Speaker: John Robert (“Rob”) Warren

Date/Time: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 12pm EDT.

Webinar Description: Every decade or so, the US Department of Education conducts a large cohort study of a large and diverse nationally representative sample of high school students; those students are followed for about a decade, and comprehensive information about their families, schools, educational experiences, peers, and other life contexts is collected from school transcripts and interviews with students, parents, teachers, and school administrators.

We revived and repurposed two of those cohorts ─ the 1972 National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS-72) cohort and the 1980 High School and Beyond (HSB) cohort ─ to become studies of aging and later life well-being. This talk will focus on the design and potential of the 2021 (age ~60) HSB follow-up and the 2024 (age ~70) NLS72 follow-up. Both feature rich measures of cognitive impairment, health, and socioeconomic outcomes; both include surveys, cognitive assessments, in-home health visits, extensive biomarkers, and numerous administrative record linkages. To these, the 2024 NLS72 will add MRIs for a subsample of respondents. Education Studies for Healthy Aging Research (EdSHARe) is the broader project that includes these cohorts.

Speaker Bio: John Robert (“Rob”) Warren (he/him/his) is a sociologist, demographer, population health scholar, and data nerd. He is currently Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute for Social Research and Data Innovation at the University of Minnesota. His current research mainly focuses on the ways in which inequalities in educational, health, and cognitive outcomes emerge across the life course. With Chandra Muller, Eric Grodsky, Adam Brickman, and Jennifer Manly he is co-leading midlife follow-up surveys of the HSB and NLS72 cohorts—with a focus on the intersecting social, economic, and biological pathways through which early life and educational factors shape later-life health and cognition. Previous work has focused on the measurement of states’ high school completion rates; the consequences of state high school exit examinations for educational and labor market outcomes; and the magnitude of “panel conditioning” (or time in survey) effects in (educational and other) longitudinal surveys. He is also co-leader of a project to link (a) all public US decennial censuses to (b) the HRS, WLS, NSHAP, and other aging studies.

The EdSHARe project is led by John Robert “Rob” Warren, University of Minnesota with Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Chandra Muller, University of Texas at Austin; and Adam Brickman and Jennifer Manly, Columbia University.