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Family Activities, Uses of Space, and Emotional Well Being: A Collaborative Merging of Time Diary and Ethnoarchaeological Data


Anthony P. Graesch
agraesch@ucla.edu

and

Nora Broege


and

Jeanne E. Arnold
jearnold@ucla.edu

and

Ann Owens


and

Barbara Schneider


UCLA Sloan Center on Everyday Lives of Families
Working Paper No. 44
2006

Abstract

This paper closely examines how contemporary working families spend time at home using a merged dataset that derives from multiple data collection techniques. Data were originally collected by researchers at two independent Alfred P. Sloan projects, one at the University of Chicago, and the other at UCLA. The 500 Family Study (Chicago) examines 500 dual-income families at eight sites across the U.S. using interview, survey, and time-diary data collection techniques. The Center on Everyday Lives of Families (UCLA) applies detailed ethnographic methods to the study of 32 dual-income families in the greater Los Angeles region. Similarities in database structure, particularly the data categories addressing family member activities and locations in the home, facilitated a merger for purposes of examining whether ethnographic and survey data on family behavior can be mutually representative. We analyze several datasets including trends in familiesí uses of home spaces, their activity patterns, and their emotional experiences on weekday afternoons and evenings.

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