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Survey Design and Sample Sizes

Base Year (1972) through Fourth Follow-up (1979):

Base Year (1972)

Baseline survey of high school seniors in spring term, 1972.

  • Test Battery, School Record Information Form, Student Questionnaire were administered..
  • The sample design called for 1,200 schools with 18 seniors per school, size permitting.
  • Sample sizes:
    • 1,061 schools
    • 19,001 students

First Follow-up (1973)

  • First follow-up survey occurred from October 1973 to April 1974.
  • Information requested regarded work, education, and/or training, as well as where sample members were in October of 1973.
  • 4,450 1972 high school seniors were added to the base-year sample from 257 additional schools that did not participate in the earlier base-year sample.
  • Some base-year variables were requested from those who were added to the base-year sample.
  • 21,350 first follow-up forms were received by mail, telephone interview, or personal interview.
  • The first follow-up retention rate was 93.7% of the senior students who completed the base-year questionnaire.

Second Follow-up (1974)

  • Second follow-up survey occurred from October 1974 to April 1975.
  • Similar information was requested, however some new work- and education-related questions were asked.
  • An Activity State Questionnaire was used to conduct a retrospective survey to those who had not previously provided key activity status information in prior time points.
  • 20,872 second follow-up forms were received by mail telephone interview, or personal interview.
  • The second follow-up retention rate was 94.6% of those who completed the first follow-up.

Third Follow-up (1976)

  • Third follow-up survey occurred from October 1976 to May 1977.
  • Respondent status in October of 1975 and October 1976 was requested, as well as experience and activity summaries.
  • 20,092 third follow-up forms were received by mail, telephone interview, or personal interview.
  • The third follow-up retention rate was 93.9% of those who completed the second follow-up.

Fourth Follow-up (1979)

  • Fourth follow-up survey occurred from October 1979 to May 1980.
  • 18,630 fourth follow-up forms were received by mail, telephone interview, or personal interview. 5,548 individuals were asked to provide a Supplemental Questionnaire regarding key work and educational history information that was previously requested but not provided in previous follow-ups.
  • 2,648 sample members were retested on a subset of the base-year test battery.
  • Respondent status in 1977, 1978, and 1979 was requested, as well as experience, educational, and occupational activity summaries. Other activities, such as family formation and political participation, were also emphasized given the amount of time lapsed since high school graduation.
  • The fourth follow-up retention rate was 90.8% of those who completed the third follow-up. 12,980 individuals completed all questionnaires from the base year and all four follow-ups which represented 78% of base year respondents.