Wave 1 data now on NACDA/ICPSR

The data and documentation are now available from the  National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), located within ICPSR, funded by the National Institute on Aging.  The persistent URL is http://dx.doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR36975.v1 (active in early February 2018).

Posted in Uncategorized

Wave 2 Newsletter – January 2018

The January 2018 Newsletter to our panelists is now available.

Posted in Uncategorized

Conference and Workshop on the UCNets Wave 1 Data Announced


UCNETS- The UC Berkeley Social Networks Study


Call for Papers: Social Networks and Health Using the 2015-2017 UCNets data.

We welcome proposals for original research analyzing Wave 1 of the UCNets data.


UCNets is the University of California Berkeley Social Networks Study, a longitudinal study funded by the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG041955-01), with Claude Fischer as Principal Investigator. The objective of the UCNets study is to understand how network composition changes over time as a result of life course transitions – e.g., graduation, marriage, retirement or widowhood – and how these changes are related to health status and outcomes.  Using mostly addressed-based sampling from six San Francisco bay area counties, the study recruited participants in two age groups (cohorts) – 21-30 year-olds and 50-70 year-olds — to maximize the possibility of experiencing a life transition.  There are 3 waves of interviewing. Two have been completed (winter 2015-2016, and winter-spring 2017) and a third will commence in spring 2018.  In Wave 1, the majority of respondents completed a face-to-face interview, with the rest filling out a comparable web survey. In each subsequent wave, a larger proportion completes the web instrument.  This random-assignment allows for a test of mode effects.  There are a total of 1,159 respondents in Wave 1, 1,026 in Wave 2 and we expect approximately 875 in Wave 3.  Social network composition is based on 9 name-eliciting questions, with follow-up detail on homophily, relationships and social roles. The instrument also includes a household census, school and employment activities, physical and emotional health, and SES and demographic questions for the respondent and spouse.  Wave 2 asks mostly the same questions, with some dropped and a few added, most importantly addressing any changed in the named network.  Please visit http://ucnets.berkeley.edu for more information and to download the Waves 1 and 2 questionnaires and other documentation.

Research will be presented in a conference and workshop in June 14-15, 2018.  Travel and lodging for invited speakers will be paid by the conference.  The first day of the event will be a conference featuring the research presentations, and will be a workshop on using the UCNets data.

Depersonalized data, and documentation, for public use are available by request (see below) and will soon be available at the ICPSR NACDA site.

Proposals will be judged for contribution to theory and substantive topic, and commitment to presenting a solid research result for the conference.  Proposals should be about 4 pages long, and propose a research topic, background and theory, hypotheses, operationalization and method. Please include full contact information. The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2017, and should be sent to Dr. Leora Lawton, UCNets director, llawton@berkeley.edu. Requests for data and other questions are also to be addressed to her.  Decisions will be announced by January 1, 2018.

Preliminary Program

 June 14, 2018 – Thursday: 

9 AM – 9:30 AM          Registration and continental breakfast

9:30AM – 9:45 AM      Introduction

9:45-10:30                   Speaker 1

10:30-10:45                 Coffee Break

10:45-11:15                 Speaker 2

11:15-12 noon             Speaker 3

12 – 1                          Lunch

1-1:45                          Speaker 4

1:45-2:30                     Speaker 5

2:30-2:45                     Coffee Break

2:45-3:30                     Speaker 6

3:30-4                          Discussion

6 PM                            Networking dinner

June 15, 2018 – Friday:

9:00 AM-9:30 AM       Registration and continental breakfast

9:30 AM-10:45 AM     UCNets data structure and topics

10:45 AM-11:00 AM   Coffee Break

11:00 AM -12 noon     Using the Names file (Aggregating)

12:00 PM-1:00 PM      Lunch

1:00 PM-3:00 PM        Hierarchical Linear Models – assumptions and requirements

3:00 PM-3:15 PM        Coffee Break

3:15 PM-5:00 PM        In-class exercises: HLM models with the UCNets data

Posted in Uncategorized

Wave 1 questionnaire, codebook and data now available.

The wave 1 data are now available on a limited basis.  Please contact Dr. Leora Lawton (llawton at berkeley.edu) for the Data Use Agreement.  The final questionnaire and codebook are available on the UCNets website. Data documentation will be there shortly.

Posted in Uncategorized

Newsletter Summer 2016

The first newsletter of UCNets was issued in Summer 2016, with some fun tidbits on our early results.  Click on this link to download and read.


Posted in Uncategorized

Develop a Research Project

Research Opportunities

While the UCNets project has no open positions, there is a possibility that one may apply for NIH funding to take advantage of the panel.  One way is to analyze existing data. Another is to re-interview panelists in a specialized sub-survey and then link these data to the main data, therefore being able to keep the additional questions very limited.  In both cases, one can apply to NIH (NIA is our funder) using one of many grant programs, such as an R03 (small research grant), pre-doctoral (F31), or post-doctoral fellowships (F32, K01, K99-R00).  While we cannot provide any guarantee of success, or mentorship support for the research project itself, you may get assistance with the grant application from Dr. Leora Lawton, Director.

Questions regarding opportunities can be directed to Dr Lawton, llawton@berkeley.edu.

Posted in Uncategorized

Wave 1 data collection completed

The first wave of data collection for the UCNets project is now completed. We have already begun to conduct analyses on the preliminary data.  It is proving rich and of high quality.  Check back for early release of findings.

Posted in Uncategorized

First of Its Kind

UCNets is the first study of its kind in the country and quite possibly, in the world. It has four overarching aims:

  1. To accurately and fully describe the social ties of a younger group and of an older group of Bay Area residents, paying particular attention to how those relationships change as people’s lives change.
  2. To identify the causal connections among life changes, personal ties, and health. How, for example, does getting a new job or retiring affect the number or types of people a person is involved with and in which ways? How do those aspects of people’s ties in turn affect their well-being and how they handle issues of health? The panel structure of this study will allow researchers to untangle the complex patterns of cause and effect.
  3. To test the practicality and validity of using web-based network techniques. The project incorporates an innovative switching design from face-to-face to web interviewing.

Learn more

Posted in Overview

Data Collection

There will be 3 waves of interviewing beginning in the winter-spring of 2015. We are interviewing two age groups: people aged 21-30, and people aged 50-70. In the first wave, most people will have a face-to-face interview in the comfort of their own home, or if they wish, another place of their choosing where the interview can take place. A smaller group of people will be receive web surveys. We will assign you to each group based on your age and internet access.

Learn more

Posted in Uncategorized