Gestation: Data from the Child Health and Development Studies

GestationR Documentation

Data from the Child Health and Development Studies


Birth weight, date, and gestational period collected as part of the Child Health and Development Studies in 1961 and 1962. Information about the baby's parents — age, education, height, weight, and whether the mother smoked is also recorded.




A data frame with 1236 observations on the following variables.

  • id identification number

  • plurality all "single fetus" in this data set

  • outcome all "live birth" (survived at least 28 days) in this data set

  • date birth date where 1096=January 1, 1961

  • gestation length of gestation (in days)

  • wt birth weight (in ounces)

  • parity total number of previous pregnancies (including fetal deaths and still births)

  • race mother's race: "asian", "black", "mex", "mixed", or "white"

  • age mother's age in years at termination of pregnancy

  • ed mother's education

  • ht mother's height in inches to the last completed inch

  • wt.1 mother's prepregnancy weight (in pounds)

  • drace father's race

  • dage father's age (in years)

  • ded father's education

  • dht father's height in inches to the last completed inch

  • dwt father's weight (in pounds)

  • marital marital status,

  • inc family yearly income in $2500 increments

  • smoke does mother smoke? (never, smokes now, until current pregnancy, once did, not now)

  • time time since quitting smoking (never smoked, still smokes, during current preg, within 1 year, 1 to 2 years ago, 2 to 3 years ago, 3 to 4 years ago, 5 to 9 years ago, 10+ years ago, quit and don't know

  • number number of cigarettes smoked per day for past and current smokers (never, 1-4, 5-9, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-60, 60+, smoke but don't know)


The data were presented by Nolan and Speed to address the question of whether there is a link between maternal smoking and the baby's health for male births.


The book by Nolan and Speed describes the data in more detail and provides an Internet site for accessing them:


D Nolan and T Speed. Stat Labs: Mathematical Statistics Through Applications (2000), Springer-Verlag.



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