Implications of Adolescence for Adult Well-Being: 25 Years of Add Health Research


Harris, Kathleen Mullan & Halpern, Carolyn Tucker (2022). Implications of Adolescence for Adult Well-Being: 25 Years of Add Health Research. Journal of Adolescent Health. vol. 71 (6, Supplement) pp. S1-S5


The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) has been a data treasure for understanding the implications of adolescence for adult health and well-being. Add Health is a nationally representative U.S. sample of more than 20,000 adolescents in grades 7–12 in 1994–1995 who have been followed for 25 years to early midlife over five interview waves [1]. Novel features of the Add Health study make it especially rich for understanding the long-term consequences of adolescent contexts and behavior, both risky and resilient, on health and well-being into early midlife. The innovative multilevel design collected direct measures of the social contexts of adolescent and young adult life, including school, peer network, friendship, romantic dyad, family, neighborhood, and community contexts. Developmental outcomes in health, health behaviors, cognition, achievement, and relationships are tracked across the key life stages of adolescence, early adulthood, young adulthood, and early midlife. Biological data have been integrated into the longitudinal waves of data collection appropriate to the developmental stage of the cohort and relevant biosocial processes. Add Health furthermore portrays the full diversity of the U.S. population for this cohort with national representation of all population subgroups by gender, race, ethnicity, immigrant status, sexual identity, socioeconomic status (SES), and geographic location. This supplement issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health includes literature reviews of the major topical areas of research findings in Add Health. Below we describe in more detail the data and design of Add Health to provide a background for the reviews.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

Journal of Adolescent Health


Harris, Kathleen Mullan
Halpern, Carolyn Tucker

Year Published


Volume Number


Issue Number

6, Supplement







Reference ID