Kristi Williams

Associate Professor

Department of Sociology and Institute for Population Research, Ohio State University

NLS user since 2006

  • Painter, Matthew, Adrianne Frech and Kristi Williams. 2015. “Nonmarital Fertility, Union History, and Women’s Wealth.” Demography 52: 153-182.
  • Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Adrianne Frech, Fenaba Addo and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2014. “Mothers’ Union Histories and the Mental and Physical Health of Adolescents Born to Unmarried Mothers.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 53(3): 278 – 295.
  • Sassler, Sharon, Kristi Williams, Fenaba Addo, Adrianne Frech and Elizabeth Cooksey. 2013. “Family Structure and Educational Attainment: How Children Born to Unwed Mothers Fare.” Genus: Journal of Population Sciences. 69(2): 1-33.
  • Williams, Kristi, Sharon Sassler, Adrianne Frech, Elizabeth Cooksey, and Fenaba Addo. 2011. "Nonmarital Fertility, Union History and Women’s Health at Midlife.” American Sociological Review 76(3): 465-486.
  • Carlson, Daniel and Kristi Williams. 2011. “Parenthood, Life Course Expectations, and Mental Health.” Society and Mental Health 1(1): 20-40.
What I learned from NLS data

Our research using the NLS has found: (1) nonmarital fertility is associated with worse health in midlife among women, (2) subsequent marriage does not improve health outcomes for most women who have had a nonmarital birth or educational outcomes for their offspring by young adulthood, and (3) there are few health advantages for women of delaying teen births to young adulthood and (4) for women who have had an early nonmarital first birth, later marriage is associated with worse health at midlife than remaining unmarried.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLS was the best and possibly the only source of high quality data for our NICHD-funded project examining the consequences of nonmarital fertility on health and well-being across the life course and across generations. No other data source provides the same breadth and depth of longitudinal data on the family backgrounds and family lives of mothers and children /young adults across more than 30 years. The addition of the health modules has made NLS the premier source of data for understanding the health consequences of the rapidly changing U.S. demographic and family landscape.