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


This section provides sample sizes for the number of times younger children and young adults of different ages have been interviewed over the life course of the survey.

Interview Methods

Instrument Development

The Child Survey.  The original proposal for the NLSY79 Child data collection included plans for instruments that tapped several dimensions of child cognition, health, socio-emotional attributes, behavior, and home environment.

Sample Design

The NLSY79 Child sample is comprised of all children born to NLSY79 mothers. Starting in 1986, the children of the NLSY79 mothers have been interviewed and assessed biennially to follow their cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional development. Starting in 1994, children who have reached the age of 15 by the end of the survey year are no longer assessed but instead complete personal interviews similar to those given to their mothers during late adolescence and into adulthood.

The NLSY79 Child/Young Adult Sample: An Introduction

The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 cohort (NLSY79) is a multi-purpose panel survey that originally included a nationally representative sample of 12,686 men and women who were all 14 to 21 years of age on December 31, 1978. Annual interviews have been conducted with NLSY79 main Youth respondents since 1979, with a shift to a biennial interview mode after 1994. As of the 2020 interview round, the NLSY79 women had attained the ages of 56 to 63 (as of December 31, 2020).

National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Child and Young Adult

The NLSY79 Child and Young Adult cohort is a longitudinal project that follows the biological children of the women in the NLSY79. As of 2020, more than 10,000 children had been interviewed in at least one survey round. To date, a total of 11,551 children have been identified as born to interviewed NLSY79 mothers. Data are now available from 1986 to 2020, representing 16 survey rounds for the child sample and 14 for young adults in that time span.


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