Elizabeth Cooksey

Principal Investigator for the NLSY79 Child/Young Adult

Center for Human Resource Research, Ohio State University

Years on the NLS team: 2004-present

Role: I am responsible for questionnaire design and oversight of the NLSY79 Child and Young Adult cohort. I also play a role in the general management of the NLS program at Ohio State University.

What innovations have I helped introduce to the NLS

The Children of the NLSY79 have an age range that spans 40 years and it is important to continue to collect core pieces of information from respondents so that, for example, we know about teen behaviors regardless of whether those teenagers were born in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or even the 2000s! At the same time it is important to keep up with the times and be open to changing circumstances and new ideas. This is why we have included questions in recent survey rounds on topics such as concussions, perceptions and instances of discrimination, parenting behaviors, and times spent in areas of combat, even if not actively fighting.

Why am I proud to be part of the NLS team

I love working with other staff on the project - they are smart, insightful, hardworking and determined to make the NLS data the best ever. I've had the opportunity to get to know all sorts of people who I otherwise would not have met who use the NLS data to look at really important questions such as how do working parents or changing living conditions affect child development, or how might experiences in childhood impact health in later life? It is very exciting to be able to work on something that has real value in helping us understand how lives change as we move through the life course. Whether we choose the topics, write the questions, program the survey, maintain the computers, interview respondents or provide answers to the range of questions asked, we are all part of a fantastic team and together we produce data that is used by hundreds of researchers around the world.