News

Regina Foglia appointed to Office/Business Manager of the CRCW

Dr Kathryn Edin, director of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW) and PI of FFCWS, is pleased to announce the appointment of Regina Foglia to the position of Office/Business Manager of the CRCW effective 3/21/22. In this new role, Regina will conduct day to day and strategic human resources, external and internal…

Marta Tienda joins CRCW

Marta Tienda is the Maurice P During Professor in Demographic Studies; Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs, Emeritus; and joins CRCW as a Visiting Senior Research Scholar.

Dr. Tienda's research has focused on race and ethnic differences in various metrics of social inequality – ranging from poverty and welfare to education and…

Now Accepting Applications for 2022 Summer Data Workshop

The Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC) is accepting applications for the Fragile Families Summer Data Workshop to be held in-person (virtual attendance is available) June 22-24, 2022. Travel and hotel costs will be covered for successful applicants. This workshop is designed to familiarize early career scholars in the social sciences,…

Two New Data Files Released

The Fragile Families Year 15 Sleep Actigraphy Dataset has been added to Princeton University's Office of Population Research (OPR) data archive as a separate public file for download. It contains participant-level data that correspond to daily mean…

Founding PI, Sara McLanahan

Sara McLanahan passed away on December 31st at 3:15 p.m., just a few days after her eighty-first birthday and five months after her retirement as the Princeton's William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs.

Sara was at home with all of her children and her husband of forty-one years, Irv Garfinkel. Her family told me that…

Dr. Sarah Gold Appointed CRCW Director of Research and Policy

Dr. Kathryn Edin, director of the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing (CRCW), is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Sarah Gold to the position of CRCW Director, Research and Policy, effective 1/1/2022. In this new role, Sarah will maintain day to day leadership of Center operations, lead policy outreach based on the Center’s and its…

New Collaborative Study to Follow Third Generation of Fragile Families Participants

Researchers at Princeton University, Columbia University, Rutgers University, and the University of Michigan received a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD 1R01HD103669) to study the third generation of participants of the Fragile…

Sara McLanahan, Founding PI, Retires

Sara McLanahan, the William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and Founding PI of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, is retiring this spring. Please join us in celebrating the many accomplishments and contributions of Dr. McLanahan!

Spotlight on Mass Incarceration, Police Contact, and School Discipline

A core strength of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study is its significant representation of Black and Latinx families. Many researchers have used these data to study the impacts of mass incarceration, police contact, and school discipline, which disproportionately affect communities of color.

Over the past months, we have…

Spotlight on FFCWS and Incarceration Research

Recent publications using the Fragile Families & Child Wellbeing data provide a family-wide view of the effects of parental incarceration on child behavior, family dynamics and and child support, as well as the effects of police contact on child health.

Recent publications

Fragile Families Challenge Mass Collaboration Paper Published

If hundreds of scientists created predictive algorithms with high-quality data, how well would the best predict life outcomes? Not very well. The paper summarizing the methods and results of the Fragile Families Challenge led by Matt Salganik and Ian Lundberg has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy…

Kristin Catena Promoted to Research Manager of the Fragile Families Projects

Sara McLanahan and Kathy Edin would like to announce the promotion of Kristin Catena to Research Manager of the Fragile Families Projects.

Kristin came to the study as a part time Researcher in 2014 and was hired full time as a Research Specialist II in August of 2015.

In the last six…

Understanding Deep Disadvantage in America: A Conversation with Kathryn Edin

Fragile Families Co-PI Kathy Edin spoke to Spotlight On Poverty and Opportunity about the "Index of Deep Disadvantage", a measure of poverty that "looks at a range of factors beyond…

New index ranks America’s 100 most disadvantaged communities

A new Index of Deep Disadvantage seeks to unpack poverty beyond income-based measures to other dimensions of disadvantage, including health and social mobility.

The index, developed by researchers at Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing and the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions Initiative, reveals…

Fragile Families Collaborative Project informs PA report on school start times

Research coming from the Fragile Families collaborative project Biopsychosocial Determinants of Sleep and Wellbeing for Teens in FFCWS, led by PI's Lauren Hale and Orfeu Buxton, has helped to inform a recent report on school start times from the Pennsylvania Joint State Commission on School Start Times. "Buxton, professor of biobehavioral…

FFCWS Co-PI Jane Waldfogel testified to the Joint Economic Committee

FFCWS Co-PI Jane Waldfogel testified to the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress on September 10th, 2019. Waldfogel talked about how current public policies improve family and child well-being, and what needs to be done to better support American families in the future.

To learn more, read the full speech at

Data Collection for Wave 7 Scheduled to Begin in 2020

We are happy to announce our plans for the seventh wave of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study!

Fieldwork will begin in 2020, when our focal children are approximately 22 years old. This wave will include a survey with the “focal child” as a young adult as well as with…

ABC6 News Covers School Discipline Findings from Owens and McLanahan

John Krinjak from ABC6 News, Providence, RI, interviewed Jayanti Owens about her findings on racial disparities in school discipline. Looking at approximately 5,000 elementary students across the country, Owens and FFCWS Co…

National Sleep Foundation Names Orfeu Buxton New Editor for Sleep Health Journal

The National Sleep Foundation has named Orfeu M. Buxton, PhD, Co-PI of "Biopsychosocial Determinants of Sleep and Wellbeing for Teens in FFCWS," as the next editor-in-chief for its journal Sleep Health. Buxton is professor of biobehavioral health and director of the Sleep, Health & Society Collaboratory at Pennsylvania State…

Fragile Families Collaborative Study PI Receives Presidential Award

Colter Mitchell, the Principal Investigator on the "Adolescent Wellbeing and Brain Development" collaborative study, received the

Lauren Hale to Speak on International Panel of Experts, Explain How Digital Media Affects Developing Minds

On Thursday May 16, a group of international experts will make up a panel at Stony Brook University that  tackles the question:  What effect is digital media having on the brain and even body development of children?

The distinguished panel includes Co-PI of "Biopsychosocial Determinants of Sleep and Wellbeing for Teens in FFCWS",…

Fragile Families Co-PI Kathy Edin Featured in NYT Op-Ed

FFCWS Co-PI Kathy Edin's paper "The Tenuous Attachments of Working Class Men" was recently cited in the New York Times opinion piece by David Brooks, The Rise of the Haphazard Self. This column…

Sara McLanahan Receives PAA's Robert J. Lapham Award

Fragile Families Co-PI Sara McLanahan received the Population Association of America's Robert J. Lapham Award at this year's annual meeting. The Robert J. Lapham Award recognizes members of PAA who contributed to the population profession through the application of demographic knowledge to policy issues. The award is given…

Fragile Families Co-PI's Elected to Membership in AAAS

Fragile Families Co-Principal Investigators, Sara McLanahan and Kathy Edin, have been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Sara McLanahan is the William S. Tod Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs and director of the Center for Research on Child Well-Being. She is a principal…

Podcast: Kathryn Edin on "Future Hindsight"

Fragile Families Co-PI Kathryn Edin recently spoke on the "Future Hindsight" podcast about her work in "the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family, life, and neighborhood contexts through direct, in-depth observations of the lives of low-income populations". In this episode, they discuss "the evisceration of welfare, the rise of…

FFCWS highlighted in BBC report on single parenting

FFCWS Co-PI Sara McLanahan was interviewed about the study for this BBC article from February 5th, titled "Do children in two-parent families do better?"

The article highlights some of the findings from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study and compares the results to…

Kristin Turney Named RSF Visiting Scholar

We at the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study are happy to congratulate Kristin Turney for being named a RSF Visiting Scholar for the class of 2019–2020!

Turney will use…

Podcast: Lenna Nepomnyaschy on the Role of Fathers in Reducing Inequality in Child Outcomes

Lenna Nepomnyaschy of the Rutgers School of Social Work recently spoke about her work with FFCWS data for the Poverty Research and Policy Podcast at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Institute for Research on Poverty. In this episode, she talks about a study she did with Dan Miller, Maureen Waller,…

Jane Waldfogel Highlights International Experiences on Childhood Policies

FFCWS Co-PI Jane Waldfogel gave a presentation at the international seminar "Public policies in family and childhood. Lessons from international experience," held during November in Santiago, Chile, and organized by the Universidad Católica’s 

Kathryn Edin and Colleagues Launch American Voices Project

FFCWS Co-PI, Kathryn Edin, and colleagues are launching a new study - the American Voices Project - a joint initiative of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, and the American Institutes for Research. You can now listen to…

The Father Factor: A Critical Link in Building Strong Families and Communities

FFCWS Co-PI, Kathryn Edin presented her research on fatherhood Thursday, November 29 at "The Father Factor: A Critical Link in Building Strong Families and Communities", at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

If you missed it, you can see Ascend at the Aspen Institute and GOOD+ Foundation share research, highlight promising…

Fall 2018 FFCWS Data Re-release

We are happy to announce the Fall 2018 Re-Release of the FFCWS public data and documentation! This re-release includes new and improved data files for all FFCWS data from baseline through Year 15, along with improved accompanying documentation. Year 15 Weights are now also available.

Data users may see the

FFCWS Metadata Explorer

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the FFCWS Metadata Explorer! The Metadata Explorer website allows users to browse and sort FFCWS variables by topic, wave, respondent, focal person, scales, survey, source, and variable type or to perform more detailed queries and/or text…

AAP Policy Statement on Effective Discipline

The American Academy of Pediatrics put out a policy statement on the adverse outcomes associated with corporal punishment, citing FFCWS research showing a correlation between spanking and higher levels of aggression and externalizing behavior. See below for the abstract and link to the full paper.

Privacy, ethics, and data access: A case study of the Fragile Families Challenge

A recent blog post by Ian Lundberg on Freedom to Tinker summarizes a paper about the privacy and ethics process from the Fragile Families Challenge. The paper will appear in a special issue of the journal …

Princeton’s first AI4ALL summer program takes on Fragile Families Challenge

Princeton’s inaugural AI4ALL summer program brought 32 rising 11th-graders to campus for an immersive residential camp, July 23 to Aug. 11. The program aims to bring young people from underrepresented groups into the growing field of artificial intelligence (AI), a branch of computer science that…

Matthew Salganik Appointed to Mathematica Board of Directors

Mathematica today announced the appointment of Matthew Salganik to serve as a member of the organization’s board of directors. PI of the Fragile Families Challenge and author of Bit by Bit: Social Research in the Digital Age, Salganik…

Kathy Edin Interviewed on the Arthur Brooks Show

FFCWS investigator, Kathy Edin spoke with Arthur Brooks about how stories can complicate data and show us a fuller picture on The Arthur Brooks Show.

Listen to “Tell Me a Story” here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-arthur-brooks-show…

FF Challenge Featured on NPR's Invisibilia Podcast

Work from the Fragile Families Challenge was recently featured on NPR's Invisibilia podcast, which combines human interest stories with current scientific research to explore the unseeable forces which control human behavior and…

Lesbian and bisexual girls at greater risk for school discipline

Teen girls who are attracted to other girls are far more likely than other students to be suspended or expelled from school, according to a study by Joel Mittleman, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Princeton University.

Year 15 Data Now Available

We are pleased to announce that the data from our sixth wave of data collection, the Year 15 follow-up wave, are now available for download through the OPR Data Archive!

Data collection for the Year 15 follow-up wave began in February 2014, around the focal child’s fifteenth birthday,…

Videos Now Available: FF Challenge Scientific Workshop

The Fragile Families Challenge Scientific Workshop was a two-day event. On the first day, authors led small group discussions about their papers for the

Fragile Families Challenge uses ‘big data’ to answer big questions

What would happen if hundreds of social scientists and data scientists worked together on a scientific challenge to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in the United States? The Fragile Families Challenge, an ongoing mass research collaboration that uses “big data” collected as part…

Updated Fragile Families Publication Search Now Available!

The FFCWS Publication Archive has been redesigned and is now available with new search features and abstracts!

You can now search by: Keywords Author's last name Publication type Text search of the title and abstract

View forthcoming and published journal articles, working papers …

At the cellular level, a child’s loss of a father is associated with increased stress

The absence of a father — due to incarceration, death, separation or divorce — has adverse physical and behavioral consequences for a growing child. But little is known about the biological processes that underlie this link between father loss and child well-being.

In a

FF Challenge Prize Winners Announced

The Fragile Families Challenge received over 3,000 submissions from more 150 teams between the pilot launch on March 3, 2017, and the close on August 1, 2017. Each team’s final submission score on the holdout set is provided at this link. We are excited to now announce the…

"Lower-income children Raised in Counties with High Upward Mobility Display Fewer Behavioral Issues, Perform Better on Cognitive Tests"

The Woodrow Wilson School has published a press release, "Lower-Income Children Raised in Counties With High Upward Mobility Display Fewer Behavioral Issues, Perform Better on…

New Scientist Highlights FFCWS Work on Sleep and Telomere Length

The New Scientist recently published an article "Children who sleep less may age faster at a cellular level", which covers recent findings from FFCWS research on youth sleep and telomere length. Using data from our Age…