Crime & Substance Use: An Introduction

Created Variables

In addition to the variables created by CHRR, Child Trends, Inc., an organization involved in the NLSY97 questionnaire design process, has created a number of scales and indexes from several groups of variables described in this section. These scales and indexes are intended to aid researchers in using these data items. For these variable descriptions, see the Created Variables listings at the beginning of each section. For more information on the creation of these variables, see Appendix 9 of the NLSY97 Codebook Supplement.

NLSY97 respondents have answered questions in each survey round about crime and substance use.

Table 1. Crime & Substance Use Variables Topics and Universe Restrictions

NLSY97 User's Guide Topic

Universe Restrictions

Crime, Delinquency & Arrest Respondents provide information on participation in delinquency and criminal behavior and their interactions with the correctional systems, including incarceration. Asked each survey round. Later rounds include additional information about incarceration and post-incarceration. Rounds 1-7; All respondents. Rounds 8 and up: crime questions were asked only of respondents who had ever reported being arrested (along with a control group of comparison).
Alcohol Use Respondents provide details on their use of alcohol, including frequency and amount. Asked each survey round. Not asked of prisoners in insecure environments.
Cigarette Use Respondents provide information on their use of tobacco. Asked each survey round. Full universe in all rounds.
Drug Use Respondents provide information on their use of drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, or other drugs. Round 1 asked about marijuana use only, while the drug use questions in rounds 2 thru 15 are more extensive and include the use of any drugs such as cocaine, crack, heroin, or any other substance not prescribed by a doctor that was used to get high or achieve an altered state. Other than the marijuana questions, the variables do not specify what type of drugs respondents are taking. Drug use questions were not asked in round 16. Not asked of prisoners in insecure environments.