National Survey of Youth, 1972 (ICPSR 7593)

Version Date: Mar 30, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Martin Gold, Unknown

Version V2

Conducted five years after NATIONAL SURVEY OF YOUTH, 1967 (ICPSR 3509), this study also was designed to measure the frequency and seriousness of delinquent activity among a representative sample of American boys and girls. Interviews were conducted in the spring of 1972 with 1,395 respondents who were 11 to 18 years old. Part 1 contains data gathered about the teenager's and his or her family's characteristics, including job history, family size, parents' education, attitudes toward school, school grades, peer group activities, dating history, self image, body image, physical health and maturation, attitudes about authority and youth culture, relationship with parents, political opinions and participation, and job aspirations. Part 2 contains each respondent's indication of which of 17 specific offenses he or she had committed in the previous three years. Information was coded on up to three incidents of each type of delinquency for each respondent. Data detailing the circumstances of each offense is also included. The 17 offenses are: (1) hitting a parent, (2) skipping school, (3) damaging property on purpose, (4) trying to get something by lying about age or identity, (5) trying to get something by lying about what you would do for a person, (6) taking something not belonging to you, even if you return it, (7) hurting or injuring someone on purpose, (8) threatening to hurt or injure someone, (9) trespassing on property, (10) trespassing in a house or building, (11) drinking beer or liquor without parental permission, (12) smoking marijuana, (13) using drugs (other than marijuana) or chemicals, (14) taking part in a fight with friends against other kids, (15) carrying a gun or knife, (16) taking a car without permission of the owner, and (17) "going all the way" with a member of the opposite sex. All but one offense match the list presented in the 1967 study. The additional offense, marijuana use, was added to reflect changes in American society since the first study was done.

Gold, Martin. National Survey of Youth, 1972. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-03-30.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

The data in this collection are available without restriction, however, potential users of the National Survey of Youth datasets are advised to contact the original principal investigator, Dr. Martin Gold (Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, Box 1248, Ann Arbor, MI 48106), about their intended uses of the data, which have been and are being used extensively by researchers. Experience has shown that informing Dr. Gold of intended use of the data can prevent unnecessary and sometimes embarrassing duplication of effort and can help avoid misuse of the data arising out of misunderstanding their nature. Dr. Gold would also appreciate receiving copies of reports based on the NSY datasets.

A nationally representative sample.

Teenagers 11-18 years old in the United States in 1972.

personal interviews

survey data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Gold, Martin. National Survey of Youth, 1972. ICPSR07593-v2. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2001.

2006-03-30 File CB7593.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

2001-11-02 Corresponding SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been created for each data file, and the hard copy codebook has been converted to Portable Document Format (PDF). Also, OSIRIS dictionaries and data maps are no longer being distributed with this collection.

1984-03-18 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. Please see version history for more details.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.