NLS Youth '79 Cohort

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth - 1979 Cohort
Short Description: 
Men and women born in the years 1957-64
Short Title: 
NLS Youth 1979
Long Name: 
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth | 1979
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Dating, Marriage & Cohabitation; Sexual Activity, Pregnancy & Fertility; Children: An Introduction

The NLSY79 survey provides data on respondents' experiences with dating and sexual activity, marriage or marriage-like relationships, pregnancy, and children. Most years of the survey ask some respondents about this information. Every NLSY79 survey has included a section on fertility and both men and women are asked if they have had children. Data on child care have been collected within various topical sections of the NLSY79 questionnaires.

Crime & Substance Use: An Introduction

Questions concerning crime and substance use have appeared throughout the years the NLSY79 has been administered.

Alcohol Use

Some form of use of alcohol question is found in most rounds of the survey. In particular are questions concerning general alcohol consumption and use of alcohol during pregnancies.

Household, Geographic & Contextual Variables: An Introduction

A variety of demographic, family, and neighborhood factors can potentially affect a person's labor market attachment and educational attainment. Data supplied by the household informant and the NLSY79 respondent provide researchers with a wealth of background information about the respondent's family members and household environment. 

Race, Ethnicity & Immigration Data

Important Information About Using Race, Ethnicity and Immigration Data

Household Composition

Created Variables

TYPE OF RESIDENCE. These variables reflect the type of residence in which the R was living at each survey point (e.g. own dwelling unit, in parental household, jail, etc.). Although these variables exist for each year, they are only actually created or compiled from multiple versions of the Household Interview from 1979-1986. A single version of the Household Interview was used beginning in 1987.

Geographic Residence & Neighborhood Composition


Important Information About Using Gender Data


Created Variables

AGEATINT: These variables provide the respondent's age at each interview date.


Important Information About Using Age Data

Drug Use

An extensive set of questions on substance use was included in the 1984 survey and collected information on respondents' illicit and nonprescribed use of:

  • marijuana/hashish
  • amphetamines
  • barbiturates
  • tranquilizers
  • psychedelics
  • cocaine
  • heroin
  • other narcotics

  For each of these substances, information was collected on:

Crime, Delinquency & Arrest Records

The 1980 interview asked about delinquent or criminal activities during the previous twelve month period. Categories included:

  • skipping school
  • alcohol/marijuana use
  • vandalism
  • shoplifting
  • drug dealing
  • robbery
  • assault
  • gambling

The number of respondents reporting participation is summarized in Table 1 and Table 2 below.


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