1. Among the 6,646 respondents to the NLSY97 1999 wave discussed in Chapter II, 976 did not respond to the 2005 wave. The analysis sample for this chapter is limited to the 5,670 original sample members who also responded to the 2005 wave.
2. The sample is restricted to those who were ages 15 to 18 at the time they responded to the 1999 wave of the NLSY97 and who also responded to the 2005 survey wave, 98 percent of whom were 21 to 24 years old. Because of slight differences in timing across these survey waves, 2 percent were either 20 or 25 years old at the time of the 2005 survey wave.
3. Respondents are identified as dating if they report they are in “a dating relationship in which you thought of yourself as part of a couple.” A small number of individuals with same sex partners are excluded for this analysis.
4. We do not distinguish here whether individuals were cohabiting with their spouse-to-be or with another partner.
5. Married and cohabiting respondents were asked the following four questions: (1) How close do you feel towards [your partner]? (2) How much do you feel that [your partner] cares about you? (3) How committed would you say you are towards [your partner]? (4) On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no conflict and 10 is a lot of conflict, how would you rate your relationship? Conflict was reverse-coded in the summary measure. Similar relationship quality questions also were asked of respondents who identified a dating partner. The questions on closeness, caring, and conflict were identical to those asked of married and cohabiting people. For the commitment question, daters were asked, on a scale of 0 to 10, how likely it was they would be with their dating partner in six months.
6. See footnote 5 for an explanation of the difference in the wording of this question across relationship types.
7. Among sample members who were living with neither biological parent in 1999, 6 percent were married and 16 percent were cohabiting at that time. In contrast, among sample members living in other family structures in 1999, only one percent were either married or cohabiting at that time.
8. We use the income status of the household in 1999, when our sample was between the ages of 15 and 18 (Chapter II). Because economic circumstances can change, this measure may not capture all sample members who lived in a low-income household at other points during adolescence.
9. Dropouts are defined as those who have not earned a high school diploma, even if they have earned a GED certificate.