Family Background

Family Background

Young Men

The Young Men surveys provide researchers with a variety of family background data. The surveys have collected information on three primary topics: parents, siblings, and the respondent's family background at age 14 or 15.

Parents. In the 1966 interview, each respondent was asked about the birth countries of his parents and grandparents; Table YM1 depicts the results.

Table YM1. Birth Countries of Young Men Respondents' Parents & Grandparents

Country1 Father Mother Maternal Grandfather Maternal Grandmother Paternal Grandfather Paternal Grandmother
US or Canada 4976 5008 4301 4381 4228 4320
N or W Europe1 58 55 276 238 317 280
C or E Europe2 33 34 245 234 219 193
S Europe3 48 31 192 160 222 195
Latin America4 36 26 64 55 69 65
Other 46 36 66 71 77 76
Not available 28 35 81 86 93 96
Note: This table is based on R00390.-R00395. in the 1966 interview.
1 Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, Wales.
2 Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, USSR, Yugoslavia.
3 Andorra, Azores, Gibraltar, Gozo, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Trieste, Vatican City, Europe--Country not specified.
4 Mexico, Central America, South America.

In the 1966 interview, the respondent reported the life status of both his parents and his wife's parents. For all respondents who did not live in their parents' household, the first four surveys asked about the number of weeks worked by the respondent's parents, whether they usually worked full- or part-time, and their occupation. This information is available in the "Household Roster" for respondents still residing with their parents.

Siblings. The Young Men provided information about their siblings in two different surveys. The 1966 interview asked respondents how many brothers and sisters lived outside their home. It also collected the age, highest grade attended, and highest grade completed of the oldest sibling. In 1976, a full collection of information about siblings was included in the survey. Respondents were asked to state the total number of siblings they had and to provide the sex, birth date, and highest grade completed of up to 10 siblings who were not living in their home at the interview date. Information about siblings in the respondent's household is available in the "Household Roster."

User Notes

The sampling design for the Original Cohorts produced a number of multiple respondent households. A significant number of Young Men have fathers in the Older Men cohort, mothers in the Mature Women cohort, and siblings in the Young Men and Young Women cohorts. These multiple respondent households provide a great deal of data about a respondent's parents and siblings in addition to that collected during the regular surveys. For more information, see the Screening and Household Composition sections.

Respondent's background. The 1966 survey asked respondents where they were born and how long they had lived at their current residence. Of the 5,225 respondents interviewed, 124 (2.4 percent) were born outside the United States. As with the Older Men, the data include a comparison of the respondent's birthplace and his residence at the 1966 interview date.

Information was collected during the initial interview about the living arrangements of respondents when they were 14 years old, including with whom the respondent lived and whether the residence was in a large or small city or in the country. The survey then collected the occupation of the head of the respondent's household, as well as the highest grade attended and completed by his mother and father. The 1966 survey also asked whether magazines and newspapers were available in the respondent's home at age 14 and whether anyone in the household had a library card. Finally, the 1971 interview gathered information about whether a language other than English was spoken in the home when the respondent was 15 years old; answers were grouped in the same categories as the Older Men.

Related Variables: In each survey, information is collected on all members of the respondent's household; see the Household Composition section for details. More information about the respondent's background is available in the Race, Ethnicity & Nationality section.

Survey Instruments: Information on parents, siblings, and the respondent's background can be found in the "Family Background" or "Marital History" sections of the questionnaires.