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Rule for linking mother

Codes and Frequencies

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This variable reports why the NAPP variable mother's location in the household (US70A403) linked the person to a probable mother. The NAPP establishes mother-child links according to seven basic rules, and this variable reports the number of the rule for the link in question. If a link could be made according to more than one rule, the lowest-numbered rule was applied. See also mother's location in the household (US70A403), probable step/adopted mother (US70A404), and "Family Interrelationships" for more information.

The following codes are included in this variable:

0 = No mother of this person present in the household.

1 = Unambiguous relationship, based upon imputed relationship (US70A423). This covers three basic cases:

a) a person listed as a son or daughter is linked to a person listed as wife/spouse or female head.
b) a person listed as head, brother, or sister is linked to a person listed as mother.
c) a person listed as wife, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law is linked to a person listed as mother-in-law.

2 = Persons listed as grandchildren are linked to the most proximate preceding (on the form) ever-married daughter, unmarried daughter (if immediately followed by a grandchild), or daughter-in-law of the head, if the daughter/daughter-in-law is 11-59 years older than the grandchild. If no link is formed with a preceding female, the program looks for the most proximate subsequent female who satisfies the same criteria.

3 = Other persons are linked to any preceding ever-married female who is 15-49 years older, so long as:

a) the two persons have imputed relationships to the head that, when compared with one another, make a child-mother link plausible,
b) there are no persons listed between the potential child and mother, except the potential mother's other children or husband, and

4 = Same as rule 3, but surname similarity overrides part b of rule 3. If more than one potential mother is found in this way, the most proximate preceding female is linked.

7= If the child is already linked to a father (see father's location in the household US70A407 and rule for linking father US70A409), and that father has a wife present in the household who has not been linked to the child by another rule, the wife is linked to the child as a stepmother, regardless of the age gap between child and the stepmother.

The NAPP performs the following consistency checks:

  • If a husband and wife were both linked to the same mother, the NAPP chose the best mother link based on detailed relationship, surname, and proximity within the household, as listed on the form.
  • If both parents were present but they were not married to each other, the NAPP unlinked the mother if her surname did not match that of the child.


  • United States 1870: All persons


  • United States: 1870

Integrated variables

  • None