Data and Documentation

The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study changed its name to The Future of Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS). Note that all documentation issued prior to January 2023 contains the study’s former name. Any further reference to FFCWS should kindly observe this name change. Visit FFCWS News to learn more about this name change.


Data are free to download from Princeton University's Office of Population Research (OPR) data archive. For detailed instructions on how to apply, see our OPR archive tutorial.

Currently, there are seven waves of publicly available data including baseline and Year 1, Year 3, Year 5, Year 9, Year 15, and Year 22 follow-ups. In order to protect the confidentiality of survey respondents, some FFCWS data is available through a Restricted Use Contract including geographic identifiers, neighborhood and school contextual data sources, and some of our biological and health data.


FFCWS has documentation to help you understand and utilize the data. The Public Data Documentation page is a good place to start with details about sampling, survey weights, the data User Guides, codebooks, and questionnaires.

We also have answers to frequently asked questions, a list of data alerts, and information about Restricted Use Contract data including how to gain access.

You can also use the FFCWS Metadata Explorer to navigate a full list of the FFCWS Data variables. Browse and Advanced Search functions are available or you may download and directly interact with the metadata CSV.

What is included in each survey?

There are interviews with both mothers and fathers at the child’s birth and again when children are ages one, three, five, and nine. The parent interviews collect information on attitudes, relationships, parenting behavior, demographic characteristics, health (mental and physical), economic and employment status, neighborhood characteristics, and program participation. At Years 15 and 22, the primary caregiver (PCG) interview covers this material along with other measures previously collected in the PCG surveys. Our focal children were interviewed at Years 9, 15, and 22. Additional components include home visits, teacher surveys, and saliva sample.

See the User Guides and questionnaires at each wave or the Metadata Explorer for more details on the topics covered in the interviews. Many measures overlap with those used in other large-scale studies such as the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), Early Head Start, the Teenage Parent Demonstration, the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study—Birth Cohort 2000 (ECLS-B), and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). See the Scales and Concepts Documentation for more details on established measures.

Below are the completed public data components by wave: