Household & Neighborhood Environment

Household & Neighborhood Environment

Created Variables (Created by Child Trends, Inc)

FP_YHROUTIN. Index of Family Routines. Based on youth-report questions about the number of days per week the youth's family eats together, does housework, does something fun together, and does something religious together, this index indicates the number of days per week spent in routine activities with the family. Available for rounds 1 through 4. 

FP_ADHRISKI. Family/Home Risk Index. Combines responses to a number of questions in the youth and parent interviews, as well as the interviewer remarks section of both the youth and parent questionnaires, to provide an overall assessment of the youth's environment. These variables include the quality of the youth's physical home environment, risk factors in the youth's neighborhood, the availability of study materials in the youth's home, the religious behavior of the responding parent and the youth's family, the parents' involvement with the youth's schooling, family routines in an average week, time spent watching TV in an average week, the responding parent's physical or mental disabilities, and the parental monitoring and youth-parent relationship scales described in Attitudes. Round 1 only. 

FP_ADPENVRI. Physical Environmental Risk Index. This index uses a subset of the items from the Family/Home Risk Index to assess risk factors in the youth's physical environment. Round 1 only.

FP_ADENRCHI. Enriching Environment Index. This index uses a second subset of the items from the Family/Home Risk Index to identify opportunities for enriching educational activities in the youth's environment. Round 1 only. Interested researchers should see Codebook Supplement Appendix 9 for more information on the above indexes.

In the self-administered section of the Youth Questionnaire respondents born in 1982-84 in rounds 1-3 and all respondents in round 4 reported on their household environment in the past month. These questions inquired as to whether the respondent usually had a computer available and a quiet place to study at home in the past month.  Round 5 respondents born in 1983-84 were asked if they had a quiet place to study at home in the past month. Round 1 also asked if the respondent usually had electricity and heat at home when needed and if a dictionary was usually available at home. Respondents in this age group (12-14 years old) living with a parent-figure or guardian at the survey date are also asked about their household environment in a typical week. In round 5, these questions were administered only to respondents of the 1980, 1981, and 1982 birth cohorts living with a parent or parent figure at the time of the interview. In this set of questions, respondents report the number of days in a typical week the housework gets done (round 1 only), their family eats dinner together, their family does something religious together (rounds 1-4 only), and their family does something fun together (rounds 1-4 only). In round 5, respondents were asked how important it is to attend family events and how often they attended these events. In round 1, youths also stated the number of days in a typical week that they heard gunshots in their neighborhood.

A separate set of questions in round 1 asked all youths, regardless of age, about events they may have experienced before turning 12 years old. These events include: the respondent's house or apartment was broken into, he or she was the victim of repeated bullying, and he or she saw someone get shot or shot at with a gun. A follow-up question asks the respondent to state his or her relationship (e.g., relative, friend, stranger) to the person who was shot or shot at.  The same questions, referring to the youth's experiences from age 12 to age 18, were repeated in rounds 2 through 5. The questions were also asked in the youth's first interview after turning 18.

In addition, the survey questions all youths on whether there were gangs in their neighborhood or school at the time of the survey. A gang is defined as a group that hangs out together, wears gang colors or clothes, has set clear boundaries of its territory or turf, and protects its members and turf against other rival gangs through fighting or threats. In rounds 1-9, a separate set of questions asked whether any of the respondent's brothers, sisters, cousins, or friends belongs to a gang.  For information on the respondent's participation in a gang, see Crime, Delinquency & Arrest.

Information on the respondent's neighborhood environment also can be found in the Interviewer Remarks, Characteristics & Contacts section. Field interviewers in rounds 1-5 provided feedback that included a description of the area where the respondent lived (urban, suburban, rural/agricultural, etc.), the general condition of the exterior of the respondent's building and other buildings on the street, the most common type of residence (detached home, apartment, trailer, etc.) in the respondent's neighborhood, and whether the interviewer was concerned for his/her safety while interviewing.

Respondents in rounds 6, 11, 12, 13, and 16 answered a question about whether they had lived in emergency shelters, welfare/voucher hotels, abandoned buildings, place of business, cars, or anywhere outside. This question was part of a series about out-of-the-ordinary stressors (see the Health section for more information on this series).

Comparison to Other NLS Surveys: For the NLSY79, information on the respondent's perception of the neighborhood environment is available only for NLSY79 women. Data on both household and neighborhood environments are collected from Children of the NLSY79 age 10 and older (including the Young Adults). For more information, refer to the NLSY79 Child & Young Adult User's Guide.

Survey Instruments: These questions are found in the self-administered section (question names begin with YSAQ) of the Youth Questionnaire.

Related User's Guide Sections Crime, Delinquency & Arrest
Main Area of Interest Family Process Measures
Household Characteristics
Supplemental Areas of Interest Children
Demographic Indicators
Educational Status & Attainment
Marriage & Cohabitation
Parent Current Status
Interviewer Remarks