Sandra Hofferth


Department of Family Science, School of Public Health, University of Maryland

NLS user since 1977

  • Goldscheider, F., Hofferth, S., and Curtin, S. Parenthood and leaving home in young adulthood. Population Research and Policy Review 2014. DOI 10.1007/s11113-014-9334-9
  • Cabrera, N. J, Hofferth, S. L., Hancock, G. Family structure, maternal employment and change in children's externalizing behavior: Differences by age and self-regulation. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 11, 136-158, 2014.
  • Hofferth, S., Pleck, J. H., and Vesely, C. The Transmission of Parenting from Fathers to Sons. Parenting: Science and Practice 12 (4), 282-305, 2012.
  • Hofferth, S., Goldscheider, F. Family structure and the transition to early parenthood. Demography 47, 415-437, 2010. PMCID:PMC3000024.
  • Hofferth, S., Goldscheider, F. 2010. Does change in young men’s employment influence fathering? Family Relations 59, 479-493, 2010. NIHMSID: 299230.
  • Hofferth S, Forry N, and Peters E. Child support, father-child contact, and preteens' involvement with nonresidential fathers: Racial / Ethnic Differences. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 31:14-32, 2010. PMCID:PMC2847273.
What I learned from NLS data

One of the key findings of my research is that early life family structure, economic resources, parental behavior, and child temperament make a difference in the early transitions to adulthood of children, including aggressive behavior, types of early partner and parenting transitions, how young men parent children, and family attitudes and values. What happens in the early years has long-term implications, which we are just beginning to comprehend. Researchers have a responsibility to document and disseminate these important findings for future policy and program designers.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLS has unique longitudinal data for cohorts of youth. My research has benefitted from the auspicious decision in the 1980s to link data from mothers with data on their children (Child and Young Adult samples of the NLSY79). This innovative design has permitted research on intergenerational linkages between the behavior of parents, early life conditions in families, and childhood/young adult outcomes of offspring, obtained directly from participants. Incorporating new cohorts on a regular basis has also helped us understand cohort change.