The Design of Multilevel Survey of Children, Families, and Communities: The Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey
In the last ten years, there has been a growing interest in the role of neighborhoods in shaping a variety of outcomes for families, adults, and children. Although theoretical perspectives are well advanced and the basic statistical methods for modeling neighborhood effects are in place, a major shortcoming concerns the limitations of existing datasets. Recent studies concerned with understanding children's outcomes have not been designed with the explicit goal of supporting multilevel modeling. This makes it difficult to address the most important unresolved research issue in this area, which is to develop an understanding of the causal effects of neighborhoods factors. In this paper, the authors describe the sampling design of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Study (L.A.FANS), a new survey of children, families, and neighborhoods in Los Angeles County. This survey was designed explicitly to support multilevel studies on a number of topics, including child development, residential mobility, and welfare reform. The study is longitudinal and includes a baseline survey and several follow-up waves, which will track previously interviewed respondents and will include a sample of new entrants into the sampled neighborhoods. The authors highlight the main design and analytical considerations that shaped the study. The authors also describe the results of an in-depth statistical investigation of the survey's ability to support multilevel analyses that were carried out as part of the study design.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2003|
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