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The Transition from Childhood into Adulthood among PSID Children, 2021 and 2023

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is a longitudinal survey of a nationally representative sample of U.S. families that began in 1968. As of 2020, it has collected data on the same families and their descendants for 41 waves over 52 years. In the 1990s, PSID began collecting rich and detailed data on children born into these families as part of the original PSID Child Development Supplement (CDS) and, starting in the mid-2000s, has closely followed these children’s transition across the young adult years through the biennial PSID Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS). Young adults in PSID families become members of the Core PSID themselves and receive the full biennial interview when they form their own economically independent households, and then the study follows them for the rest of their lives.

In order to continue capturing the transition into adulthood for all PSID children, the TAS will conduct two waves of data collection in 2021 and 2023. A major portion of the TAS samples will comprise of young adults who previously participated in CDS. Participants in CDS include those from the original study, which began collecting detailed and extensive data on children in PSID families in 1997 on a cohort of children aged 0-12 years, as well as the new CDS, fielded in 2014 and 2019. This ongoing study is collecting information on all children aged 0-17 years in PSID families born after the launch of the original CDS. The 2021 and 2023 waves of the TAS will also include many respondents who have participated in one or more prior waves of TAS, allowing us to trace their transition into adulthood.

Our specific aims are to collect approximately 70 minutes of information in 2021 and 2023 from all PSID youth aged 18-28 years and to document and distribute these data through the publicly available and free PSID Online Data Center. In 2019, the TAS adopted a mixed-mode design using internet interviewing as well as computer-assisted telephone interviewing to collect new retrospective content. We are building on this revision by collecting data on childhood circumstances and exposures and new information on young adult transitions in key domains such as family formation and change, health, and living arrangements. We are conducting interviews with approximately 3,800 young adults in 2021 and 2023. These data are vital for our understanding of the contemporary transition from adolescence into adulthood within its intergenerational family context. By augmenting the panel information in the CDS and Core PSID, this project will provide a rich CDS-TAS-PSID panel of children from birth and preschool through primary and secondary school and then through entry into the world of work or of higher education in conjunction with early family formation. Although a full and detailed panel from birth to young adulthood is valuable in its own right, the information on these individuals will grow further as they continue in Core PSID for the rest of their lives.