Adolescent Outcome Measures in the NLSY97 Family Process Data Set: Variation by Race and Socioeconomic Conditions


adolescence, behavior problems, delinquency, family structure, race, substance use


This study uses nationally representative data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1997 to analyze adolescent outcome indexes (delinquency, substance use, and emotional and behavior problems) by gender, race, household income, and family structure. Results from analysis of variance show that family structure is correlated with better adolescent outcomes, even after controlling for gender, race, and household income. For example, adolescents from two-parent biological homes consistently reported significantly less delinquency and use of illegal substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana than adolescents from single-mother or stepfamily households. All adolescents and their parents in two-parent biological families reported significantly lower incidences of behavioral and emotional problems than adolescents and their parents in single-mother or stepfamilies. Other findings with respect to gender, race, and income, as well as some interaction effects, were also indicated by the analysis.

Original Publication Citation

Holmes, E. K., Jones-Sanpei, H., and Day, R. D. (2009). Adolescent outcome measures in the NLSY97: Variation by race and socioeconomic conditions. Marriage and Family Review, 45, 374-391.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Marriage & Family Review




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor