How did my family get involved?  

When you were young – perhaps too young to remember – an interviewer knocked on your family’s door. Was there a child in the family between one and ten years old? If your mother was willing to participate – and she was – you became part of the Children in the Community study.

That original interview was conducted by a team headed by Dr. Leonard Kogan. Seven years later, Dr. Patricia Cohen sought to recontact each of you. But because the original study was not meant to be on-going, the interviewers had not recorded your last names. Imagine trying to find you just knowing a neighborhood, a date of birth, and a first name. A lot of legwork was necessary, but almost everyone was found.

When Dr. Cohen advertised for a Field Director to head up these efforts, Claudia Hartmark walked in for an interview. Neither Pat nor Claudia realized at first that this was the same study for which Claudia had been an interviewer seven years earlier. She has headed up the Field Office ever since.

What made them choose me?



Your neighborhood was carefully chosen so that, combined with other neighborhoods, the children in the study would reflect the general community. The neighborhoods were in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural areas. They were wealthy and poor and middle class. Together, they looked like much of America.
Because the scientists conducting the study wanted a group that represented the community, you were chosen randomly. If you have a sister or brother who was also the right age, the interviewers even had a formula for choosing between you in a random way.

So, you weren’t chosen for your charm, your storytelling ability, your beautiful brown eyes, your baseball skills, or any other feature that makes you unique. You were chosen because you lived in a selected neighborhood and were the right age.

What do we do with the results of the research?


The answers you give are converted to numerical codes and identified by an ID number. Your name, address, Social Security number, etc., are never included in the data files. The data is then analyzed to answer a wide range of questions about human behavior and development. Remember, there are about 800 participants in the study, so your data is analyzed as one of the whole group or some smaller group, not individually.


Is my information confidential? We have been trying to assure you for years that the information you supply will be kept in the strictest confidence. Now we have an additional way of doing this.

Take a look at this entire web site and at our publications list. We do not discuss individual cases at any time. Period.

So not only do we not mention identifying information (even the identification number used in our data files), we only present data about groups of participants.


Over 170 articles and a book have been published based on the Children in the Community research. The Publications page on this web site lists them all and some also have brief summaries of the findings.