Lawrence Berger

Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty; Professor, School of Social Work

Institute for Research on Poverty and School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin–Madison

NLS user since January 2000

  • Berger, Lawrence M., and Bzostek, Sharon. (2014). “Young Adults’ Roles as Partners and Parents in a Context of Family Complexity.” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 654(1), 87-109.
  • Magnuson, Katherine and Berger, Lawrence M. (2009). “Family Structure States and Transitions: Associations with Children’s Wellbeing During Middle Childhood.” Journal of Marriage and Family, 71(3), 575-591.
  • Berger, Lawrence M. (2007). “Socioeconomic Factors and Substandard Parenting.” Social Service Review, 81(3), 485-522.
  • Berger, Lawrence M., Hill, Jennifer, and Waldfogel, Jane. (2005). “Maternity Leave, Early Maternal Employment, and Child Health and Development in the U.S.” The Economic Journal, 115: F29-F47.
  • Berger, Lawrence M. (2004). “Income, Family Structure, and Child Maltreatment Risk.” Children and Youth Services Review, 26(8): 725-748.
  • Berger, Lawrence M. and Waldfogel, Jane (2004). “Maternity Leave and the Employment of New Mothers in the United States.” Journal of Population Economics, 17(2), 331-349.
What I learned from NLS data

My most recent NLSY research used data from 1979 and 1997 cohorts to describe the likelihood that young men and women will take on a variety of adult family roles as partners and parents by age 30, as well as the extent to which they experienced these roles sequentially or simultaneously. On the whole, the complexity of adult family roles has increased substantially over time. By age thirty, for example, approximately eight percent of young adults in the 1979 cohort and 12 percent of the young adults in the 1997 cohort had experienced at least two parental roles simultaneously in one or more of survey years.

Why I chose NLS data

The NLSY data are ideal for following large cohorts of young adults over time, with assessments at frequent time intervals. These data have allowed me to examine trajectories in maternal employment, family structure and composition, children’s living arrangements, parental behaviors, and child development.