Assessments

Introduction

Which Children Are Assessed?

In the initial 1986 Child survey round efforts were made to assess all biological children of NLSY79 mothers, regardless of their residence status. Starting in 1988, the sample of children eligible for assessment was restricted to children living part or full-time with their mothers. 

Table 2 displays the number of children interviewed in the current survey round by single year of age and race/ethnicity. Information on the number of children interviewed in earlier survey rounds can be found here. (The age range exceeds 14 years in the table for years prior to 1994, since that marks the first year of the Young Adult interview.) 

Table 2.  NLSY79 Children Interviewed by Single Year of Age and Race/Ethnicity, 2014

Child Age in Years at Interview Race/Ethnicity
Hispanic Black White Total
3 years 0 2 0 2
4 years 0 0 2 2
5 years 0 0 1 1
6 years 0 0 2 2
7 years 0 2 3 5
8 years 2 2 5 9
9 years 3 3 7 13
10 years 9 7 7 23
11 years 9 3 16 28
12 years 7 12 20 39
13 years 20 10 28 58
14 years 17 28 35 80
15 years+ 3 4 7 14
Total 70 73 133 276
 
NOTE: Child age in this table is measured as of the mother's interview date and may differ from the age at which the child was assessed. Some children interviewed in 2014 are missing on "age of child at mother's DOI" because the mother was not interviewed. Age at child interview date has been assigned for these children.

A number of factors help explain the decline in the numbers of children interviewed in recent survey rounds. The primary reason is the diminished child-bearing of the NLSY79 women as they age through their forties and into their fifties and hence out of their childbearing years. In Table 2 above what we see is the distribution of children born to older women, i.e. the tail end of the fertility distribution for the NLSY79 cohort of women. All children ages 12 and older would have been born to NLSY79 women ages 35 and older.

Users should note that the distribution of children interviewed should not be equated with the number of children who completed the assessments. The distributions in Table 2 (and the related past-rounds table) simply indicate the number and types of children for whom some child interview information, collected in one of the child instruments, is available.

Table 3 shows the decline, starting in 2002, in the number of children (from birth to age 14) who were assessed with the HOME Inventory. This decline in sample sizes is a function of the aging up of the Child cohort into the Young Adult sample in addition to reduced childbearing among older NLSY79 mothers. The "Sample Changes over Time" section in Sample Design has more information about the size of the child sample in each survey round.

Table 3.  NLSY79 Children with Completed HOME Inventories: 2002-2014 Survey Years

Survey year
Number of children with completed HOME Inventories
2002
3,077
2004
2,398
2006
1,786
2008
1,200
2010
792
2012
453
2014
241

Some assessments are completed only once by a child at the first time he or she becomes age-eligible. Others are completed at each survey point by all age-eligible children. With the exception of the Self-Perception Profile (SPPC), at each survey, ten- and eleven-year olds complete all assessments for which they are age-eligible, regardless of whether or not they had previously completed the assessment(s). This "index" group of children will ultimately represent a large, more fully representative sample for analysis. Table 4 contains details on the ages at which children were administered particular assessments. This table also summarizes changes in administration patterns.

Table 4.  NLSY79 Child: Children Eligible for Assessment by Survey Year

Assessment Eligible ages1
1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008-2014
Parts of the Body 1-2 1-2 -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Memory for Locations2 8 mos-3 yrs (8 mos-3 yrs) -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
McCarthy Verbal Memory Subscale2 3-6 (3-6) (4-6) (3-6) (3-6) -- -- -- -- -- -- --
What I Am Like (Self-Perception Profile) 8 and older 8 and older 8 and older 8 and older 8-14 12-14 12-14 12-14 12-14 12-14 12-14 12-14
WISC-R Digit Span Subscale2 7 and older 10-11
(7 and older)
10-11
(7 and older)
10-11
(7 and older)
10-11
(7-14)
7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11 7-11
PIAT Math and Reading 5 and older 5 and older 5 and older 5 and older 5-14 5-14 5-14 5-14 5-14 5-14 5-14 5-14
PPVT-R2 3 and older 10-11
(3 and older)
10-11
(3 and older)
3 and older 10-11
(3-14)
10-11
(4-14)
4-5,
10-11
4-5,
10-11
4-5,
10-11
4-5, (6-9),
10-11
4-5, (6-9),
10-11
4-5, (6-9),
10-11
HOME environment All ages All ages All ages All ages 0-14 0-14 0-14 0-14 0-14 0-14 4-14 4-14
Temperament 0-6 0-6 0-6 0-6 0-6 0-6 0-6 0-6 2-6* 2-6* 2-6* 2-6
Motor & Social Development 0-3 0-3 0-3 0-3 0-3 0-3 0-3 0-3 2-3* -- 0-3* 0-3
Behavior Problems Index 4 and older 4 and older 4 and older 4 and older 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-14
 
1  Age in years unless otherwise noted.
2  Parentheses indicate age eligibility for children with no previous valid score. For example, in 1996, all 10- and 11-year-olds were eligible for the PPVT-R; a 6-year-old with no previous score was also eligible, but a 6-year-old with a previous valid score from 1994 or an earlier survey was not eligible.
*  Children born before the R19 (2000) interview or 1/1/2000.
NOTE: Beginning in 1994, assessments were no longer given to children who reach age 15 by the end of that calendar year. Starting in 2008, when the field period extended into the calendar year following the survey year, some children turned 15 during the Child interview period.

How to Identify Interviewed Children. Users can rely on the child sample weights (CSAMWTyyyy/CSAMWTyyyy_REV) to determine which children have assessment information in any given survey year. A child with a child sample weight greater than zero means that the child was assessed in that year. However, these assessed children will not necessarily have a valid score on any particular assessment in that year. A series of flags was introduced in 1998 to indicate the child's interview and assessment status. In 2000, the interview status series was simplified to identify children interviewed, whether the child's mother was interviewed, and an indication as to whether each type of child field instrument was administered. Starting with the 2002 survey round, the series of child interview status variables was expanded to include the constructed variables listed in Table 5.

Table 5. Child Interview Status Variables, 2002-2014

CINTRV2002 - CINTRV2014 INTERVIEW STATUS OF CHILD
MINTRV2002 - MINTRV2014 INTERVIEW STATUS OF MOTHER
INCSUP2002 - INCSUP2014 DOES CHILD HAVE A CHILD SUPPLEMENT RECORD
CSCOMP2002 - CSCOMOP2014 COMPLETION STATUS OF CHILD SUPPLEMENT
INMSUP2002 - INMSUP2014 DOES CHILD HAVE A MOTHER SUPPLEMENT RECORD
MSCOMP2002 - MSCOMP2014 COMPLETION STATUS OF MOTHER SUPPLEMENT
INCSAS2002 - INCSAS2004 * DOES CHILD HAVE A CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT RECORD
CSASCOMP2002 - CSASCOMP2014 COMPLETION STATUS OF CHILD SELF-ADMINISTERED SUPPLEMENT
CSMSINTERVAL2002 -CSMSINTERVAL2014 # OF DAYS BETWEEN CHILD SUPPLEMENT AND MOTHER SUPPLEMENT INTERVIEWS
CSMSORDER2002 - CSMSORDER2014 SEQUENCE OF CHILD SUPPLEMENT AND MOTHER SUPPLEMENT INTERVIEWS
 
* The "INCSAS" variable is created only through 2004, since starting in 2006, the CSAS is fully integrated as a section in the Child Supplement and is no longer a separate instrument.