Inferring Sibling Relatedness from the NLSY Youth and Children Data: Past, Present, and Future Prospects

Joseph L. Rodgers, University of Oklahoma
Amber Johnson, Oregon Social Learning Center
David Bard, University of Oklahoma

In a number of disciplinary arenas related to demography, the distinction between full, half, and adoptive siblings is highly relevant. Behavioral genetics requires information about genetic and environmental relatedness to fit biometrical models. Socialization researchers infer expected commitment -- and predicted social learning -- from these sibling categories. Family structure researchers rely on these distinctions as inputs to their models. However, despite its remarkable features and innovations, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data do not explicitly distinguish between full, half, and adoptive silbings. We report on our several kinship linking algorithms that infer sibling relatedness from other information in the NLSY and NLSYC. Internal validation procedures use height and weight information, and concurrent validity indicators compare NLSY sibling results to other sibling studies. Past successes and the current status of these efforts are reviewed, and plans to collect explicit sibling information for the NLSY is reported.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Family, Households, Unions; Data, Methods, Study Design