Appendix D: NLSY79 Glossary of Terms

[A][B-C][D][E] F [G-H][I][J-L][M-N][O][P] Q [R][S][T-U][V-W] X [Y] Z

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Active Force: An umbrella term used to refer to the regular Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force branches of the Armed Forces as a group. The Reserve and Guard components are not included.

AFDC: Aid to Families with Dependent Children.

AFQT: See Armed Forces Qualification Test

AFSC: See Air Force Specialty Codes

Air Force Specialty Codes: An alphanumeric jobs/skills classification system for the Air Force and Air Force Reserves that describes the specific job a person is trained for or assigned to in those branches of the military. (See also DOD-3-Digit.)

Annuities: See Pensions

Armed Forces Qualifications Test: The AFQT determines general aptitude for enlistment in the Armed Forces. Two methodologies of calculating AFQT, developed by the U.S. Department of Defense, have been used to produce two AFQT variables in the NLSY79: R06182. (AFQT80) and R06183. (AFQT89). R06182. is the AFQT percentile score created from the procedures in use in 1980 and consists of the sum of the number of correct scores for the following sections of the ASVAB: arithmetic reasoning + word knowledge + paragraph comprehension + 1/2 (numerical operations). R06183. is the AFQT percentile score based on new procedures established in 1989 and is created in the following manner: (1) compute a verbal composite score by summing the word knowledge and paragraph comprehension raw scores; (2) convert subtest raw scores to standard scores for verbal, math knowledge, and arithmetic reasoning; (3) multiply verbal by 2; (4) sum the standard scores for verbal, math knowledge, and arithmetic reasoning; and (5) convert the summed standard score to a percentile. See the Addendum to Attachment 106 for tables used to convert raw scores to standard scores and percentiles.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery: The ASVAB is a vocational aptitude test that determines areas of competency in the following 10 areas: general science, arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, numerical operations, coding speed, auto and shop information, mathematics knowledge, mechanical comprehension, and electronics information. The ASVAB was administered to more than 94 percent of the NLSY79 in order to establish new norms for the population of potential enlistees. The ASVAB is used by Department of Defense (DOD) researchers to improve the ways training and duty assignments are made for those who enter the Armed Forces. It is also used by vocational guidance counselors to assess vocational interest and preparation of students. Standardized scale scores and standard errors are available for each section.

ASVAB: See Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

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Bonus: See Tips

BPI: Behavior Problems Index.

CETA: See Comprehensive Employment and Training Act

CESD: Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. This scale is designed to measure symptoms of depression in the general population.

Cohort: A cohort is a group sharing similar characteristics at a particular point. The cohort selected for the NLSY79 includes 12,686 youth who were age 14-21 on December 31, 1978 (born between January 1957 and December 1964), either civilians residing in the 50 United States (11,406 sample members) or non-civilians on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces in September 1978 and born between January 1957 and December 1961 (1,280 sample members).

Commissions: See Tips

Comprehensive Employment and Training Act: Originally enacted in 1973, CETA superseded the Manpower Development and Training Act of the 1960s. CETA was administered by the U.S. Department of Labor and was designed to provide employment and training opportunities for the economically disadvantaged, under-employed, and unemployed. Under its several titles, CETA provided a variety of services including classroom and on-the-job training, work experience, subsidized jobs with public and private sectors, basic education, and support services such as counseling. The various programs were planned and operated by state and local governments with Federal funding and oversight. CETA legislation expired in the fall of 1982 and was replaced by the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA).

CPS: See Current Population Survey

Current Population Survey: Monthly interviews conducted by the Census Bureau with a scientifically selected sample of households in several hundred sample areas throughout the U.S. The primary purpose of the CPS is to collect up-to-date information about the number of persons in the country who are employed, unemployed, or not in the labor force in a specific survey week. The CPS is the source of the monthly official unemployment rate figures. CPS questions included in the NLSY79 surveys are the same as the CPS questions used to determine employment status and are administered as closely as possible to the method used by the Census Bureau so that findings are comparable.

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Delayed Entry Program: A program that allows a person to enlist in the military and then report for active duty at a later time (as many as 365 days later.) Individuals enlisting through this program are sworn into their military branch on two occasions: once at the time that they enlist through DEP and a second time when they actually begin active duty. DEP enlistees do not always report for active duty and can be guaranteed, in writing, the type of training and the location that they want.

DEP: See Delayed Entry Program

Dictionary of Occupational Titles: This occupational directory was developed by the Department of Labor as a comprehensive classification system for occupations. It was used to code NLSY79 respondents' 1979 current occupation only. The individual occupations are identified by the 1970 9-digit DOT codes.

DOD-3-Digit: An occupation code using the 1977 Department of Defense 3-Digit Enlisted Occupational Classification System. This numeric coding scheme standardizes the occupational coding across all branches of the military.

DOT: See Dictionary of Occupational Titles

DU: See Dwelling Unit

Duncan Index: An ordinal measure of socioeconomic status that assigns a two-digit prestige score to the Census occupation codes. The index scores are based on education and income distribution ratings and range from 0 to 97. (See Otis Dudley Duncan. "A Socioeconomic Index for all Occupations." In: Occupations and Social Status, Reiss, Jr., A.J.,, New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, 1961).

Dwelling Unit: A single room, or group of rooms, that is intended for separate living quarters. To be considered a separate dwelling unit, it must have either a separate entrance or complete kitchen facilities (stove, sink with piped water, and refrigerator) for the sole use of the household.

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ED: See Enumeration Districts

Educational Tuition Assistance Program: The educational benefit package for the Armed Forces Reserves. It is comparable to VEAP.

Employed: See Labor Force and Employment Status

Employer Flap: A cover page for the Employer Supplement listing employer name and codes to signify that the job for this employer was government sponsored. Used for the 1979 interview only, it is the same as the first page of the Employer Supplement in later years.

Employer Supplement: The Employer Supplement is an addition to the youth cohort survey instrument. One supplement is completed for each employer a respondent has had since the date of the last interview. The 1979 interview incorporated five columns in Section 10 of the survey instrument; each column is equivalent to one Employer Supplement.

Employment Status Recode: ESR is a variable created from information collected on employment status and provides a standardized employment status code for the sample for each survey year.

Enumeration Districts: Enumeration districts (ED) are areas used in the geographic control of enumeration activities by the Census Bureau. An ED is the territory assigned to a single enumerator to cover during a census count.

Environmental Variables: County and state codes are assigned for all geographic locations according to the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS-5). The codes for the respondent's current residence at each interview date are then matched with the 1972, 1977, 1983, 1988, and 1994 City and County Data Books (depending on survey year) to obtain characteristics of the county such as population size, crime statistics, industrial diversification, etc. (see specific survey year). These data are available to researchers willing to insure their confidentiality.

ESR: See Employment Status Recode

Estates: Regular or periodic income received from estates or trusts.

ETAP: See Educational Tuition Assistance Program

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GED: See General Educational Development Test

General Educational Development Test: A certificate that is considered by some to be an equivalent to a high school diploma obtained as a result of taking the General Educational Development Test or GED. The test provides a valid means of measuring the educational proficiency of individuals taking the test in comparison with high school graduates.

Geocode: Geographic codes established by the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) of the National Bureau of Standards. They provide a standardized code for matching the NLS data with the City and County Data Books used. The state codes are a two-digit numeric code ranging from 01 (Alabama) to 56 (Wyoming) inclusive of a code for Washington, D.C.; there are some gaps for possible later additions. The SMSA geocode is a four-digit numeric code identifying each SMSA. They are arranged in alphabetical order beginning with 0040 (Abilene, Texas) and ending with 9360 (Yuma, Arizona). The counties within each state are listed in alphabetical order, with some gaps, beginning with 001 and using almost exclusively odd numbers to allow for additions.

Gross Income: Gross income for all non-farm businesses and professions is defined as all monies received from the sale of goods or for services rendered, as well as the amount of net inventory increase. It does not include proceeds from the sale of capital items such as land, buildings, and machinery. For farms, it is defined as all monies received from the sale of farm products, government subsidies on crops and soil conservation, and income from rental of equipment. It does not include the value of any farm products (such as food and fuel) used by the family or proceeds from the sale of land, buildings, or machinery.

Household Screener: The survey administered in late 1978 to the initial sample of households to locate eligible respondents for the NLSY79 civilian sample. Approximately 75,000 households were screened to identify eligible respondents based on age, sex, ethnicity, and poverty status.

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I: An abbreviation for interviewer.

ICD: See International Classification of Diseases

Individual Quarters (IQ): A term used to describe non-dwelling unit, noninstitutional living quarters.

Industry Census Code: A 3-digit numeric code from the Industrial Classification System used by the Census Bureau to assign codes to industries. The 1970 system consists of 215 industry categories arranged into 12 major groups. It was developed within the framework of the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). All industries in all years for the youth cohort were coded using the 1970 codes. Beginning with the 1982 interview, the industry of the respondent's current or last job was also coded using the 1980 codes.

Information Sheet: An Information Sheet, which lists pertinent informational items about the respondent that were collected during the previous interview is provided to NORC interviewers. Info sheet items include date of birth, marital status, date of last interview, etc. The interviewers refer to it during the course of the interview in order to ascertain possible updates. The automated CAPI instruments access it automatically to drive the survey.

Int: An abbreviation for interview.

Int Check: Interviewer check questions are used during the course of the interview to check the sample universe and denote the skip pattern for a particular set of questions. The interviewer codes the question based on previous responses or direct observation, without asking the respondent.

Interest on Savings and U.S. Savings Bonds: Includes interest accrued from savings accounts even if the money has been withdrawn. It does not include interest on unredeemed U.S. Savings Bonds; if the bonds were cashed, only the difference between the amount received and the original cost is considered.

International Classification of Diseases: The ICD is a coding system for diseases, injuries, and causes of deaths as adopted by the World Health Assembly. The coding system used is defined in the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, 1975, with some minor modifications.

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JCI: Job Characteristics Index.

Job Corps: Established by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and continued under Title IV of CETA in 1973, Job Corps is a skills/training program designed to assist economically disadvantaged youth who need and can benefit from an intensive educational and vocational training program in order to become more responsible, employable, and productive citizens. The program is operated in a residential group setting.

Job Training Partnership Act: Legislation enacted in the fall of 1982 (Public Law 97-300-October 13, 1982), which authorized federal funds for employment and training. It superseded CETA and placed administrative control with the state in cooperation with local governments. The emphasis is on private sector participation in training, without subsidies for the training of participants.

JTPA: See Job Training Partnership Act

Labor Force and Employment Status: All respondents who were either employed or unemployed during the survey are defined as being in the labor force. Employed, unemployed, and out of the labor force are defined as follows:

  • Employed - All respondents who during the survey week were either (1) at work-those who did any work for pay or profit or worked without pay for 15 hours or more on a family farm or business-or (2) with a job but not at work-those who did not work and were not looking for work, but had a job or business from which they were temporarily absent because they were taking time off for various reasons.
  • Unemployed - All respondents who did not work at all during the survey week and (1) either were looking or had looked for a job in the four-week period prior to the survey; (2) were waiting to be recalled to a job from which they had been laid off; or (3) were waiting to report to a new job within 30 days.
  • Out of the Labor Force (OLF) - All respondents who were neither employed or unemployed during the survey week.

Longitudinal Study: The NLSY79 is a longitudinal study that follows the same age cohort of youth (age 14-21 on December 31, 1978) over an extended period of time. The study began in 1979, and personal interviews have been conducted with respondents on a regular basis (annually until 1994 and then biennially); The 1987 survey was administered by telephone.

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Manpower Development and Training Act: Legislation initially enacted in 1962 and amended in 1963, 1965, 1966, and 1968 to combat poverty by providing various employment assistance and employment training programs for the unemployed and the under-employed. It was subsequently replaced by CETA.

MDTA: See Manpower Development and Training Act

Military Occupational Specialties: An alphanumeric jobs/skills classification system for Army, Army Reserves, Army National Guard, Marine Corps, and Marine Reserves that describes the specific job a person is trained for or assigned to in those branches of the military.

Military Pay Grades: A pay level classification system for military personnel, used by all branches of the military, that is associated with ranks. The ranks are enlisted (E), officer (O), and warrant officer (W.) There are nine enlisted grades, ten officer grades, and four warrant officer grades with 1 being the lowest grade within each rank. For example, an E-2 is the second lowest rank for enlisted personnel.

MOS: See Military Occupational Specialties

Net Income: For farms and non-farm businesses, the amount of income remaining after operating expenses are subtracted from the total or gross income. For individuals who do not own a business, net income is the same as gross income.

Net Rental Income: Payments received from the rental of room(s), apartment(s), house(s), or any other real estate, after operating expenses are deducted.

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Occupation Census Code: A 3-digit numeric code from the 1970 Occupational Classification System used by the Census Bureau to assign codes to occupations. It has 417 separate categories and is divided into 12 major groups. All occupations in all years for NLSY79 respondents were coded using the 1970 codes. Beginning with the 1982 interview, the occupation of respondents' current or last job was also coded using the 1980 codes.

OJT: See On-the-job Training Program

OLF: See Labor Force and Employment Status—Out of the Labor Force.

On-the-job Training Program: Includes institutional instruction in a work setting intended to enable an individual to learn a skill and/or qualify for a particular occupation through demonstration and practice. On-the-job training programs conducted under CETA refer to programs in which the government pays a portion of the employee's wages for a certain period of time, and the employer agrees to keep the employee after the training is completed. The subsidy pays the employer for the increased costs of hiring workers whose skill levels are lower than those of regular entry-level employees.

Operating Expenses: Operating expenses for all non-farm businesses are defined as the cost of utilities, annual depreciation of machinery and other business property, amount of net inventory decrease, wages and salaries paid to employees, cost of supplies and raw materials, business taxes, and interest on debts. For farms, they are defined as the cost of feed, tools, livestock purchases, wages to farm workers, and depreciation of equipment or buildings. They do not include capital expenditures such as purchase of land or machinery.

Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, Inc. (OICA): Community-based programs designed to motivate, train, develop, and use the technical skills of community residents in a variety of vocational areas. The activities are aimed at easing local unemployment problems; they work with so-called "unemployables" to enable them to become productive participants in industry.

Out of the Labor Force: See Labor Force and Employment Status

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Pensions and Annuities: These include pension and retirement benefits such as federal employee, private employee, self-employed, and military retirement pensions. Benefits paid to survivors of the primary recipient of a pension are also included.

PIAT: Peabody Individual Achievement Test. This test is given to the children of the NLSY79 mothers. See NLSY79 Child Handbook for a detailed discussion.

PPVT: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test. This test is given to the children of the NLSY79 mothers. See NLSY79 Child Handbook for a detailed discussion.

Primary Sampling Unit: A primary sampling unit (PSU) of the Census Bureau is composed of either a single county, a group of counties, or an SMSA and is based on population and area constraints. In certain special situations, state-defined units are termed "independent cities" or "parishes." In these instances, such units are used in the definition of PSU.

Profiles, Profiles of American Youth: The name given to describe the ASVAB test that was administered to 94 percent of the NLSY79 in the summer of 1980.

PSE: See Public Service Employment

PSU: See Primary Sampling Unit

Public Assistance: Commonly referred to as "welfare," public assistance refers principally to Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC or ADC.) Other programs include General Assistance (local titles include Outdoor Relief, Direct Relief, and General Relief) and Emergency Assistance. Food stamps, clothing, free or reduced rent, public housing, or other non-monetary assistance are not included. With the Welfare Reform Act passed in August 1996, these types of programs were reconstituted as "Temporary Assistance to Needy Families" (TANF) and returned to state control, with some federal guidelines.

Public Service Employment: Authorized under Titles II and VI of CETA, PSE provides public service jobs, either through CETA or WIN, in areas where substantial or temporary service unemployment exists. PSE placements are in government positions or in jobs with private, non-profit service organizations.

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R: Abbreviation for Respondent

Ratings: An alphanumeric jobs/skills classification system for the Navy, Naval Reserves, Coast Guard, and Coast Guard Reserves that describes the specific job to which a person in those branches of the military is trained or assigned.

Regular Job: A full-time or part-time civilian job with a definite arrangement to work for pay (or profit) for a specific number of hours or days a month. It includes unpaid work on a family farm or for a family business.

Regular School: A school that provides credit toward an academic diploma or degree, such as an elementary school, junior high school, high school, college, or university, as contrasted with special schools that offer certificates rather than diplomas or degrees. Some courses at special schools or programs (such as technical schools, nursing programs, etc.) do provide credits that can be applied toward a regular academic diploma or degree. These programs are considered regular school.

Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale: A ten-item scale using four-point Likert forced-choice response to measure feelings of self-worth and competence taken from Rosenberg, M., Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1965.

Rotter Scale or Internal-External Locus of Control Scale (Rotter 1966): A set of statements designed to measure the attitudes of respondents about the degree to which they have control over their own lives.

Royalties: Income received from a percentage of gross sales from books, music, etc.

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Sampling Weights: A numeric value calculated on the basis of each respondent's characteristics (sex, ethnicity, year of birth, sample type, and location). The value is adjusted for differential probabilities of selection and attrition and allows for population estimates.

School Survey: A supplemental survey of the non-foreign high schools attended by civilian NLSY79 respondents. The school survey collected information about the characteristics of the school (enrollment, library size, vocational programs, ethnic diversity of students and teachers, etc.), as well as individual respondent characteristics (participation in remedial courses, aptitude and ability test scores, date last enrolled, etc.).

School to Work Transition Program: Authorized under Title III of CETA, the School to Work Transition Program includes a number of pilot projects designed to prepare youth to move smoothly from an educational setting to the work force. Specific goals of the program include helping dropouts obtain a GED while providing them with intensive vocational counseling and a job.

Selected Reserves: Umbrella term used to refer to both the Reserves and the Guard branches of the military service.

SER—Jobs for Progress: SER (Service, Employment, and Redevelopment) is a private, non-profit, community-based manpower organization, headquartered in Los Angeles, which seeks to provide education and skills training and employment placement for the economically disadvantaged, with primary emphasis on Hispanic Americans.

SMSA: See Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area

Social Security: Social Security benefits include disability, retirement, and survivors benefits, as well as Black Lung payments made to coal miners and payments made to retired railroad workers under the Railroad Retirement Act.

Special Pay Enlistment Bonus: A bonus of up to $3,000 ($2,500 for the Army) paid to encourage enlistment for a 4-year term of service in designated skills of the Armed Forces.

Special Pay Selective Re-Enlistment Bonus: A bonus paid for re-enlistment in critical military specialties that is available only during a problem re-enlistment period between 21 months and 10 years of service. The maximum bonus is $12,000 ($15,000 for Navy nuclear power personnel) and is available only for the first re-enlistment in the Army.

SSI: See Supplemental Security Income

Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area: An SMSA of the Census Bureau consists of one or more entire counties containing at least one city (or twin cities) having a population of 50,000 or more plus adjacent counties that are metropolitan and are economically and socially integrated with the central city. In New England, towns and cities rather than counties are the basis for defining an SMSA. SMSA boundaries may cross state lines as in the case of Washington, D.C.

Supplemental Security Income: A federal assistance program for aged, disabled, or blind persons whose income falls below a certain level. The program is administered through the Social Security Administration and replaced state welfare programs such as Old Age Assistance, Aid to the Aged, Aid to the Blind, and Aid to the Permanently and Totally Disabled.

SWTP: See School to Work Transition Program

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Tips, Commissions, Bonus: Any payments in addition to base wage or salary received as income. It does not include allowances or other monies received from other household member(s) for chores, etc., done around the home.

Transcript Survey: Sponsored by the National Center for Research in Vocational Education at The Ohio State University, the Transcript Survey was conducted during 1980-83. Collected information includes courses, grades, credits, days absent, and rank in class.

UC Benefits: See Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Unemployed: See Labor Force and Employment Status

Unemployment Compensation Benefits: Payments made by state or local governments to help replace wages lost by a worker who was laid off from her/his job. It also includes payments from a union strike fund to union members for wages lost because of a strike.

Urban League: A non-profit community service organization that works to secure equal opportunities in all sectors of society for Black Americans and other minorities. It uses the disciplines of social work, economics, law, and business management to achieve its goals.

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VEAP: See Veteran's Educational Assistance Program

Veteran Benefits: Benefits paid by the Veteran's Administration to former members of the Armed Forces for service or non-service related disabilities. It also includes educational benefits paid to veterans and any payments made to survivors of deceased veterans.

Veteran's Educational Assistance Program: Education assistance program for veterans whose active military service was contracted or began on or after January 1, 1977. VEAP replaced the GI Bill and provides that for every $1 contributed by the veteran while on active duty, the government will provide $2, up to a maximum of $8,100, for educational costs.

Vocational Rehabilitation Programs: Federal/state programs authorized under the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that provide a wide range of rehabilitation services for persons with physical and mental disabilities causing a substantial handicap to employment. The programs focus on the individuals' abilities, interests, and needs in order to enable them to pursue gainful employment.

Welfare: See Public Assistance

WIN: See Work Incentive Program

Work Experience Program: Generally operated through CETA or WIN, the Work Experience Program provides subsidized employment in the public sector and in private, non-profit agencies. The work situations are temporary and not expected to lead to more permanent employment. The program is intended to provide experience on a job, to develop occupational skills, to improve work habits, and to allow exposure to various occupational opportunities.

Work Incentive Program: Program authorized by the 1968 amendments to Title IV of the Social Security Act, WIN that was designed to help recipients of AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) find jobs. This was the only government-sponsored training and employment program that served welfare recipients exclusively. It also provided support services such as vocational counseling and child care.

Work-Study Programs: Government-sponsored programs designed to help eligible students finance their college education by providing part-time jobs, generally on campus.

Worker's Compensation or Worker's Comp: Payments made by private insurance companies, self-insured employers, or state funds financed under federal and state worker's compensation laws to persons injured in work-related accidents. It includes payments from insurance companies only when the premiums were paid by the employer, not the employee.

World of Work: The nine multiple-choice items that test the respondent's ability to determine the duties associated with selected occupations.

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Young Adult Conservation Corps (YACC): Authorized under YEDPA, YACC is a government-sponsored program administered by the Departments of Labor, Agriculture, and the Interior. It recruits unemployed youth 16-23 years old to work for up to one year on conservation projects in parks, national forests, and recreation areas.

Youth Community Conservation and Improvement Projects (YCCIP): A government-sponsored program authorized by YEDPA as a part of CETA, YCCIP is designed to provide highly supervised employment, work experience, and skills training for unemployed youth 16-19 years old. The youth are employed on community-planned projects that produce tangible benefits for the community.

Youth Employment and Demonstration Projects Act of 1977 (YEDPA): A major effort to employ youth and increase their future employability through coordination of existing employment and training projects and development of new and innovative approaches.

Youth Employment and Training Program (YETP): Government-sponsored projects that provide a variety of year-round training activities intended to enhance job prospects and career opportunities that will lead to unsubsidized employment. In order to participate in the program, youth must be aged 14-21 and in school or unemployed. Most participants are economically disadvantaged, but 10 percent may be from diverse economic backgrounds.

Youth Incentive Entitlement Pilot Projects (YIEPP): Authorized under YEDPA, YIEPP is a part of CETA and is designed to demonstrate or test various approaches that will guarantee jobs and training for economically disadvantaged youth 16-19 years old in school or willing to return to school to complete their education.

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