What is the California Families Project (CFP)?
- The CFP is an ongoing longitudinal study of the health, development, and well-being of 674 Mexican-origin youth and their parents.
- The project was launched in 2006, when the youth were 10 years old. Annual assessments occurred during the first 10 years of the study (age 10 to 19), with additional assessments occurring when the youth were age 21, 23, and 25. Wave 14 is currently in progress.
- The purpose of the CFP is to examine individual, family, school, and community characteristics that promote academic and social competence and reduce emotional and behavioral problems during childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.
- The study also investigates unique cultural beliefs, values, and traditions in the Mexican-American community that affect a child’s development, and how these traditions promote resilience to economic hardship and other stressful life experiences.
- The study has been funded by the federal government through 2026, allowing us to follow the CFP youth as they progress through young adulthood.
- A current focus of the CFP is on how the youth maintain their health and well-being now that they have begun to form their own families and establish their careers.
- Another focus of the CFP concerns the health and well-being of the CFP parents, including how they maintain their cognitive functioning and mental health as they age.
Why is this project important?
- The CFP is the most comprehensive, long-term longitudinal study of Mexican-origin families in the United States.
- We focus on Mexican-origin children because Latinos (two-thirds of whom are of Mexican origin) are the largest and fastest growing ethnic minority group in the United States.
- Like many Mexican-origin children, the CFP youth face socioeconomic challenges including poverty (40%), unemployment (20%), and low educational attainment (avg. parent education = 9th grade).
- Consequently, the CFP youth are at high risk for school dropout, emotional and behavioral problems, and long-term problems involving low educational attainment and low-wage employment.
- However, many if not most Mexican-origin youth escape these risks, and the primary goal of the CFP is to identify factors that promote success in this population.
- New information about successful development among Mexican-origin youth will be used to design more effective family, school, and community-based programs to promote the well-being of Mexican origin families and children.
Who funds the CFP?
- National Institute on Aging (NIA)
- National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
- UC Davis
How can I access the data?
- CFP data are made available to researchers upon request
- Researchers interested in using the CFP data should complete the Project Proposal Form
- Prior to completing this form, please contact Richard Robins (firstname.lastname@example.org) to determine the feasibility of your proposed study