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Father's relationship to child (self-reported)

Codes and Frequencies

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PEDADTYP is a variable that indicates whether a person's father is a biological, step, or adoptive parent.

Since 2007, the CPS has collected detailed data on family relationships. If a household member resided with his or her father, the interviewer recorded the father's line number (PELNDAD) and whether the father was a biological, step, or adoptive parent (PEDADTYP). Similar data were collected for mothers (PELNMOM and PEMOMTYP). Spouses (ASPOUSE) and cohabiting partners (PECOHAB) are also identified.

These variables are reported as is and may need additional cleaning by researchers. IPUMS-CPS plans to test these variables in the future and will revise them if necessary. In particular, when a child resides with one biological parent and that parent's cohabiting partner, the child is usually reported to live with only one parent. Researchers can use the information on the mother's cohabiting partner (PECOHAB) to identify those cohabiting stepfathers who are not included in PELNDAD and PEDADTYP. Married stepfathers are always identified by PELNDAD and PEDADTYP.

The IPUMS-CPS includes the constructed variable STEPPOP which reports whether the person identified as a father in POPLOC is probably a stepfather on the basis of age-differences, relationship to household head, and other available information. Many stepfathers cannot be identified in this way and STEPPOP will always underestimate the true number of stepfathers. In years when both are available, PEDADTYP should be more accurate than STEPPOP.


PEDADTYP is consistent in all years for which it is available.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

No self-reported family relationship variables are available in IPUMS-USA.


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2007 – 2018 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
2019 X X - X X X X X X X X X X



Unharmonized Variables