We are indebted to many individuals and groups for their many valuable contributions to this book. We begin our expressions of appreciation with the approximately one thousand families who participated in our study from 1962 through 1993. The mothers in these families participated in eight interviews across these 31 years, while one child in each family participated in three interviews between 1980 and 1993. The data provided willingly—and often enthusiastically—by these families provide the foundation for most of the analyses and conclusions provided in this book.
The baseline data collection for this study was conducted as part of the Detroit Area Study, a training and research program of the Sociology Department of the University of Michigan. Subsequent interviews were conducted by the field staff of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan. The interviewing, coding, and computer staffs of the Survey Research Center provided the energy and commitment to complete the long-term panel data upon which this book is primarily based. The contributions of several members of the Detroit interviewing team—especially Elsie Bremen, Helen Flanagan, and Jackie Thorsby—were especially invaluable over many waves of the project.
The study was first based at the Population Studies Center and directed by Ronald Freedman, David Goldberg, and Lolagene Coombs. Since 1975 it has been located within the Survey Research Center and the Population Studies Center and directed by Arland Thornton, with Deborah Freedman as his research associate from 1975 through 1995. Many additional faculty members have contributed to the design, operationalization, and analysis of these data, including: Duane Alwin, William Axinn, Jennifer Barber, Frances Goldscheider, David Mann, Terri Orbuch, Paul Siegel, and Yu Xie. Judy Baughn, Donald Camburn, Julie de Jong,