Household Composition

Household Identification and Linkages

The sampling design used to select respondents often generated more than one NLS respondent from the same household. More than three-quarters of the respondents from the Young Men cohort and one-third of the respondents from the Older Men cohort shared the same household with at least one other respondent from the same or another cohort at the time the screening was performed (see Tables 3 and 4). To facilitate use of this unique aspect of NLS data, constructed variables link respondents sharing the same household at the time of the 1966 screening.

Table 3. Distribution of Respondents Living within Single & Multiple Respondent Households: The Original Cohorts

Household Type1 Older Men Mature Women Young Men Young Women
Single Respondent 3353 66.6% 2509 49.4% 1031 19.7% 1018 19.7%
Multiple Respondents 1681 33.4 2574 50.6 4194 80.3 4141 80.3
2 Respondent Households 871 17.3 1347 26.5 1997 38.2 1887 36.6
3 Respondent Households 481 9.6 775 15.2 1206 23.1 1216 23.6
4 Respondent Households 234 4.6 311 6.1 650 12.4 637 12.3
5 Respondent Households 71 1.4 115 2.3 264 5.1 300 5.8
6 Respondent Households 17 0.3 21 0.4 49 0.9 75 1.5
7 Respondent Households 5 0.1 3 0.1 21 0.4 20 0.4
8 Respondent Households 1 2 1 2 1 2 5 0.1
9 Respondent Households 1 2 1 2 6 0.1 1 2
Total Respondents 50343 100% 5083 100% 5225 100% 5159 100%
1 Household types for all cohorts are based on data gathered during the household screening. Reference numbers are R00003.-R00021. (Older Men, Mature Women, and Young Men) and R00003.-R00021.55 (Young Women).
2 Less than 0.05%.
3 Includes 14 cases later dropped from the public data file.

Table 4. Distribution of Respondents by Intra- & Inter-Cohort Households

Household Type and Cohort(s)1 Older Men2 Mature Women Young Men Young Women Households
Total Respondents 5034 5083 5229 5159 12,382
Single Respondent 3353 -- -- -- 3353
      -- 2509 -- -- 2509
      -- -- 1031 -- 1031
      -- -- -- 1018 1018
Multiple Respondents          
  Intra-Cohort Respondents3,4 105 -- -- -- 50
      -- 74 -- -- 36
      -- -- 1697 -- 785
      -- -- -- 1645 743
  Inter-Cohort Respondents3,5          
    OM-MW 574 572 -- -- 567
    OM-YM 936 -- 1167 -- 931
    OM-YW 843 -- -- 1069 839
    MW-YM -- 1415 1792 -- 1406
    MW-YW -- 1508 -- 1957 1502
    YM-YW -- -- 2253 2260 1880
    OM-MW-YM 240 239 306 -- 238
    OM-YM-YW 402 -- 513 519 401
    OM-MW-YW 232 231 -- 301 231
    MW-YM-YW -- 618 786 799 614
    OM-MW-YM-YW 123 122 159 160 122
1 All information on respondents residing in the same household is based on the 1966 screenings. Reference numbers are R00003.-R00021. (Older Men, Mature Women, and Young Men) and R00003.-R00021.55 (Young Women).
2 Includes 14 records later dropped from the public data file.

3 Categories are not mutually exclusive. For example, a household containing three Young Men and one Mature Woman would be included as an intra-cohort Young Men household as well as an inter-cohort Mature Women-Young Men household.

4 The number of respondents from households in which at least two respondents from the same cohort resided together at the time of the 1966 screenings.

5 The number of respondents from two or more cohorts who resided in the same household at the time of the 1966 screenings. Older Men is abbreviated OM, Mature Women is MW, Young Men is YM, and Young Women is YW.

Variables specifying common relationships are available within each Original Cohort data set. These variables provide the identification codes of other respondents originating from the same household by relationship and cohort, e.g., 'Identification Code of 1st Sister.' The following relationship linkages are available for the applicable cohorts: spouses, mothers/fathers and children, and siblings. Table 5 depicts the numbers and types of pairs among Original Cohort members during the initial survey years.

Table 5. Number & Types of Dominant Pairs Identified during the Initial Survey Years

Pairs Young Women Young Men Mature Women
Older Men Pairs      
  Spouse Pairs -- -- 492
  Parent-Child Pairs 988 1098 --
Mature Women Pairs      
  Parent-Child Pairs 1848 1671 --
Young Men Pairs      
Young Men Pairs      
  Spouse Pairs 584 -- --
  Sibling Pairs 1814 902 --
Young Women Pairs      
Young Women Pairs      
  Sibling Pairs 949 -- --
Note: This table is based on R00003.50 (Older Men and Mature Women), R00003.01-R00003.52 (Young Men), and R00003.50-R00003.52 and R00021.01-R00021.55 (Young Women).

CHRR staff developed relationship codes based on a Census tape that included the identification numbers of all individuals who shared a household during the screening procedure. The following logic was used in assigning relationship codes: if a 47-year-old man from the Older Men cohort said he had a 38-year-old wife and a 38-year-old woman from the Mature Women cohort with the same household ID said she had a 47-year-old husband, husband-wife relationships were assigned. A one-year difference was allowed between the reported ages; three years of interview information were checked.

Although other types of relationships may have existed, only spouse, sibling, or parent/child relationship codes were assigned. However, identification of other relationship types is possible through use of created variables (R00003. to R00021.) that provide, by cohort, both the ID numbers of other respondents in the household (e.g., 'Identification Code of 1st Older Male in R's Household') and of the household ('Identification Code of R's Household'). To determine the nature of other relationships, users can match characteristics of household members from the first respondent's information (e.g., the age he claims for a cousin) with characteristics of household members on the second respondent's household roster (e.g., the age reported for a cousin), as was done for the development of the relationships described above.

Note that phrases such as "Younger Female," "Older Male," etc., within the variable titles refer to the cohort--not to the relative age to the respondent. For example, a 14-year-old male has a 17-year-old sister; both are respondents. On his record, she would be called a "Younger Female" because she is in the Young Women cohort.

User Notes

The relationship data were inferred from data on the public data files. CHRR did not have access to detailed information from the Census Bureau (names, etc.) to confirm these linkages. Only "dominant" relationships were considered, as discussed above. While these pairings are believed to be fairly accurate, they and the matching algorithms may have been affected by, for example, misreporting of age in the "Household Roster."

Although these matches represent unique samples for a number of research topics, users should be aware that they typically include demographically non-representative matches. For example, father-son matches from the Older and Young Men cohorts include fathers who were at least 45 years of age in 1966 and sons who were no older than 24 in 1968.

Once a family relationship was assigned, it was generally considered binding even if the household members lived separately. For instance, if the son of a father/son pair left for college between the screening and the first interview, but their relationship could still be established based on information collected on the father's "Household Roster" (for anyone away at college), a father/son relationship was assigned. Similarly, if a husband/wife pair was divorced after the initial interview, they would still be linked as spouses. Data from the marital status variables must be used to update the relationship.

The data files for all four Original Cohorts include identification numbers for all other respondents in the household, which can be accessed by searching for the word "Identification." However, the relationship of the other respondent is not always identified. While identification numbers of spouses in other cohorts are given for all four cohorts, only the Young Men and Young Women files include identification numbers for parent-child pairs. Therefore, for example, a father-son relationship cannot be identified by looking at the Older Men data file; users can only discover that a respondent in the Young Men's cohort lives in the same household. They must use the Young Men data files to discern whether that pair is a father-son relationship.

Survey Instruments & Documentation: Information on the "Household Roster" is generally transcribed from the Household Record Cards. The "Household Roster" is located within the "Family Members," "Family Background," or "Household Members" sections of the questionnaires; information on unrelated household residents was gathered in the "Unrelated Household Member" sections of the Young Men questionnaires.