Attitudes

Attitudes & Expectations

 

Child

The NLSY79 Child surveys contain a range of information about child attitudes from both the child's and mother's perspective. For the younger children (not young adults) these questions are administered primarily in the Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS), completed by children 10 years of age and older.  Mothers also report on their children's attitudes and prospects in the Family & Schooling section of the Mother Supplement. 

In 2000 the more sensitive attitude items were moved into the Computer Assisted Self-Interview (CASI) portion of the Child CAPI Supplement that is directed to the mother. After 2000 these same questions are in CASI format in the Mother Supplement. Mothers respond, in CASI format if preferred, to questions about how things are going in each child's life and to rate:

  1. how much trouble it has been to bring up this child
  2. the child's health
  3. the child's relationships with friends, siblings, and with her
  4. and the child's feelings about himself or herself

Each round of the NLSY79 Young Adult survey includes a questionnaire section devoted to attitudes. The details of these items for young adults are explained in the Young Adult section below. Readers who are unfamiliar with the NLSY79 mother data will find that main Youth respondents have been administered several scales, a number of which parallel those administered in the Child and Young Adult Surveys, such as the Rotter, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), sociability and Pearlin Mastery Scales (Pearlin and Schooler, 1978; Pearlin et al., 1981), neighborhood quality, attitudes toward women working (family attitudes), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale or CES-D (Radloff, 1977). More information about the attitude scales in the main Youth for NLSY79 mothers can be found in the Attitudes & Expectations section of the NLSY79 User's Guide.

Gender roles

Starting with the 1994 survey, children 10-14 respond to a series of questions on whether girls should be treated differently than boys. This 6-item scale appears in the Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS). Children were asked how much they agreed with the following:

  1. GIRLS AND BOYS SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME AT SCHOOL
  2. A GIRL SHOULD NOT LET A BOY KNOW SHE IS SMARTER THAN HE IS
  3. COMPETING WITH BOYS IN SCHOOL WOULD MAKE A GIRL UNPOPULAR WITH BOYS
  4. A GIRL SHOULD PAY HER OWN WAY ON DATES
  5. IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR ALL THE CHILDREN IN A FAMILY TO GO TO COLLEGE, THE BOYS SHOULD GO TO COLLEGE INSTEAD OF THE GIRLS
  6. IT IS PERFECTLY OK FOR A GIRL TO ASK A BOY FOR A DATE, EVEN IF HE HAS NEVER ASKED HER

These items are assigned to the CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT area of interest. Starting in 2000, these questions are named CSAS030A to CSAS030F. 

Peer pressure

Starting in 1992, children age 10 and older (10-14 starting in 1994) are asked whether they feel pressure from friends to engage in certain behaviors (beginning in 2002, the same questions are asked of Young Adults under age 19). They report on the following items in the CSAS:

CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO TRY CIGARETTES
CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO WORK HARD IN SCHOOL
CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TRY MARIJUANA/OTHER DRUGS
CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO DRINK ALCOHOL
CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO SKIP SCHOOL
CHILD FEELS PRESSURE FROM FRIENDS TO COMMIT CRIME/VIOLENCE

These items are assigned to the CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT area of interest.

Risk behavior

In 1994 the NLSY79 Child Self-Administered Supplement (CSAS) introduced a series of questions about the child's attitude toward risky behaviors and planning for the future. The six CSAS ratings of propensity for risk taking ("feelings toward yourself") items were taken from Section F. (Social-Psychology) of the American Teenage Study, which contains 25 items that were intended to create at least three distinct scales. Table 1 indicates the documentation for these items and the age range of the children who answered these questions.

Table 1. Child Risk-Taking Behaviors: How much do you agree or disagree?

  Question Name
Question Text 1994 1996 1998 2000-present
I often get in a jam because I do things without thinking. CS942611  CS960911  CS98049A CSAS049A
I think that planning takes the fun out of things. CS942613 CS960913  CS98049B CSAS049B
I have to use a lot of self-control to keep out of trouble. CS942615  CS960915 CS98049C CSAS049C
I enjoy taking risks. CS942617 CS960917 CS98049D CSAS049D
I enjoy new and exciting experiences, even if they are a little frightening or unusual. CS942619 CS960919 CS98049E CSAS049E
Life with no danger in it would be too dull for me. CS942621  CS960921 CS98049F CSAS049F
 
NOTE: Items asked of Child respondents ages 10-14. From 1994-2000, the Child Self-Administered Supplement was a paper booklet. Starting in 2002, the CSAS was CAPI self-report. For 1994, child risk taking items are asked in question 47. For 1996-2000, child risk taking items are asked in question 49. After 2000, the question name and number are the same.

Expectations and aspirations

Since 1988, NLSY79 Children ages 10 and older have been asked a repeat question series about when they expect to marry and when they expect to have children. Children are asked what they think is the "best age, if any, for you get married" and "best age for you to have your first child." They are also asked about the youngest age they can imagine themselves getting married and the youngest age they can imagine themselves having their first child. This series of questions for children under age 15 are assigned to the CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT area of interest.

Mothers of children who are at least school age are asked to rate each child's prospects for the future and to estimate how far they think their child will go in school. Through 1998 and again starting in 2002 these questions, posed in the Mother Supplement, were assigned to the MOTHER SUPPLEMENT areas of interest. In 2000, the future prospects questions were moved to the Child CAPI Supplement and then back to the Mother Supplement in 2002. Since 1988, children ages 10 and older have also been asked how far they expect to go in school. Table 2 contains a summary of educational aspiration questions by survey year.

Table 2. Mother and Child Reports of Educational Aspirations

Survey Year Question Title Area of Interest Q Name
  Mother Report
   
1988 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR YOU THINK CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1988 MS880861
1990 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR YOU THINK CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1990 MS901461
1992 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1992 MS921511
1994 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1994 MS941643
1996 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1996 MS961659
1998 SCHOOL & FAMILY BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT 1998 MS985017
2000 CHILD BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SUPPLEMENT 2000 BKGN-44
2002-2004 CHILD BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT BKGN-44
2006-current CHILD BACKGROUND: HOW FAR MOM THINKS CHILD WILL GO IN SCHOOL MOTHER SUPPLEMENT MS-BKGN-44
  Child Self-Report
   
1988 CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED: HOW FAR DO YOU THINK YOU WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS884171
1990 CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED: HOW FAR DO YOU THINK YOU WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS906553
1992 CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED: HOW FAR CHILD THINKS SHE/HE WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS926713
1994 CHILD SELF-ADMIN: HOW FAR CHILD THINKS SHE/HE WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS942413
1996 CHILD SELF-ADMIN: HOW FAR CHILD THINKS SHE/HE WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS960713
1998 CHILD SELF-ADMIN: HOW FAR CHILD THINKS SHE/HE WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CS98028
2000-current CHILD SELF-ADMIN: HOW FAR CHILD THINKS SHE/HE WILL GO IN SCHOOL CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT CSAS028

Starting in 2004, children age 14 were asked questions in the Child survey about plans for work at age 35 so that all children age 14 are administered a comparable set of such questions. Young Adults have also been asked about expectations at age 35 and prospects for separation and divorce. [NLSY79 mothers have answered questions about their own educational and employment expectations for the future. Interested users should consult the Attitudes & Expectations section of the NLSY79 User's Guide.]

Child self-perception/self-worth/self-competence

The Self-Perception Profile for Children (SPPC) is administered to NLSY79 children in the Child Supplement. The SPPC  is a self-report magnitude estimation scale that measures a child's sense of general self-worth and self-competence in the domain of academic skills (Harter 1982, 1985).  Harter's instrument taps five specific domains of self-concept as well as global self-worth. The twelve items selected from the original scale for use in the NLSY79 child survey translate into two subscores, a global self-worth score and a scholastic competence score. The protocol for this assessment is explained and illustrated in the user version of the Child Supplement (available on the Questionnaires page). The assessment, titled "What I Am Like" in the Child Supplement, was completed by children ages eight and over in the survey years 1986-1992 and ages 8-14 in 1994. Beginning with the 1996 survey, administration was limited to children 12-14. A full description of the SPPC items and subscales appears in the Self-Perception Profile for Children section of the topical portion of the users guide on the NLSY79 child assessments.

Child depression or "moods"

The depression or child 'moods' items in the NLSY79 Child (CSAS) questionnaire came from the National Commission on Children (NCC) 1990 Survey of Parents and Children.  The specific source for these questions can be found in the 1990 NCC Parent and Child Final Questionnaire and Codebook for Children, questions V432 to V440. (Several other parent-child interaction questions in the CSAS were also drawn from this instrument: V322, V323, V339, V307 for example on spending time with each parent, parent missing activities, peer pressure.) The moods items are self-administered in the Child Self-Administered Section of the Child Supplement instrument by children age 10-14.

Neighborhood safety

In 1992 a question was added to the Child Self-Administered Supplement for children 10 and older about how safe they felt walking and playing in their neighborhood. That same year mothers were first asked to rate their neighborhood as a place to raise children. They were also asked to assess the quality of the neighborhood on a number of dimensions, similar to those also addressed to young adults starting in 1994. The NLSY79 neighborhood quality series, which has continued through the current survey round, is taken from the National Commission on Children Parent & Child Study, 1990 Parent Questionnaire, p.7 (V32, V34-V41).

 

Survey Instruments Questions about children's attitudes are included in the Child Self-Administered Supplement. Mothers report on their children's attitudes in the Family & Schooling section of the Mother Supplement. SPPC (self-perception) is administered in the Child Supplement.
Area of Interest CHILD SUPPLEMENT, CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT
MOTHER SUPPLEMENT

 

Young Adult

Created variables

SCALE SCORES: Standardized scale scores have been constructed for several sets of psychological batteries for survey years 1994 through 2006, including:

  • Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale
  • Pearlin Mastery Scale
  • CES-D Scale

In all survey years, the Young Adult survey has collected some information from respondents on their perceived self-esteem, their feelings of control over their own lives, their levels of depression, their risk-taking behavior, their anger levels, their views of the social world, and their basic personality traits. Many of these questions have been used in previous rounds of the main Youth and the Child Self-Administered Surveys. The patterns of administration have varied across rounds based on age and interview status (see Table 3 below).

Table 3. Administration Pattern of Attitude Scales in the Young Adult

Attitude

Scale

Survey Year
1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014
Knowledge of the World of Work

All YAs

First-time YAs

First-time YAs

               
Pearlin Mastery

All YAs

All YAs

All YAs

Those not interviewed in 1998

Those not int. in 2000

All YAs

Those not int. in 2004

All YAs

Those not int. in 2008

 Those not int. in 2010

Those not int in 2012 if not in health module

Rosenberg Self-Esteem

All YAs

All YAs

All YAs

Those not int. in 1998

Those not int. in 2000

All YAs

Those not int. in 2004

All YAs

Those not int. in 2008

Those not int. in 2010 

Those not int in 2012 if not in health module

Risk-Taking

In YASRB

In YASRB

In YASRB

Those not int. in 1998

Those not int. in 2000

All YAs

Those not int. in 2004

All YAs

Those not int. in 2008

Those not int. in 2010 

Those not int in 2012 if not in health module

CESD Depression (7 items in 1994-2008, 11 items starting in 2010)

All YAs

All YAs

All YAs

Those not int. in 1998

Those not int. in 2000

All YAs

All YAs

All YAs

All YAs

 Ages 14-24, 29+

Ages 14-24 and Rs in health modules

Women's Roles

All YAs

Those not int. in 1994

Those not int. in 1996

 

YAs 17-18, or 23 and older

 

All YAs

Those not int. in 2006

All YAs

 

YAs 17-20 all; everyone else subset

Gender Role Items from CSAS          

YAs 14, 15 or 16

YAs 14, 15 or 16

YAs 14, 15 or 16

YAs 14, 15 or 16

 YAs 14, 15 or 16

YAs 14, 15 or 16

Anger Scale          

 

All YAs 

All YAs

All YAs

 Ages 14-24, 29+

Ages 14-24 and Rs in health modules

Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI)          

 

All YAs

Those not int. in 2006

All YAs

 Those not int in 2010 & 25% of 2010 int.

All YAs

Mini-IPIP          

 

 

 

 

Random subset (25%)

Random subset (12.5%)

Major Discrimination          

 

 

 

 

 21+

21+ not interviewed in 2012

Day-to-Day Discrimination          

 

 

 

 

All YAs 

Those YAs non intv in 2012

 

Pearlin Mastery Scale

 The Pearlin Mastery Scale has been administered to at least some respondents in all survey years. It is a measure of self-concept and references the extent to which individuals perceive themselves in control of forces that significantly impact their lives. It consists of a 7-item scale developed by Pearlin et al. (1981). Each item is a statement regarding the respondent's perception of self, and respondents are asked how strongly they agree or disagree with each statement.  Four response categories are allowed: (1) strongly disagree; (2) disagree; (3) agree; and (4) strongly agree. The scale is constructed by adding together the responses from each item to produce a score ranging from 4 to 16. To obtain a positively oriented scale (that is, a scale where a higher score represents the perception of greater mastery over one's environment), negatively phrased questions should have their response sets reverse coded prior to summation. The Pearlin Mastery Scale has reasonable internal reliability (Seeman, 1991) and good construct validity (Pearlin et al, 1981).

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale

The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale has been administered to at least some respondents every survey year. This 10-item scale, designed for adolescents and adults, measures the self-evaluation that an individual makes and customarily maintains. It describes a degree of approval or disapproval toward oneself (Rosenberg, 1965). The scale is short, widely used, and has accumulated evidence of validity and reliability. It contains 10 statements of self-approval and disapproval with which respondents are asked to strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. Items A, B, D, F, and G need to be reversed prior to summing the individual items in order for a higher score to designate higher self-esteem. Users should consult the relevant survey year questionnaire for specific wording.  Typically, the raw items are summed or the standardized items are averaged to create a summary score. The scale has proven highly internally consistent, with reliability coefficients that range from .87 (Menaghan, 1990) to .94 (Strocchia-Rivera, 1988), depending on the nature of the sample selected.

Risk Taking

Since its inception in 1994 the Young Adult survey has included a series of questions about attitudes toward risky behaviors and planning for the future. The six ratings of propensity for risk taking ("feelings toward yourself") items were taken from Section F. (Social-Psychology) of the American Teenage Study which contained 25 items intended to create at least three distinct scales. These items, also used in the Child Self-Administered Supplement, are:

  • I often get in a jam because I do things without thinking.
  • I think that planning takes the fun out of things.
  • I have to use a lot of self-control to keep out of trouble.
  • I enjoy taking risks.
  • I enjoy new and exciting experiences, even if they are a little frightening or unusual.
  • Life with no danger in it would be too dull for me.

Depressive Symptoms

The Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) measures symptoms of depression, discriminates between clinically depressed individuals and others, and is highly correlated with other depression rating scales (see Radloff 1977; Ross and Mirowsky 1989). A 7-item version of the CES-D has been included in the Young Adult survey every round, although not all respondents are asked the 7 scale items each survey (see Table 2). This 7-item version, as well as the original 20-item version, has also been administered to the NLSY79 respondents. The decision to use only a 7-item version in the Young Adult survey was based on research by Ross and Mirowsky (1989) and others indicating that scales with fewer items are as robust as the 20-item scale. The item response choices in both the NLSY79 and the Young Adult have been kept consistent with the 1992 NLSY79 (and original Radloff, 1977) responses to the full CES-D: 0 (rarely or none of the time/1 day) to 3 (most or all of the time/5-7 days). An additional 4 CES-D items were added in 2010. A discussion of the CES-D items can be found in the discussion of Health.

Anger

A six-item anger scale, developed by Scott Schieman (1999, 2003), was included for the first time in 2008 and continues to be asked of a subset of respondents in each round. Scale item questions ask respondents on how many days in the last week they have:

  • Felt annoyed or frustrated
  • Felt angry
  • Felt very critical of others
  • Yelled at someone or something
  • Felt rage
  • Lost their temper

Personality Traits

The Ten-Item Personality Inventory (TIPI) was added to the Attitudes section in 2006. This scale, developed by Gosling, et al., (2003), is a measure of the Big Five personality traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism). The TIPI consists of 10 pairs of personality traits that the respondents are asked to rate how well describes them on a scale from 1 (Disagree strongly) to 7 (Agree strongly). These pairs are:

  • Extraverted, enthusiastic (E)
  • Critical, quarrelsome (A, reversed)
  • Dependable, self-disciplined (C)
  • Anxious, easily upset (N)
  • Open to new experiences, complex (O)
  • Reserved, quiet (E, reversed)
  • Sympathetic, warm (A)
  • Disorganized, careless (C, reversed)
  • Calm, emotionally stable (N, reversed)
  • Conventional, uncreative (O, reversed)

In 2012 and 2014, the Young Adult Survey also included the mini-IPIP (International Personality Item Pool), an alternative measure of the Big Five personality traits. The 20-item mini-IPIP was developed by Donellan, et al, (2006) as an alternative to the 50-item International Personality Item Pool that was particularly amenable to administration in large scale surveys. The mini-IPIP consists of 20 statements, and respondents rate how accurate each statement is for them on a scale from 1 (Very inaccurate) to 5 (Very accurate). These statements are:

  • I am the life of the party (E)
  • I sympathize with others' feelings (A)
  • I get chores done right away (C)
  • I have frequent mood swings (N)
  • I have a vivid imagination (O)
  • I don't talk a lot (E)
  • I am not interested in other people's problems (A)
  • I often forget to put things back in their proper place (C)
  • I am relaxed most of the time (N)
  • I am not interested in abstract ideas (O)
  • I talk to a lot of different people at parties (E)
  • I feel others' emotions (A)
  • I like order (C)
  • I get upset easily (N)
  • I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas (O)
  • I keep in the background (E)
  • I am not really interested in others (A)
  • I make a mess of things (C)
  • I seldom feel blue (N)
  • I do not have a good imagination (O)

In 2012, those who were not interviewed in 2010 were scheduled to take the TIPI. A random subset (25%) of them were selected to also take the mini-IPIP.  Additionally, a random subset (25%) of those interviewed in 2010 were selected to take both the TIPI and the mini-IPIP. In 2014, a random 12.5% of all respondents interviewed in 2014 were chosen to take both the TIPI and mini-IPIP. This administration pattern allows researchers to compare these two scales.

Gender Roles

In 1994 through 1998, some Young Adults answered questions on women's roles and family attitudes that were also asked of NLSY79 respondents in 1979, 1982, 1987, and 2004. These questions were not administered in the 2000 Young Adult survey; however, they were included in the 2002 questionnaire for Young Adults ages 17-18 or 23 and over. The Women's Roles questions were again skipped in 2004 but were asked of all Young Adults in 2006. In 2008, only those not interviewed in 2006 were asked these items. These were asked of all respondents again in 2010, with the addition of three gender role items taken from the International Social Survey Program (ISSP) Family and Changing Gender Roles III questionnaire which was administered in 2000 in approximately 35 countries. In 2012, the original set of gender role questions was not asked, but all respondents were asked the new gender role items. In 2014, respondents ages 17 to 20 answered the original set of gender role questions, while all respondents were asked the new gender role items. For the gender role questions, the YA respondent agreed or disagreed with the following statements:

  • A woman's place is in the home, not the office or shop.
  • A wife who carries out her full family responsibilities doesn't have time for outside employment.
  • A working wife feels more useful than one who doesn't hold a job.
  • Employment of wives leads to more juvenile delinquency.
  • Employment of both parents is necessary to keep up with the high cost of living.
  • It is much better for everyone concerned if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family.
  • Men should share the work around the house with women, such as doing dishes, cleaning and so forth.
  • Women are much happier if they stay at home and take care of their children.

The added ISSP items are:

  • Having a job is the best way for a woman to be an independent person.
  • People in a committed relationship, either married or living together, are generally happier than people who are not in a committed relationship.
  • It is better to be in a bad relationship than in no relationship at all.

Since 2004, the youngest Young Adults (ages 14 to 16) have been asked the gender role items from the Child Self-Administered Supplement (see Gender Role information in the Child section above). One additional item, directed to all YAs, asking about the acceptability for cohabiting couples to have children, was added in 2008.

Political Questions

In 2006, a series of political questions were included at the end of the Young Adult Self Report section (see questions Y19453.00 [YASR-76A] through Y19472.00 [YASR-93]) for all respondents ages 21 and over. In the YA2008, some of the political questions, first fielded in 2006, remained the same while some questions were removed and new ones added (see questions Y22617.00 [YASR-76A] through Y22652.00 [YASR-93]), with some being asked of everyone 18 and over and some asked only of those 21 and over. These political questions were interviewer-administered, even for in-person interviews. Both rounds included a voting behavior question. Party affiliation and political leaning questions remained the same, but some of the attitudinal and behavioral questions were dropped with others added to replace them. The questions concerning mother's and father's politics during childhood were asked of all eligible YAs in 2006, but only of those new to the sequence in 2008. A small subset of these questions was included in the NLSY79 in 2008 (see questions T21839.00 [ATT-POL-77] through T21845.00 [ATT-POL-84]). The sequence of political questions is based on questions from the American National Election Studies (ANES) and were included in our surveys through a grant received by Jon Krosnick and Arthur Lupia.

Discrimination

In 2012, the Young Adult survey introduced several questions about perceived discrimination. One series (Q16-10A through Q16-10J), asked of those 21 and older, is about major instances of discrimination. A second series (Q16-11A through Q16-11K), answered by all respondents, asks about day-to-day discrimination. The discrimination questions were asked in 2014 to those respondents who did not participate in the 2012 survey round.

These questions were originally developed by Dr. David Williams, Professor of Public Health, African and African American Studies, and Sociology at Harvard University for the Detroit Area Study. They have since been incorporated into MIDUS and the National Survey of American Life. Research has linked people's perceptions of discrimination to various areas of the later life course including mental and physical health problems and to academic performance.

Knowledge of the World of Work

In survey years 1994, 1996 and 1998, new Young Adults were asked a series of questions based on an abbreviated version of the "Knowledge of the World of Work" scale included in the 1979 round of the NLSY79. This set of questions asks respondents to pick one of three statements that best describes the duties of each of 10 commonly held jobs. A total score can be calculated by awarding one point for each correct answer (Kohen and Breinich, 1975; Parnes and Kohen, 1975; Parnes, et al., 1970). They were also asked a number of items pertaining to hypothetical job offers. Each job offer contained a wage offer as well as a brief description of the job duties, and respondents were asked whether or not they would accept the offer. These two series were removed in the 2000 redesign in order to streamline the survey and accommodate telephone administration. 

Expectations

In each round, first-time Young Adult respondents, ae well as those aged 23 and 24, indicate whether they would like to be married and have a family at age 35. Through 1998, all respondents also indicated whether they would like to be working at age 35. Starting in 2000, the work expectations question was changed to ask the respondent whether they would continue to work if they had enough money to live comfortably at age 35. Finally, in each round all respondents report how many children they expect to have and when they expect to have their first/next child.

Comparison to Other NLS Cohorts: The NLSY79 respondents have been asked a number of attitude and expectation questions over time, including many of the same scales as those used in the Young Adult. When the Young Adults were between the ages of 10 and 14, they potentially answered a variety of attitude and expectation questions in the Child Self-Administered Supplement. 

The NLSY97 Youth Questionnaire collects information about the respondents' perceptions of the justice system in each round. The round 1 NLSY97 survey attempted to ascertain the impact that school has had on the feelings of well-being experienced by various youths. Respondents who were enrolled at the time of the survey were asked to agree or disagree with statements regarding their school's environment and their teachers. In round 1 respondents were also asked about their perception of their peers' activities and behaviors.

The Mature Women and Young Women were asked about their attitudes toward working roles. The NLSY97 respondents, the Young Women, and Young Men have all answered questions about their educational and employment expectations for the future; however, the specific questions and reference periods have varied widely. For more precise details about the content of each survey, consult the appropriate cohort's User's Guide using the tabs above for more information.

References

Donnellan, M.B., Oswald, F.L., Baird, B.M., & Lucas, R.E. 2006. "The mini-IPIP scales: Tiny-yet-effective measures of the Big Five factors of personality."  Psychological Assessment 18(2), 192-203.

Menaghan, Elizabeth G. "The Impact of Occupational and Economic Pressures on Young Mothers' Self-Esteem: Evidence from the NLSY." Presented: Annual Meetings of the Society for the Sociological Study of Social Problems, Washington, D.C., August 9, 1990.

Pearlin, Leonard I.; Lieberman, Morton A.; Menaghan, Elizabeth G.; and Mullan, Joseph T. "The Stress Process." Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 22 (December): 337-353, 1981.

Radloff, L. S. 1977. "The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population." Applied Psychological Measurement, 1 (3), 385-401.

Rosenberg, Morris. Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Ross, Catherine E., and John Mirowsky. 1989. "Explaining the Social Patterns of Depression: Control and Problem Solving--Or Support and Talking?" Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 30 (June), 206-219.

Schieman, Scott. 1999. "Age and Anger." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 40(3), 273-289.

Schieman, Scott. 2003. "Socioeconomic Status and the Frequency of Anger across the Life Course." 46(2), 207-222.

Seeman TE. 1991. "Personal control and coronary artery disease: How generalized expectancies about control may influence disease risk." Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 35, 661-669.

Strocchia-Rivera, Lenore.  Self-Esteem and Educational Aspirations as Antecedents of Adolescent Unmarried Motherhood. Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 1988.

Survey Instruments Questions on attitudes and expectations are found in the Young Adult Instrument, Section 16, Attitudes.
Area of Interest YA Attitudes, YA Self Report, and YA Birth Record (fertility expectations)