Spencer James

Assistant Professor

School of Family Life, Brigham Young University

NLS user since 2009

  • Spencer L. James. 2015. “Variation in Trajectories of Women’s Marital Quality.”Social Science Research 49:16-30
  • Spencer L. James. In Press. “Variation in Marital Quality in a National Sample ofDivorced Women.” Journal of Family Psychology.
  • Spencer L. James and Brett A. Beattie. 2012. “Reassessing the Link between Women’sPremarital Cohabitation and Marital Quality.” Social Forces 91(2): 635–662.
  • Kevin Shafer and Spencer L. James. 2013. “Gender and SES Differences in First andSecond Marriage Formation.” Journal of Marriage and Family 75(3): 544-564.
  • Spencer L. James. 2014. “Longitudinal Patterns of Marital Quality: The Case ofDivorce, Cohabitation, and Race-Ethnicity.” Marriage and Family Review50(8): 738-763.
What I learned from NLS data

My research, based on NLSY79 data, has shown that there is great variability in longitudinal trajectories of relationship quality.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLSY79 dataset was the only dataset I could find that met all of my research requirements.
1. It is nationally representative (not just a national sample, which is very different)
2. It contains information on multiple dimensions of relationship quality
3. It follows romantic relationships for well over a decades.
4. I can tie parental relationships to prospective child outcomes.