Sharon Sassler


Department of Policy Analysis & Management, Cornell University

NLS user since 2005

  • Kristi Williams, Sharon Sassler, Fenaba Addo, and Adrianne Frech, Fenaba Addo. Forthcoming, December 2015. “Early Childbearing, Union Status, and Women’s Health at Midlife.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
  • Jessica Su, Rachel Dunifon, and Sharon Sassler. Forthcoming, August 2015. “Better for Baby? The Retreat from Mid-Pregnancy Marriage and Implications for Parenting and Child Well-Being. Demography.
  • Jennifer Glass, Sharon Sassler, Yael Levitte, and Katherine Michelmore.* 2013. “What’s So Special about STEM? A Comparison of Women’s Retention in STEM and Professional Occupations.” Social Forces. 92(2):723-756.
  • Sharon Sassler, Kristi Williams, Fenaba Addo, Adrianne Frech, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. “Family Structure & High School Graduation: How Children Born to Unmarried Mothers Fare.” Genus: Journal of Population Sciences, Vol. LXIX (No. 2), 1-33.
  • Kristi Williams, Sharon Sassler, Adrianne Frech, Fenaba Addo, and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. “Mothers’ Union Histories and the Mental & Physical Health of Adolescents Born to Unmarried Mothers.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 54 (3): 278-295.
  • Kristi Williams, Sharon Sassler, Adrianne Frech, Fenaba Addo,* and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2011. “Single Mothers, Union History, and Health at Midlife.” American Sociological Review 76(3):465-486.
What I learned from NLS data

The NLS can be used to provide answers to a variety of different questions, because it contains data on such a broad swath of the American population. I have used it, for example to explore the career transitions of the highly educated (women who get college degrees in STEM fields), as well as to explore whether children born to unmarried mothers are disadvantaged when it comes to their own likelihood of graduating from high school.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLS asks a lot of questions about young adults' expectations for family, work, and school, and they are often considered important predictors of women's subsequent behaviors. Having information on whether women expect to marry young, or limit their fertility, allows researchers to disaggregate respondents and highlight the heterogeneity among the American populace, as well as to ascertain whether these early expectations are predictive of subsequent outcomes. Few data sources also have such rich information on origin families.