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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Designing New Models for Explaining Family Change and Variation


Twenty years ago NICHD issued a request for proposals that resulted in the National Survey of Families and Households, a unique survey that has provided valuable data to a wide range of family scholars. This paper describes the efforts of an interdisciplinary group to build on the progress enabled by the NSFH and many other theoretical and methodological innovations since then. The paper reports on a new NICHD-funded project to develop plans for research and data collection to address the central question of what causes family change and variation. We outline the group’s initial assessments of orienting frameworks, key aspects of family life to study, and theoretical and methodological challenges for research on family change.

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