This page houses data and documentation associated with the USC Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR’s) “Toward Next Generation Data on Health and Life Changes at Older Ages” research project, also known as the “UAS EMA Burst” project (see below for support and citation information). The project collected a variety of data (Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA), End of Day (EOD) surveys, voice recordings, and accelerometer data) at varying frequencies (several times daily, once a day, once a week, once a month. Some of the data collections associated with this project are still ongoing.

The UAS EMA Burst File and the Covid EMA Burst File are collections of data based on participants’ answers to 7-day “bursts”, over periods from March 2nd 2020 to March 27th 2022, and from March 2, 2020 to May 17, 2021, respectively. Each day during a burst, six prompts (phone beeps, texts) were sent to project participants’ smartphones through the UAS EMA app. Upon receiving a prompt, participants answered about 2 minutes of questions. Burst participants were scheduled into burst weeks in “waves”. During a wave, a group of scheduled participants received six prompts in each 24-hour period for seven days. Participants who consented to participate, downloaded the UAS EMA app, and responded to at least one prompt during at least one seven-day burst period are included in this dataset. Please refer to the codebook for more detailed information. The COVID EMA Burst File is a sub-collection of the UAS EMA Burst data collection consisting of data from 175 UAS EMA Project participants who completed their first burst wave in March 2020, as the U.S. was responding to the outbreak of SARS-CoV2. These individuals are sometimes referred to as the “COVID Cohort”, as they agreed to participate in up to five subsequent waves at intervals until May 2021.

The EMA and Covid EMA Burst Files provided here include data provided by the participants in the UAS EMA Burst project; members of the UAS internet panel who consented to participate in filling out a monthly life events survey, and at least two 7-day intensive “burst” projects. All UAS members who were 50 years of age or older at the time were invited to fill out an EMA Burst project consent survey where they were screened for eligibility. Eligibility required access to a working smartphone with an iOS or Android operating system and a service contract. Out of the 2,914 UAS panel members who were asked through the consent surveys to participate in the project, 1,317 agreed to participate.

Dataset downloads are available to registered UAS users. The Description and Codebook documents may be downloaded without registration.


These datasets are created at the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR). Support for this data collection is provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the National Institute on Aging through the grant U01AG054580 “Toward Next Generation Data on Health and Life Changes at Older Ages”. This project was reviewed and approved by the USC IRB (UP-14-00148).

Please use the following for citation of the data file and documentation in publications and presentations: