Years on the NLS team: 1989-1993
Role: Contributed to preparation of public use data files, documentation and user materials for the NLSY79 and first waves of child data. Authored and co-authored reports using NLSY79 data on pregnancy wantedness, prenatal health behaviors, and alcohol consumption.
The NLSY79 was an excellent opportunity for mutually beneficial goals: the data helped me progress and complete my graduate program, as I used the data for my dissertation. At the same time I helped to prepare public use data, resolving inconsistencies in the fertility histories and creating variables for public use. As an example of the attention to detail and the staff's dedication to quality, one of my tasks was to review paper questionnaires containing responses for children of the NLSY79. I corrected birthdates and ages of children thereby helping resolve inconsistencies in histories of children of the respondents.
The NLS data offer a rare opportunity to model causal hypotheses with longitudinal data of the highest quality and remarkably low respondent attrition. I am proud to have been a part of preparing data files and reports in the 1980s and 90s. Graduate student assistants gain valuable experience with co-workers and mentors/supervisors, all of whom uphold the highest standards. In addition, warm and lively staff personalities made lasting impressions and fond memories - positive and supportive influences on those starting careers and their own "demographic transitions."