What Assessment Scores Are Computed?

The NLSY79 Child data files contain summary scores for each assessment measure. For a subset of assessments, subscores are constructed. Where available, the user is provided with national norms based on the raw scores. Table 1 lists the raw and normed scores that are available for the most recent Child survey year. The data file includes individual item responses as recorded in the field as well as interviewer reports of testing conditions for each assessment. Edit or imputation "flags" are constructed for selected assessments to indicate where prorations were necessary or where alternate scoring schemes were considered.  Scoring procedures are addressed below in relation to specific assessments.

Table 1.  Assessment Scores on the NLSY79 Child File, 2014

Assessment 2014 Scores (QNames)
  Assessment 2014 Scores (QNames)
Raw Percentile Standard Raw Percentile Standard
Total HOME1   HOMEP2014 HOMEZ2014   Motor & Social Development--All MOTO2014 MOTOP2014 MOTOZ2014
           0-2 Years HOMEA2014         Same Gender   MOTOPX2014 MOTOZX2014
  3-5 Years HOMEB2014       Behavior Problems BPI2014 BPIP2014 BPIZ2014
  6-9 Years HOMEC2014                Antisocial ANTI2014 ANTIP2014 ANTIZ2014
  10 -14 Years HOMED2014         Anxious/Depressed DEP2014 DEPP2014 DEPZ2014
HOME Cognitive Stimulation1   COGNP2014 COGNZ2014     Headstrong HEAD2014 HEADP2014 HEADZ2014
  0-2 Years COGNA2014         Hyperactive HYPR2014 HYPRP2014 HYPRZ2014
  3-5 Years COGNB2014         Dependent DEP2014 DEPP2014 DEPZ2014
  6-9 Years COGNC2014         Peer Conflicts PEER2014 PEERP2014 PEERZ2014
  10 -14 Years COGND2014         Trichotomous Items BPTOTR2014 BPTOTP2014 BPTOTZ2014
HOME Emotional Support1   EMOTP2014 EMOTZ2014     External Score


  0-2 Years EMOTA2014         Internal Score BPINTR2014 BPINTP2014 BPINTZ2014
  3-5 Years EMOTB2014       Self-Perception      
  6-9 Years EMOTC2014         Scholastic SPPCS2014    
  10-14 Years EMOTD2014         Self-Worth SPPCG2014    
Temperament         Digit Span DIGIT2014   DIGITZ2014
  Activity* --         Forward DIGITF2014    
  Predictability* --         Backward DIGITB2014    
  Fearfulness** --       PIAT Math MATH2014 MATHP2014 MATHZ2014
  Positive Affect** --       PIAT Reading Recognition*** RECOG2014 RECOGP2014 RECOGZ2014
  Compliance COMPLY2014       PIAT Reading Comprehension COMP2014 COMPP2014 COMPZ2014
  Insecure Attachment INSECUR2014       PPVT-R PPVT2014 PPVTP2014 PPVTZ2014
  Sociability SOCIAB2014                
  Difficulty Composite--Abbrev.** --                
  Neg. Hedonic Tone Composite** --                
  Friendliness Composite--Abbrev.** --                
1 Internal norms provided.
*These Temperament subscale scores are only available for survey years 1986-2000, 2008-2010.
** These Temperament subscale scores are available for survey years 1986-2002, 2008-2012.
*** Note that the order of the Child reference numbers for PIAT Reading Recognition differs from the other PIAT scores.

Members of the CHRR staff have examined the assessment data as carefully as possible while preparing the assessment scores for the public use files. Researchers who encounter data or documentation problems with the assessments are encouraged to contact NLS user services. Should a problem be detected, we will inform data users by posting updates to and by correcting subsequent public releases.

Other child assessment documentation. Key references related to the assessments are cited in the References section. Users interested in additional research based on the NLSY79 child assessment data are encouraged to access the annotated, online NLS bibliography at

Detailed information about the validity of the Child data through the 1992 survey round can be found in the NLSY79 Children 1992: Description & Evaluation.  Background information on the child assessment data in the initial child survey rounds is discussed in The NLSY Child Handbook. Both documents are available on the Research/Technical Reports page.

Tables that describe the Child assessment scores in each survey round, starting with the 1994 data collection, can be found in a series of reports entitled The NLSY79 Child Assessments: Selected Tables. These reports display distributions of the raw and normed assessment scores by various child characteristics such as age and race/ethnicity. They are also available on the Research/Technical Reports page.