Researchers are knocking on doors across Los Angeles County asking families to take part in the latest phase of a RAND Corporation study that is examining the impact neighborhoods have on children and families.
The effort is part of the second wave of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, a $12 million effort that is studying thousands of families to improve understanding of the factors that influence children's educational and social development around the United States.
The initial phase of the study was begun in 2000 by RAND, a nonprofit research organization, and already is yielding insights into how neighborhoods influence children. Published results have examined whether Los Angeles youngsters are ready for school, probed neighborhood factors that may contribute to obesity, and provided the first concrete estimate of the number of undocumented immigrants who have health insurance.
About 3,000 families participated in the first wave of the federally funded study. Researchers hope to enroll 1,000 additional families during the next phase, which has begun in more than 60 neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. The project is led by researchers from RAND and the UCLA School of Public Health.
Survey interviewers from the Research Triangle Institute are leading the efforts to identify families to take part in the next phase of the study. Families that enroll will be asked to complete an interview covering topics such as neighborhood life, children's friends and activities, work and health insurance, child care, and residential mobility. They may also be asked to participate again in future rounds of the study.
To assess the health status of a portion of adult and child participants, researchers are checking height and weight, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, breathing, and examining levels of stress hormones.