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

The HOME (Home Observation Measurement of the Environment)


The NLSY79 Child surveys contain a wide range of detailed assessment information about the children of female respondents. Beginning in 1986, a battery of child cognitive, socio-emotional, and physiological assessments has been administered biennially for age-appropriate children. Many of the assessments, and much of the supplemental information about each child, have been based on reports from the child's mother.

References & Bibliography

The following citations refer to research cited in the users guide and to basic background documents on the assessments and other instruments used in the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult surveys. A comprehensive, annotated online bibliography of NLS research provides additional references for research using the child and young adult data.

Pooling Sample Sizes

The panel dimension of the NLSY79 data collection permits one to cumulate sample cases for children at specified ages across survey points, thus attaining rather substantial sample sizes for those ages. Pooling in this manner also can greatly enhance the heterogeneity of the sample for specific research topics.

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.


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