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Kevin J. Grimm

University of California, Davis



Family Data

Intergenerational Studies – Measures

The measurements of IGS participants are generally related with one of the following nine categories: (1) Demographic, (2) Personality, (3) Cognition, (4) Physical and Medical, (5) Attitudes and Behavior, (6) Marriage, (7) Parenting, (8) Occupational and Military, (9) Clinical.

Demographic Data

Basic demographic data was collected from the participants and/or their parents at most assessments. Demographic information includes birth date, gender, social economic status (e.g., Hollingshead Index of Social Position), religious affiliations, family composition (e.g., number of children, birth dates, genders, birth order). Data regarding neighborhood and house quality in the late 1920s is available for the OGS and GS families.

Personality Data

A large amount of personality data has been collected on the IGS participants over the course of the study. The following personality measures have been administered to IGS participants: California Q Sort, California Psychological Inventory, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Psychological Health Index, Ego Mechanism Ratings, Tryon Personality Measure

Cognition Data

Cognitive testing was conducted on a regular basis for all IGS participants. The major cognitive assessments include The California First Year Mental Scale (BGS), The Preschool Mental Scale (GS), Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (BGS, GS, OGS), Wechsler-Bellevue (BGS, GS), WAIS (BGS, GS, OGS), WAIS-R (BGS, GS, OGS). Additional cognitive assessments include The Terman Group Test of Mental Ability (OGS), The Terman Group Test (OGS), Terman-McNemar Test of Mental Abilities (OGS), Kuhlman-Anderson, as well as tests of processing speed.

Physical and Medical Data

IGS participants were regularly seen by physicians for physical exams. Illness and health problems were recorded in these observations as well. Circumnatal health ratings are available for the GS and BGS subjects. Physical development measures include growth curves for height, strength and physical capacities, and sexual maturation. Many anthropometric data files contain information regarding height, weight, stem length and circumference of various parts of the body. They also contain measures of hand and arm strength. Additionally, health ratings were made by participants.

In adulthood a standard set of anthropometric assessments continued at each visit. GS and BGS members had physical examinations similar to those of childhood and adolescence when they were 30 and 36 years old, respectively. OGS subjects participated in an overnight hospital study at age 34. When GS participants were 42 and OGS participants were 50, they underwent a multiphasic health screening. Health ratings were included in the later assessments.

Attitudes and Behavior

The majority of behavior rating scales were used in the early years. The BGS and GS subjects were observed by clinician or social workers at the Institute of Human Development during measurement sessions. Additional behavior measures include Reaction During Tests, Home Behavior Ratings, School Behavior Ratings and Adult Social Behavior Rating. Attitude scales include the Strong Vocational Interest Blank, the ICW Interest Record, the U.C. Inventory, the U.C. Opinion Survey, the Opinion Ballot and the U.C. Attitudes Test (socio-political attitudes). Attitudes and behavior in adulthood fall under one of the following four topics: Political, Religious, Social, and General philosophy of life.


Measures related to marriage include the Marital Q sort, Personality and Family Ratings, Marriage Questionnaire. There is also information on marriage included in the 1964 and 1990 Current Status Surveys.


Information on parenting comes from the original study members and their children. The data was collected in structured interviews and questionnaires. Study members described their relationships with their children in the 1980s. Additionally, OGS and GS participants described their expectations and values for their children as well as discipline and communication with and closeness to their children in 1970. OGS study members also completed questions about the sources of pleasure and pain in parenting, the effects on them of being parents, and the values and goals they subscribed to for their children in 1964.

Parenting data was also collected from the children of the original study members. In the 1970s offspring completed questionnaires reflecting perceptions of the parents' personalities, parents' values and goals for the offspring, family structure, family closeness, perceived similarity between self and parents, and quality of parent-child relationship. Additionally, in 1983 and 1991 IGS offspring completed current status questionnaires which provide information regarding their relationships with their parents.


Occupational histories were first collected in 1964 for the OGS participants. Men and women answered questions about their work histories before 1946, and in two subsequent ten-year intervals (1946-1955; 1956-1964); they also rated their satisfaction with several aspects of their jobs and indicated which aspects of their jobs were most important to them. Men answered questions about when and how they made career decisions, their current jobs, and anticipated changes. Women answered questions about their spouses' careers, homemaking, their own job training, their feelings about employment, and their employment histories.

In the 1970s, OGS and GS men described their recent (10 years) job histories, hours per week spent on the job, their expectations about job changes and retirement, feelings about their careers (five-point ratings of fourteen different aspects of jobs), and level of importance of various job characteristics. Additionally, GS and OGS answered questions regarding their occupational aspirations (mobility, work quality), effect of work on family life, job satisfaction, and work involvement. The interviews conducted with women were coded for feelings about being a homemaker (household tasks preference), plans for employment in the future, and encouragement of daughters' career aspirations.

In 1982, Employment Questionnaires were completed by all IGS study members. Information from these questionnaires includes current work force participation, retirement plans, and level of earlier work involvement. In the early 1980s, occupational information were collected in structured interviews

In 1986, Work and Retirement Questionnaire were administered. Information was obtained about the retirement and post-retirement experiences of OGS subjects. However, it generated data on current and most recent employment as well as timing and reason for retirement, retirement income, and post-retirement employment. Employment and retirement information was also collected for all participants in the current status questionnaire in 1990.


Questionnaires regarding the men's military experiences were collected throughout the study. Military information includes service branch, rank as well as length and years of service and military combat. In 1980, military information was collected regarding the effect of military service on their lives (especially achievement and use of the GI bill), friendships, family, opportunities, and health. In 1984, the more extensive data on military experiences were collected. This information includes (a) subjects' indirect and direct military experience, (b) post-service experience, (c) children's involvement in the Vietnam War and protests against it. Additionally, the participants' attitudes toward military service were collected.


A few clinical measures have been administered to IGS participants. These include the Rorschach Ink-Blot Test and the Thematic Apperception Test.