Study Description

Growth of American Families: Single Women, 1955

CATALOG NUMBER: QP-003-003-1-1-United States-DPLS-1955

TITLE: Growth of American Families: Single Women, 1955

BIBLIOGRAPHIC CITATION: Campbell, Arthur A., Pascal K. Whelpton, and John E. Patterson. Growth of American families: Single Women, 1955. [machine-readable data file]. This edition was created by John Modell. 1st. DPLS ed. 1983. Minneapolis, Minn.: John Modell, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Family Study Center [producer]. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin. Data and Information Services Center. [distributor]. 1 data file (254 logical records), plus accompanying documentation.

ORIGINATING ORGANIZATION: Minnesota Family Studies Center, University of Minnesota


SAMPLE DESCRIPTION: This is a probability sample of 254 white single women aged 18-24, residing in the United States, and located through household canvassing, drawn as a complement to a larger survey of white married women made by the principal investigators (See Growth of American Families, 1955 ). This household canvass yielded about 200 interviews with single white women which was then supplemented with a quota sample of one-fourth again as any single 18-24 year old women living in dormitories at colleges and YMCA's. Single women over 24 were omitted even when located in sample households because many of them were likely never to marry or never reproduce. During interviewing family members and others were permitted to attend.

NUMBER OF DATA UNITS: 254 observations

TYPE OF FILE: Numerical

MODE OF STORAGE: 9-track tape, DAT tape, and CD-ROM; card-image record in ASCII format

TECHNICAL NOTES: The public use file consists of four 90-column cards per observation, giving a total of 1016 cards for 254 observations. In addition to the file described herein, the complete transcribed interviews (file size 2.7MB), interviewer's impressions of respondents (file size 248KB), and marginal notes (file size 17KB), also exist in textual files. The DPLS staff have updated the codebook by removing certain variables and making other changes where needed.

REFERENCE MATERIALS: codebook, questionnaire and frequencies.


  • Family Ideology and Family Values in the "Baby Boom": A Secondary Analysis of the 1955 Growth of American Families Survey of Single Women by John Model and John Campbell (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Family Study Center, 1984)
  • Rhetoric and Family Building Motives: A Secondary Analysis of the 1955 Growth of American Families Survey of Single Women by Judith Model (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota family Study Center, 1984)
  • Ronald Freedman, Pascal K. Whelpton, Arthur A. Campbell, Family Planning, Sterility and Population Growth, (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 1959).

ABSTRACT OF CONTENT: This study focuses on attitudes towards fertility and family planning of white single women aged 18-24. This sample was part of a larger survey of child-bearing age women, which represented a national inquiry into the determinants of fertility, nature and social locations of family planning and its relationship to demographic performance. Due to obvious differences between the two groups, a separate questionnaire was developed for the single women. Attitudes towards marriage, contraception, and children, as well as information on peer groups, were collected, along with standard demographic data. The original data were collected in 1955 by the principal investigators and put into machine-readable from by John Modell. Modell's project is historical demography explored the personal projections and public ideologies regarding family building.


DESCRIPTORS: fertility, family planning, contraceptive practice, children