Data and Documentation

Americans' Changing Lives data and documentation from all four waves is available ( from the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) for use by researchers around the world.

To download the ACL Waves I-V codebook click on the button below.

To download the ACL Wave I-V questionnaires click on the buttons below.

The Americans' Changing Lives dataset and codebook cover all four waves of data collection (1986, 1989, 1994, and 2001/2002) and the following topical areas.

  • Household Composition
  • Social Integration
  • Physical Activity
  • Life Assessment and Self Assessment
  • Marital Status and Marital Relationship
  • Social Support
  • Physical Environment
  • Social Environment
  • Child Care, Parenting and Household Work
  • Health
  • Limitation of Activities
  • Health Risk Behavior
  • Health Services
  • Health Literacy/ Numeracy (Wave 5)
  • End of life planning (Wave 5)
  • Depression and Depressive Symptoms
  • Employment
  • Job Attitudes and Retirement/ Reason Stop Working
  • Effects of Great Recession (Wave 5)
  • Voluntary Activity
  • Cognitive Functioning and Memory
  • Personality Dispositions
  • Life Events
  • Discrimination and Vigilance
  • Religion and Meaning
  • Demographics and Socioeconomic Variables

The ACL1-4 interview schedules include major variables as follows:

Concept ACL Questionnaire Section
Social Integration & Physical Activity A A A A
Life Satisfaction & Personality B B B B
Social Relationships & Supports C C D D
Marital Relationships & Events D&E D&E C C
Health/Health Behaviors,Medical Care G,M&N G,L&M G,L&M G,L&M
Psychological States/Traits H H H H & M
Productive Activities F,J&L J&K F,J&K F,J&K
Paid & Unpaid Work/Stress J J(paid) J(paid) J(paid)
Financial Stress K Q Q Q
Life Events & Burden of Caring P N&K N N
Religion & World Views P P P P
Demographics R Q Q Q
Physical/Social Environment       E
Perceptions of Discrimination     B N