How to identify children that live with grandparents

What is the best variable to use for identifying children that live with grandparents? I think that I need to use the RELATE variable, but I’m not sure if this is the only way. Thanks.

I think that the RELATE variable, which reports how each person in a household is related to a single reference person, is the best approach for this. Please note, however, that the values for RELATE depend on who the reference person is. For example, imagine a household where a child lives with both their parents and a grandparent. If one of the child’s parents is the reference person, then you would need to infer that the presence of RELATE codes for “child” (child) and “parent” (grandparent to child, parent of the reference person) indicate that grandparents are present in the household. In contrast, if the grandparent of the child is the reference person, you would be able to use the “grandchild” code alone without consideration for the child’s parents. I will also note that, “grandparent” is not a response category in the CPS, so if the child was the reference person, the grandparent would likely be listed as “Other relative, n.s.” You may be interested in the IPUMS USA variable MULTGEN as a reference guide for thinking about possible relationship combinations that might denote grandparents.

Another option would be to use the IPUMS family interrelationship variables that report the location of a coresident mother (MOMLOC) or father (POPLOC). You could leverage these to identify if persons who are identified as a parent via MOMLOC/POPLOC in the household also report a coresident parent in households with three generations (e.g., the child/child’s parents/child’s grandparent example above). However, this would not capture cases where a child is living with only their grandparent.

Thanks for your reply. That was helpful.

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