Youth Development Study

The Youth Development Study examines the consequences of formative experiences in adolescence and early adulthood for mental health, value formation, socioeconomic attainment, and multiple facets of behavioral adjustment. This comprehensive study now encompasses three generations: a child generation studied over a 23 year period from adolescence to adulthood (G2), their parents (G1), and their adolescent children (G3). The rich YDS data archive enables assessment of intergenerational transmission across a wide range of psychological and behavioral variables, illuminating processes of social class reproduction. Recent research addresses the predictive capacity of adolescent agency for adult attainments; the circumstances under which parents support their children financially and residentially during the transition to adulthood; the consequences of parental support for adult income; educational credentials and the capacity to weather the Great Recession; the implications of economic setbacks for occupational values; and the consequences of parental hardship for their children’s orientations to the future. The YDS presents an excellent opportunity for graduate students to use the data for seminar papers, master’s theses, and dissertations. The Life Course Center maintains a paper series based on the YDS data archive. For more information, contact Jeylan Mortimer (