Project Information . . .
The Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS) follows the lives of a large and representative sample of adolescents in Cape Town as they undergo the multiple transitions from adolescence to adulthood. The study commenced in 2002, with approximately 5250 households and 4750 young people between the ages of 14 and 22 interviewed as part of Wave 1 of CAPS. In 2003 and 2004, these young adults were re-interviewed in Waves 2a and 2b of the project. In Wave 3 (2005) we re-interviewed the entire young adult sample along with a questionnaire for their households. In Wave 4 (2006) we have re-interviewed the entire young adult sample and their households for a fourth time, also adding a sample of adults aged 50 and over and a short questionnaire covering all children of female young adults.
Together, this series of interviews will constitute a significant source for the study of adolescents in post-apartheid South Africa. CAPS covers a range of aspects of adolescence, including especially schooling, entry into the labour market (i.e. employment, unemployment and job search), sexual and reproductive health, and familial support. In addition to the data collected from the young people themselves, parents and other older household members, and we can combine the CAPS data on individuals and households with community- and school-level data.
But CAPS is not simply a study of adolescents or adolescence. Because the patterns of inequality in society as a whole are rooted in the differentiation evident or generated in this age span, CAPS is a study also of transition - and the lack of change - in the 'new' South African society as a whole. To what extent have the opportunities facing South Africans changed since the end of apartheid? What factors shape or determine whether South Africans end up rich or poor, healthy or sick, happy or unhappy? A growing number of studies in South Africa are concerned with the persistence of poverty over short periods of time. CAPS is concerned with how poverty and inequality are reproduced across generations.