Asterisk Table | National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 Child and Young Adult

This page presents two tables summarizing selected variables from the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult surveys (use the drop-down menu to select either the child or young adult table). The tables list individual items or groups of related items, with asterisks in the year columns indicating the survey years in which the item(s) are available. Both survey questions and created variables are included. "R" used in variable descriptions stands for "respondent" and refers specifically to the child or young adult respondent, not the mother. Users are encouraged to consult the questionnaires for exact question wording in each survey round.

Selected Variables by Survey Year: NLSY79 Young Adults (Age 15 and older)

I. LABOR MARKET EXPERIENCE VARIABLES

A. Current labor force and employment status

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Survey week labor force and employment status * * *                
Hours worked in survey week * * *                
Hours per week usually worked * * *                
Job search activities * * *                

B. Work experience since January 1 of previous year through 1998 or date of last interview beginning in 2000

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Weeks worked * * * * * * * * * * *
Hours usually worked per week * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of weeks unemployed, out of labor force * * *                
Spells of unemployment * * * * * * * * * * *
Characteristics of last job lasting 2 weeks or more and of first significant job after leaving high school * * * * * * * * * * *

C. Characteristics of jobs (more than 10 hours/week, more than 9 weeks in duration) since January 1 of previous year through 1998 or date of last interview beginning in 2000

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Occupation and industry (Census code) * * * * * * * * * * *
Class of worker * * * * * * * * * * *
Start date and stop date * * * * * * * * * * *
Hours per week usually worked * * * * * * * * * * *
Shift worked * * *     * * * * * *
Rate of pay * * * * * * * * * * *
Hourly rate of pay * * * * * * * * * * *
Commuting time to job, method of transportation * * *                
Covered by collective bargaining * * *                
Is R union member * * *                
Availability of fringe benefits (CPS job only starting in 2000) * * * * * * * * * * *
Global job satisfaction item * * * * * * * * * * *
Size of employer * * *                
Reason for leaving job * * *                
Promotion and promotion potential with employer * * *                

II. HUMAN CAPITAL AND OTHER SOCIOECONOMIC VARIABLES

A. Early formative influences

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Date of birth * * * * * * * * * * *
Ethnic self-identification * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of times R has lived away from mother * * * * * * * * * * *
Father's employment status, occupation, highest grade completed, ethnicity * * * * * * * * * * *
Contact with nonresidential parent(s) * * * * * * * * * * *
Contact with sibling R feels closest to       * *            
Current religion, religious attendance, importance of religion * * * * * * * * * * *
Father's employment status, occupation, highest grade completed, ethnicity * * * * * * * * * * *

B. Education

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Current enrollment status, grade) * * * * * * * * * * *
Reason stopped attending school * * * * * * * * * * *
Date of last enrollment * * * * * * * * *    
Periods of nonattendance, grades when occurred, reason why * * * * * * * * * * *
Grades repeated or skipped * * * * * * * * * * *
Highest grade attended, highest grade completed * * * * * * * * * * *
GED or diploma received, date received * * * * * * * * * * *
Is or was the school R attended public, private, or religious * * * * * * * * * * *
High school curriculum * * * * * * * * * * *
Time spent on homework in school, out of school   * * * * * * * * * *
Style of teaching in English classes   * * * * * * * * * *
Parent involvement with R's schooling (19 items in 1996-98, 17 items in 2000 and 2002)   * * * * * * * * * *
Job or career counseling received in high school * * * * * * * * * * *
Characteristics of R's school (nine items) * * * * * * * * * * *
Level of satisfaction with school * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of high schools attended * * * * * * * * * * *
Colleges/universities applied to       * * * * * * * *
Date of college enrollment * * * * * * * * * * *
College degree received, date received (asked in 2000 and 2002) * * * * * * * * * * *
Type of college attending (2- or 4-year) * * *                
Field of study or specialization in college * * * * * * * * * * *
College tuition * * * * * * * * * * *
Educational loans or financial aid in college * * * * * * * * * * *
Other means of paying college expenses * * * * * * * * * * *
Highest grade R would like or expects to complete * * * * * * * * * * *
Highest grade R's best friend would like to complete * * *                

C. Vocational training outside regular school (information on only the most recent program was obtained in 2000)

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Type(s) of training * * * * * * *        
Services provided by training program * * * * * * *        
Duration of training programs * * * * * * *        
Was training completed * * * * * * *        
Hours per week usually spent in training * * * * * * *        
Was training related to specific job or employer, related to a promotion * * *                
Method of financing training * * * * * * *        
Does R have certificate or journeyman's card * * * * * * * * * * *

D. Physical and mental health

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Does health limit work or school activity * * * * * * * * * * *
Type and duration of health limitation * * * * * * * * * * *
Asthma           * * * * * *
Healthy behaviors           * * * * * *
Catastrophic events             * * * * *
Recent accidents, injuries, illnesses, hospitalization * * * * * * * * * * *
Height, body weight * * * * * * * * * * *
Right- or left-handedness   * *                
Menstrual period information * * * * * * * * * * *
Health insurance coverage for R, children * * * * * * * * * * *
CES-Depression Scale (seven items) * * * * * * * * * * *

E. Relationship and fertility history and household characteristics

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Number, ages, and demographic characteristics of all household residents (only information on age and relationship was obtained beginning in 2000) * * * * * * * * * * *
Family conflict scale             * * * * *
Number of close friends of each sex, their ages relative to R's age       * * * * * * * *
Month and year or age at first date * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of people R has dated in the past 12 months * * * * * * * * * * *
How often R usually has a date * * * * * * * * * * *
Marital status * * * * * * * * * * *
Unmarried R's: Status of current relationship * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship quality of steady dating relationship       * * * * * * * *
Has R ever (since last interview) lived with someone R was not married to           * * * * * *
Month and year or age of spouse or partner when R and spouse or partner began living together * * * * * * * * * * *
Characteristics of current spouse or partner: Ethnicity, religion, education, employment, income * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship history: Characteristics of previous spouses or partners * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship quality: Happiness rating, positive activities series, topics of arguments series * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship quality of steady dating relationship * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship characteristics: household division of labor, economic embeddedness           * * * * * *
Relationship plans, expectations * * * * * * * * * * *
Fertility history * * * * * * * * * * *
Use of various birth control methods * * * * * * * * * * *
Parenting attitudes       * * * * * * * *
Prenatal care (females) * * * * * * * * * * *
Health care and nutrition during pregnancy (females) * * *   * * * * * * *
Cigarette and alcohol use during pregnancy (females) * * * * * * * * * * *
Drug use during pregnancy (females) * * *                
Postnatal infant care (females) * * * * * * * * * * *
Expected number of children * * * * * * * * * * *
R's opinions or beliefs about parenting; actual parenting behaviors       * * * * * * * *

F. Financial characteristics and program participation

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Income of R and spouse from farm or own business * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from wages or salary (military income included starting in 2000) * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from unemployment compensation * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from public assistance * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from Food Stamps * * * * * *   * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from Social Security, other sources * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from military service (combined with civilian wages starting in 2000) * * *                
Income of R and spouse from child support * * * * * * * * * * *
Child support expected versus amount received * * * * * * * * * * *
Income of R and spouse from other sources * * * * * * * * * * *
Financial assistance from others             * * * * *
Possession of various assets (R and spouse) * * * * * * * * * * *
Asset market values (R and spouse) * * *       * * * * *
Household income       * * * * * * * *
Financial strain       * * * * * * * *
Amount of debts * * * * * * * * * * *
Foreclosure                 * * *

G. Military service (current or past)

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Branch of Armed Forces * * * * * * * * * * *
Months spent in Armed Forces * * * * * * * * * * *
Military occupation(s) * * * * * * * * * * *
Activation for reservists; reactivation for regular branches         * * * * * * *
Participation in VEAP or GI bill * * * * * * * * * * *
Type and amount of military training * * * * * * * * * * *
Formal education received while in service * * * * * * * * * * *

H. Attitudes toward work and self

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Knowledge of World of Work series * * *                
Characteristics of job R is willing to take (for Rs who are unemployed or out of labor force) * * *                
Reaction to hypothetical job offers * * *                
Pearlin Mastery Scale (seven items) * * * * * * * * * * *
Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg) (10 items) * * * * * * * * * * *
Attitude toward women working * * *   * * * * * * *
Gender Role Attitudes (for Rs who are 14-16 at interview date)           * * * * * *
Ten-Item Personality Inventory             * * * * *
Schieman anger scale               * * * *
Mini-IPIP (International Personality Item Pool)                   * *

I. Child care and parenting behavior

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Child care arrangements in last month (youngest child only in 2000 and 2002) * * * * *            
Number of hours per week (youngest child only in 2000 and 2002 ) * * * * *            
Parenting behavior (towards youngest child in 2000 and 2002)       * * * * * * * *
Cost per week (all children) * * * * * * * * * *  
Did child care problems force R to turn down job offer or to lose work * * * * * * * * * *  

J. Looking for work

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
R looking for work or employed when found current or most recent job * * *                
Methods of job search used * * *                
Job offers rejected (while looking for each job) * * *                
Desired characteristics of job sought * * *                

III. ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS (located in self-report booklet through 1998)

A. Computer use

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Does R have a computer at home or have access to one elsewhere * * * * * * * * *    
What R uses computer for most often * * *                
Has R ever used computer at school or college, or at work * *                  
How R has learned about computers * * *                
Has R ever had a class or training in computer use, programming, or word processing * * *                
How often R uses computer for various activities * * * * * * *        
How many hours a week R uses a computer           * * * * * *

B. Substance use

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Extent, frequency of R's alcohol use; age first used * * * * * * * * * * *
Where and with whom was first drink * *                  
Alcohol abuse behavior in past year series (had an argument, missed school or work, drove a car, and so on) * * * * * * * * * * *
Does R usually drink beer, wine, or liquor * * *                
Where and with whom R usually drinks * * *                
R's perception of how many drink at least sometimes (series): Students in R's grade, people R's age with whom R hangs out, people R's age in R's neighborhood * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of cigarette use; age first used * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of marijuana use; age first used; various details * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of amphetamine use       * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of use of substances (glue, gas, sprays, fluids) that are "sniffed/huffed" * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of cocaine use * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent, frequency of "crack" use * * * * * * * * * * *
Age at which R first used each drug * * *                
Extent, frequency of use of other drugs (LSD, uppers, downers); age at which R first used * *     * * * * * * *
Frequency of use of hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, peyote, mescaline)     * * * * * * * * *
Frequency of use of sedatives or downers (barbiturates, sleeping pills)     * * * * * * * * *
Frequency of use of other drugs (stimulants, heroin, steroids, MDMA/"Ecstasy", crystal meth./"Ice")       * * * * * * * *
While high, has R ever: Hurt self or someone else; stayed home from school or work; gone late to school or work; driven a car * * *                
Due to drug use, have R's grades suffered; has R ever hurt chances for a raise or for a better job * * *                
Has R ever taken sedatives, tranquilizers, stimulants, painkillers, steroids, heroin, hallucinogens, or an injection of any drug without doctor's orders * * *                

C. Attitudes and expectations

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Risk-taking behaviors and attitudes (six items) * * * * * * * * * * *
Best age for R to marry; youngest age at which R can imagine getting married * * *                
Best age and youngest age R can imagine to have first child * * *                
Aspirations for future (marriage, fertility, employment, relationships) * * * * * * * * * * *
Political attitudes and behaviors (age 21 and older only in 2006, 18+ in 2008)             * *      
Perceived Discrimination                   * *

D. Sex education and sexual intercourse

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Any courses or time spent in class on sex education * * * * * * * * * *  
Grade R first had this course * * * * * * * * * *  
Who in family R talks to about sex * * *   * * * * * * *
Who outside family R talks to about sex         * * * * * * *
Ever had sexual intercourse; age at first intercourse * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of partners in last 12 months * * * * * * * * * * *
When last sexual intercourse occurred * * * * * * * * * * *
During last sexual intercourse, did R and partner use birth control and, if so, which method(s) * * * * * * * * * * *
Relationship with and characteristics of partner at last intercourse     * * * * * * * * *
Has R ever been pregnant, number of times (through 1998) * * * * * * * * * * *
Month and year in which R got pregnant the first time, R's age at the time * * * * * * * * * * *
In the month before the last time R got pregnant, did R or R's partner use birth control and, if so, which method(s) * * * * * * * * * * *
Did R or R's partner use a birth control method on every occasion of sexual intercourse that month * * *                
Has R ever had an abortion and, if so, how many * * *                
Month and year of R's first abortion, and R's age at the time * * *                

E. Home and neighborhood environment

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Does R live with biological father or stepfather * * * * * * * * * * *
Do biological parents (and mother and stepfather, if applicable) get along, agree about who sets rules, argue * * * * * * * * * * *
Does R feel caught in the middle; can R talk about each parent with the other * * * * * * * * * * *
Extent of neighborhood problems (series): Disrespect for laws, incidence of crime or violence, incidence of unemployment, and so forth * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of times R has run away from home * * * * * * * * * * *
R's age the first time R ran away * * * * * * * * * * *

F. Criminal activities

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Crimes or delinquent activities R has committed in the last year (got in a fight, stole something, and so on) * * * * * * * * * * *
Has R ever been convicted on any charges except a minor traffic violation; if so, what was R's age at the time * * * * * * * * * * *
Number of times R has been convicted of something * * * * * * * * * * *
Date of most recent conviction * * *                
Charges on which R was convicted (for example, assault, robbery, or theft) * * * * * * * * * * *
Has R ever been convicted on charges in adult court * * *                
Has R ever been on probation; has R been on probation since last interview * * * * * * * * * * *
When R's (most recent) probation period ended * * *                
Has R ever been sentenced to spend time in a youth or adult corrections institution * * * * * * * * * * *
Date of most recent release from corrections facility * * *                
Number of times R has been referred to a court-related counseling or diversion program by police, courts, school, or own parents; if so, age at which this first occurred * * *                
Date on which (most recent) counseling program ended * * *                

G. Volunteer activities

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Volunteer work performed in last 2 years or since last interview * * * * * * * * * * *
Was any of the volunteer work: Court ordered, church- or school-sponsored, other * * * * * * * * * * *
Types of organizations R is or was involved with (for example, service, church, youth) * * * * * * * * * * *

H. Mental health

Variable 94 96 98 00 02 04 06 08 10 12 14
Has R received any help for an emotional, behavioral, or family problem in the last 12 months * * * * * * * * * * *
Type of problem(s) * * * * * * * * * * *
Has R felt or has anyone suggested that R needed help for any behavioral, emotional, or mental problem in the past 12 months? * * *                
Does R regularly take any medicine or prescription drug to help control activity level or behavior * * * * * * * * * * *
CES-Depression Scale (7 items through 2008, 11 items since 2010) * * * * * * * * * * *
Suicidal ideation                   * *