NLS user since 2008
A key finding from my research is that mothers exposed to a state-level economic downturn during the first trimester of pregnancy have (on average) smaller babies and higher odds of small for gestational age. Even more interesting, this association is strongest among mothers with <12 years of education compared to women with 12 or more years of education.
My research seeks to understand the relations between social and economic circumstances across the life-course and maternal and child health outcomes. It is difficult to find longitudinal datasets that include rich data on social and economic factors (e.g., multiple measures of income, wealth, education, family structure, etc.) as well as health outcomes. The NLSY79 is unique in that it includes relatively detailed data on pregnancy health and birth outcomes and follows offspring into adolescence. Moreover the sample is large and socioeconomically and racially diverse.