NLSY79 Children

NLS Youth '79 Child & Young Adult Cohort

Short Description: 
Biological children of women in the NLSY79
Short Title: 
NLSY79 Child and Young Adult
Long Name: 
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Child and Young Adult
Investigator URL:
Nav Title: 
NLSY79 Child/YA

Inter/Intra Cohort Analyses

In Table 1 two birth cohorts are described as an example of a possible analysis that follows young adults through their NLSY79 years.  Since these two cohorts have lived all of their lives within the time frame of the NLSY79, data from their childhood, adolescence and early adulthood can be used to describe and define their lives in many ways.  The older of the two cohorts is made up of children born in 1980 or 1981 who were 25 or 26 years old as of the end of the 2006 calendar year, were born to mothers in their teens and

Life Cycle Profiles for the NLSY79 Children

NLSY79 Mothers: Table 1, below, presents a synopsis of some of the attitudinal and behavioral questions that have been asked of mothers, and of their children when they were both pre- and early teenagers, and then again when they were young adults. When these mothers were in their middle to later adolescent years they were asked about their own educational, employment and family aspirations.

Intercohort and Cross Generational Research

These sections outline some research topics for which the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult data are particularly appropriate. Specific topics are not explored in depth but instead are presented as examples of a range of subjects that can be investigated. The focus here is on ways in which data from the main NLSY79 mothers, the younger children, and the young adults can be linked, allowing researchers to carry out not only within but also cross-generational research.

Child/Young Adult Documentation

In addition to this online User's Guide, a number of documentation items are provided to help users understand the Child and Young Adult data. Except for the Codebook, which is accessed through the NLS Investigator search and extraction Web program, all of these items are available within the child section of this website. Additional assistance is available through NLS User Services.

Linking Children, Young Adults, and Mothers

The Child/Young Adult data files contain many constructed variables drawn from multiple sources, including both cross-sectional and longitudinal information in both the child and mother records. Users of the Child/Young Adult data who wish to construct variables not found in the Child/Young Adult files may access the mothers' records in the main Youth files in order to obtain the necessary inputs.

Accessing the Data using NLS Investigator

NLSY79 Child and Young Adult variables are accessed using NLS Investigator, which is available as a Web application. The main application of NLS Investigator is to access NLS variables for the purposes of identifying, selecting, extracting, and/or running frequencies or cross-tabulations.  This interface allows the researcher to connect to a database and perform variable extractions without installing any software on a local computer.

Missing Data: Noninterviews and Item Nonresponse

Missing values are indicated in the data and on the codebook page for each individual question. Following general NLS convention, a response of "don't know" to an individual question is coded "-2," a refusal to answer an individual question is coded "-1," and an invalid skip is coded "-3." (Invalid skip means that the respondent should have answered the question but didn't; this was more common in the paper-and-pencil interviews when the respondent or interviewer might make an error following the skip pattern on a paper instrument.

Sample Weights

Appropriate sample weights are available in each year to adjust the un-weighted sample cases for the minority oversamples and year-to-year sample attrition. The sample weights for younger children and young adults:


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