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Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study Restricted Use Data

The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study releases geographic identifiers to the public via a restricted use data agreement. The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study releases additional data to the public via a restricted-use data agreement. Add-on files available include 1) a geographic file with variables for the focal child's birth city, mother's and father's state of residence at each interview,  and stratum and psu (note: replicate weights are available on the public file in lieu of these), 2) a set of contextual characteristics of the census tract at each wave, 3) medical records data for mothers and children from the birth hospitalization record, and 4) a school characteristics file (for the focal child's school at the Year 9 follow-up wave) based on National Center for Educational Statistics data.

Please note that, in order to protect respondent confidentiality, medical records data are not available in conjunction with the other restricted data items (identifiable city/state of residence, stratum/psu, or contextual data).

Access to the Fragile Families contract data is limited to researchers who agree to the terms and conditions contained in the Contract Data Use License. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of the researcherís research and data protection plans are required. Therefore, only faculty and research personnel at institutions which have an Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Review Committee are eligible to receive access to the contract data. The Institutionís IRB must be registered with the U.S. Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) or the National Institute of Health (NIH). Although nearly all research universities and other research organizations in the United States have IRBís registered with the OHRP, we are aware that some institutions and legitimate researchers will be excluded from access under this condition. We apologize for this and are considering options to expand the pool of eligible researchers while maintaining a high standard of protection for our respondents.

Please note: University students may gain access to the Contract Data for dissertation research, but a faculty advisor must serve as the Investigator and complete the application process for them. The faculty advisor and institution bear full responsibility for ensuring that all conditions of the license are met by the student. The student must also sign the Supplemental Agreement with Research Staff form.

To be given access to the contract data, you must submit TWO copies of the following items to CRCW:

  1. An extended abstract describing your project and what you hope to accomplish, and a one-paragraph justification for why you need access to the contract data agreement data rather than public use data.

  2. Written assurance by the researcher that his/her institution has an Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Human Subjects which has a Multiple Project Assurance (MPA) or Federalwide Assurance (FWA) from NIH. The MPA or FWA number must be submitted with the application.

  3. A data protection plan, detailing how you plan to protect the files while they are being used, on your computer and after they are printed.

  4. NOTE: Your university IRB must approve both your final research plan (extended abstract) and your final data protection plan. You are required to submit proof of IRB approval.

  5. An application fee of $250 (payable by check or money order to CRCW).

  6. A signed Contract Data Agreement by the Principal Investigator.

  7. A signed Contract Data Agreement by a senior university official who binds the university/institution. This refers to an individual who has the authority to represent your organization in agreements of this sort, such as a Vice President, Dean, Provost, Center Director, or similar official.

  8. A signed Supplemental Research agreement with Research Staff for each person who will have access to the data.

  9. A curriculum vitae for each person who will be accessing the information.

  10. A copy of the Protecting Human Research Participants web-based training completion certificate from NIH for all research staff who will access the contract data. The online certification can be completed here. Proof of equivalent training is also acceptable.

Please note: If co-investigators are from different institutions, you will need separate Contract Data Use Licenses for each institution.

Please see the contract data agreement for instructions and necessary paperwork.

If you have any questions about this process, you can email ffdata@princeton.edu