A Profile of Families Cycling on and off Welfare. Observation and follow-up periods


For most analyses in this report, we track sample members' welfare and other outcomes from their month of sample intake through the end of year 4. These 48 months are referred to as the observation period. The fifth-year follow-up period includes months 49 through 60, following the month of sample intake and is used to measure outcomes for the five-year follow-up sample. In contrast, the period for tracking survey outcomes is less exact. It ranges from 36 to 60 months after sample intake and reflects differences among the five studies in when interviews were scheduled. Thus, some members of the survey sample reported outcomes that occurred during years 3 or 4 of the observation period, whereas others reported outcomes that took place during the fifth-year follow-up period.

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