Over Time A GHJMQ i. Option 1: Age at which biological father leaves (Key Point Data: g521, h401, j375, Mc4b1yr, Mc4b1mth, QC4bi) 20% of absent fathers, absent from birth. Advantages: Gives us exact age dad left. Disadvantages: Doesnt tell us about replacement father figures.

7 A GHJMQ ii. Option 2: Live-in Father-Figure Variable x Cohab data (Key Point Data: h400,h376, j374, j365b, Mc4a, Mc1b2, g520, g506, g521, h401, j375, Mc4b1yr, Mc4b1mth, QC4b1 QC4a, QC1b2) Objectifies father-figure as live-in partner of mother Advantages: Tracks non biological father figures. Can impute some missing data. Necessary for coding sibling relatedness Disadvantages: Restricted to unevenly distributed key points Note: Able to cross reference each option and impute some missing. Tracking Fathers: B. Father Presence Over Time

8 A GHJMQ i. Financial Investment: How frequently does the bio father provide financial support? ii. Time Investment: How often does the bio father see the child? (Key Point Data: g523, h403, j377, Mc4b3, QC4b3) (Key Point Data: g522, h402, j376, Mc4b2, QC4b2) Tracking Fathers: C. Investment from Absent Fathers

9 A GHJMQ Absent fathers more likely to invest later in study period Tracking Fathers: C. Investment from Absent Fathers

10 i. Option 1: Matching Repeated Questions on Cohabitation and Marital Status Advantages: Great Survey – No. of Live in Relationships of Mother, Dates for start and end for last 4 relationships. Disadvantages: Only available for the ~8,000 that filled in questionnaire M. No comparable surveys in later waves, stops at M. ii. Option 2: One-off Relationship Survey at Questionnaire M (7y1m) M Many repeated but differently distributed questions, could be matched up: * Is mum cohabiting with partner?, * current marital status? Disadvantages: Difficult tell if partner is changing even if mothers status stays the same. Does not tell us about fathers relationship to the study child. Tracking Fathers: D. Relationship Status Over Time

11 A GHJMQ i. Total Number of Resident Siblings ii. Total Number of Non-Resident Siblings (Key Point Data: g530, g531, g532, h411, h410, h412, j382, j383, j384, Mc5a, Mc5b, Mc5c, QC5a, QC5b, QC5c) (Key Point Data: g536, g538, g540, h415, h417, h419, j386b, j387b, 388b, Mc6anum,Mc6bnum, Mc6cnum, QC6ano, QC6bno, QC6cno) At 10 years, 10% of families have at least one non resident sibling Limitations: Residence is not clearly objectified e.g. does it include kids at boarding school/university? Or kids living with different carers?? Tracking Siblings: A. Number of Siblings

12 A GHJMQ iii. Sum: Total Number of Siblings Around 50% of kids are only children at birth, but only 10% are only children by Age 10. Tracking Siblings: A. Number of Siblings

13 A GHJMQ i. Number of Siblings Related to Live-in Father Figure (Key Point Data: g530, g531, g532, h411, h410, h412, j382, j383, j384, Mc5a, Mc5b, Mc5c, QC5a, QC5b, QC5c) + Data on who the current father figure is, so we can subtract study child from total number and also know if a man is actually in the house! Limitations: All of this data contains no information on age or sex of children… Tracking Siblings: B. Relatedness

14 A GHJMQ KBKDKQ KU i.Centring Relative Age and Sex Data to Key Points: (kb590, kb591, kb592, kd451, kd452, kd453, kd432, kd453, kd454, j420,j422, j4228a/b j420a/b, j422a/b, kq637, kq636a/b kq630, kq631, kq633, kq634, kq632, kq635, kud63b1bro, kud6b1sis, kud6b2bro, kud6b2sis) Lots of imputation... Tracking Siblings: C. Sex & Relative Age

15 A GHJMQ Limitations: All of this data specifically makes reference only to currently coresident children. Imputation leads to some inconsistencies in data… Still dont how actual age of siblings. YSibs: just arrival windows OSibs: only know DOB of next oldest from interpreg interval. Tracking Siblings: C. Sex & Relative Age

16 i. Data from past relationship survey at Questionnaire M (7y 1m) Advantages: Good Survey – DOB of each child associated with last 4 live in relationships Disadvantages: Only available for the ~8,000 that filled in questionnaire M. Dont have comparable surveys in later waves, stops at M. While tells us relatedness and DOB, doesnt tell us sex or residence of each child. M Tracking Siblings: D. D.O.B.

17 Acknowledgements ESRC & Parkes Foundation (Funding) Jill Greenberg (Images) Jon Heron, Jean Golding & ALSPAC (Data) Human Evolutionary Ecology Group Lawson, D.W. & Mace, R. (submitted). Trade-offs in modern parenting: a longitudinal study of sibling competition for parental care. Evolution and Human Behavior Lawson, D.W. & Mace, R. (in press). Sibling configuration and childhood growth in contemporary British families. International Journal of Epidemiology


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