Parent Variable Extraction

I am trying to look at data for parents of respondents. I know that you can link many parental variables when creating your data extract such as education and marital status, however, some variables do not have any data associated with them. I’m wondering if there is a way to tell which parental variables are actually available and how these variables are constructed since I cannot seem to find any information in the ATUS User’s guide or in the Data Dictionaries.

Can you perhaps provide a bit more detail on which variables you are seeking to use? For example, what are the specific parental characteristics that you want to attach to respondents? Most available variables should be able to be incorporated using the Attach Characteristics Tool in IPUMS Time Use. Although note that the Attach Characteristics Tool is only able to attach the characteristics of respondents who are currently living with their parents. In general, the documentation in the IPUMS online extract system provides information on whether specific variables are available in a given sample.

I would like to extract as many parental variables as possible. I had been looking to use parental education, marital status, citizenship status, employment, etc. I had been using the attach characteristics tool, but once I had done my extraction some of the attached characteristics that I thought would have data, such as parent employment status and parental hours worked, did not have any data in the data set that I had downloaded.

Is there a list that says which attached characteristic variables are actually available? Also, where does the data of the attached characteristics come from? I read that the household roster file from ATUS only provides age, sex, and relationship to the respondent.

I’ve just looked at your most recent data extract (#4). I do see data for parental characteristics such as AGE_MOM and AGE_POP, etc. If you are not seeing any data, then you might not have properly decompressed (e.g., unzipped) the compressed data file. If you are using a Windows machine, we typically recommend using 7zip.

Additionally, note that there will always be a number of observations that do not have any parental characteristics. This is because of the sampling design of the CPS/Time Use surveys and the way these characteristics are attached in the IPUMS data extract system. More specifically, the attach characteristics feature uses the constructed IPUMS family interrelationship “pointer variables” that identify co-resident (e.g., within household) mothers, fathers, and spouses for each person. These parental links do not come from the ATUS questionnaire, but are an additional capability added to the ATUS data by IPUMS. Due to the fact that the CPS and Time Use surveys sample households, only individuals who live in the same household as their parents will be able to have valid links to their parental characteristics. This is what drives the number of “missing” parental characteristics in your data. More detail about the IPUMS family interrelationship pointer variables is available on this page of the IPUMS CPS website.