State Investments in Successful Transitions to Adulthood, 1970-2000 (ICPSR 34373)

Version Date: Mar 7, 2013 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Kevin Leicht, University of Iowa; Dennis P. Hogan, Brown University

Version V1

This research investigated the relationship between ascribed characteristics, family resources, personal circumstances, and public policies as these affect the transition to adulthood. The transition to adulthood has been extensively studied during the last four decades using a variety of well-established approaches and methods. Changes in the structure and pace of youth-to-adult transitions have been extensively documented, along with the increasingly complex lives young people lead as they negotiate the transition to adulthood. Relatively less attention has been devoted to the factors leading to these changes, and a variety of public policies related to state economic development efforts, education, and financial support for higher education have yet to be examined in any detail. This project built on the principal investigators' prior work on life course transitions and state economic and political contexts to estimate behavioral models of the late 20th and early 21st century transition to adulthood.

Specifically, this research:

  1. Defines and describes the successful transition to adulthood in terms of human capital accumulation, attainment of economic security, and partnership and life satisfaction.
  2. Identifies group and individual disparities in successful transitions, defined by ascribed characteristics, family resources, and personal circumstances.
  3. Measures the impact of the social and economic environments where these transitions occur and the effects of state structures and policies on the successful transition to adulthood, specifically examining whether the impact of these state policies differs by race/ethnicity, immigrant status, and disability status.

The analysis used discrete hazard modeling and hierarchical generalized linear modeling (HGLM) to build a general model of the transition to adulthood on a wide variety of dimensions (from educational attainment to stable employment in a full-time job, employment in a job with health insurance, to independent residence and life satisfaction) and examined systematic changes in the process leading to adulthood across cohorts and across race/ethnic, immigrant, and disability groups.

Leicht, Kevin, and Hogan, Dennis P. State Investments in Successful Transitions to Adulthood, 1970-2000. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-03-07.

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
National Science Foundation (0550538)


This data collection may not be used for any purpose other than statistical reporting and analysis. Use of these data to learn the identity of any person or establishment is prohibited. This data is available for general dissemination.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
1971 -- 2000
1996-08 -- 2009-08

The aggregated state-level data in this release can be linked to the Contextual Data files from the National Adolescent Longitudinal Study, 1994-2008 (Add Health). The Contextual Data files contain geocode information and other geographic indicator variables, which can be linked to this data release using the State variable. The Contextual Data files can then be linked with other individual-level respondent surveys of interest that are part of the Add Health Study. Individual-level respondent surveys can be used in conjunction with this state-level data to assess the effects of political and economic contexts on different dimensions of social stratification, economic opportunity, and educational opportunity.

The Add Health Contextual Data files are restricted from general dissemination. Please see the following link for more information about the data and how to apply:

More information on the Add Health Study Series can be found at:

To provide important insights into the rapidly changing context surrounding transitions to adulthood by examining a broad spectrum of life-course transitions across three decades (the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s). The analysis identifies significant differences in the pathways leading to successful adulthood, with special attention given to differences in transitions and determinants by race/ethnicity, immigrant status and disability status, and the growth or decline in these differences over time. The purpose was to gain was a better grasp of the ways that state political and economic contexts modify the effects of ascribed characteristics, family resources, and personal circumstances on transition to adulthood, so as to identify youth who are especially susceptible to contextual changes as these affect the ability to become functioning and productive adults.

The data for this project are drawn from the 1979 National Longitudinal Study of Young Men and Women, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth. These data were concatenated to provide for a monthly analysis of successful transitions to adulthood. These data were also merged with an extensive and unique data set with assembled yearly indicators of state-level political and economic contexts covering the years 1970-2004 (see Jenkins, Leicht, and Wendt, 2006).


State-level data on a variety of economic and political measures for the years 1970-2000.

year, state

Research Articles and Other Data Sources

  • Amenta, Edwin, and Drew Halfmann. 2000. Institutional Politics, Social Policy and WPA Wages. American Sociological Review 67:506-28.
  • Berry, William D., Evan J. Ringquist, Richard C. Fording, and Russell L. Hanson. 1998. Measuring Citizen and Government Ideology in the States. American Journal of Political Science 42:327-348.
  • Beyle, Thad. 1983. "Governors", in Virginia Gray, Herbert Jacob, and Kenneth Vines, eds., Politics in the American States, 4th ed. pp. 180-221. Boston: Little, Brown and Company; Council of State Governments. 1973-93. The Book of the States. Lexington, Ky.: Council of State Governments.
  • Fortune. 1971-91. Top 500 Manufacturers. New York: Fortune.
  • Hecker, Daniel. 1999. High Technology Employment: A Broader View. Monthly Labor Review (June): 18-28.
  • Hunter, Kenneth G., Laura Anne Wilson, and Gregory G. Brunk. 1991. Societal Complexity and Interest-Group Lobbying in the American States. Journal of Politics 53:488-503.
  • Klarner, State Partisan Balance Data files.
  • Leicht, Kevin T. and J. Craig Jenkins. 1993. Three Strategies of State Economic Development: Entrepreneurial, Industrial Recruitment, and Deregulation Policies in the American States. Economic Development Quarterly 8:256-269.
  • Morehouse, Sarah McCally. 1981. State Politics, Parties and Policy. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.; Thomas, Clive S., and Ronald J. Hrebenar. 1982. Interest Groups in the States. pp. 88-132, in Politics in the American States, edited by Virginia Gray, Herbert Jacob, and Kenneth Vines. Glenview, Ill.: Scott Foresman.
  • Ranney, Austin. 1976. Parties in State Politics. In Politics in the American States: A Comparative Analysis, 3d ed., ed. Herbert Jacob and Kenneth N. Vines. Boston: Little, Brown.
  • Riche, Richard W., Daniel E. Hecker, and John U. Burgan. 1983. High Technology Today and Tomorrow: A Small Slice of the Employment Pie. Monthly Labor Review (March) pp. 50-58.
  • Squire. 2007. Measuring State Legislative Professionalism: The Square Index Revisited. State Politics and Policy Quarterly, 7:211-227.
  • Venture Economics. 1978-91. Pratt's Guide to Venture Capital Resources. Wellesly Hills, Mass.: Venture Economics.

National/State Statistics

administrative records data, aggregate data, census/enumeration data

  • Gini Index of Income Inequality
  • State Index Crime Rate - United States Department of Justice
  • Democratic and Republican Party Strength - Ranking based on the Ranney Index (Ranney, 1976)
  • Average SAT Math and SAT Verbal Scores
  • State Governor's Powers - Coded from State Constitutions (Beyle, 1983)
  • Legislative Professionalism (Squire, 2007)
  • Entrepreneurial Scale, Deregulation Scale, and Industrial Recruitment Scale -- Constructs from a confirmatory factor analysis of State Economic Development Programs (Leicht/Jenkins, Economic Development Quarterly, 1993)
  • State Institutional Ideology Scale and State Citizen Ideology Scale (Berry et al., 1998)


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:
  • Leicht, Kevin, and Dennis P. Hogan. State Investments in Successful Transitions to Adulthood, 1970-2000. ICPSR34373-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2013-03-07.

2013-03-07 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.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • 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.

AERA logo

Education Research Data Sharing Initiative

This study is maintained and distributed by The Education Research Data Sharing Initiative: an AERA-ICPSR Partnership, a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).