What you can do on this website

Browse Variables

This resource is great for getting started with exploring the FFCWS variables.
Sort FFCWS variables by topic, wave, respondent, focal person, scales, survey, source, and/or variable type.

Advanced Search

Perform more detailed queries and/or text searches in the FFCWS metadata.

Download Full Metadata

Download the full metadata as a CSV file.

Metadata Guide

Metadata FieldColumn in CSVDescription
Namenew_nameThe name of the variable in the current public data
Old Nameold_nameThe name of the variable in the data before the re-release
LabelvarlabA short description of the variable
Question Textqtext>The exact wording of the question from the questionnaire
ProbeprobeThe exact wording of the lead-in question from the questionnaire, where applicable
Data SourcesourceA categorical variable, defining where the data stored in the variable was generated from
SurveysurveyThe subject of the survey that the variable was from
WavewaveThe round of data collection that this variable was in (1-6)
RespondentrespondentThe person that provided the information for this variable
Focal Personfp_*The subjects of the variable
TopicstopicsThe broader concept(s) that are measured by this variable (contains up to two potential topics -- e.g. demographics, employment)
Sub-TopicssubTopicsThe specific concept(s) that are measured by this variable (contains up to two potential sub-topics, e.g. race/ethnicity, work stress)
Asked in (N) Citiesn_cities_askedThe number of cities in which this question was asked
Data TypetypeThe way that the data is stored in the variable, e.g binary, categorical, continuous
WarningwarningA code to alert the user that this variable may have an unexpected way to store response codes
FFC variablein_FFC_fileA flag for whether this variable was included in the data file for the Fragile Families Challenge (yes/no)
Similar variablesgroupDenotes a group of similar variables across waves and/or surveys
q_group_nNumber of variables in the given variable group
q_group_listList of all variable names in the given variable group
ScalescaleIndicates if the question originates from one of a list of pre-established scales
Response codes +value[1-72]Lists all possible response options for categorical and binary variables (numeric)
label[1-72]Lists descriptions of all potential response options for categorical and binary variables (string)
* sectionParsed from the variable name, indicates the section of the survey in which the question was asked
leafParsed from the variable name, indicates the question number if from a survey or pneumonic for the substance of non-survey variables

+ Variables from the Opportunity Insights and SEDA Contract Data files contain response codes using Stata's extended missing values. These may display as system missing in other programs.

* Not included on Explorer website

Other API resources to help you use the metadata

FFCWS Metadata API Instructions on how to directly access the Web API without using the website interface.
R Package This package allows R users to retrieve metadata within R via the FFCWS Metadata API. Users can select, filter, and search metadata for relevant variables. More information is available on github.
Python Package This Python package provides convenient wrrappers to interface with the FFCWS Metadata API in Python. By downloading and importing the single ff.py module, users can query the metadata variables.