Wisconsin Longitudinal Study

news and findings

Here are a few findings about Wisconsin's Class of 1957:




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WLS in the News:

Wisconsin State Journal (March 20, 2015):
Decades later, benchmark study yields data on human condition

New York Magazine (November 20, 2014):
Powerful Women Are More Likely to Be Depressed

Wall Street Journal Article (August 15, 2011):
Hey, You! Mean People Earn More, Study Finds

Time Magazine Article (June 20, 2011):
Life After High School

Atlantic Wire Article (June 6, 2011):
Christy Glass, Steven Haas, and Eric Reither on Obesity and Salary.

New York Times Article (June 2, 2011):
Heavy in School, Burdened for Life

Time Magazine Article (Dec 9, 2010):
Straight A's in High School May Mean Better Health Later in Life

Miller-McCune Magazine Article (Dec 8, 2010):
Among Vets, Higher Rank Predicts Better Health

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Article (Dec 5, 2010):
Survey Maps the Life of a Generation

Cleveland Dealer Article (Aug 31, 2010):
Male Life Span Tied to Mate Competition

MSNBC (June 8, 2011):
Do Thin People Earn More?

NBC 15 (March 11, 2011):
Carleen Wild Talks With an Interviewer and a Participant

Big Ten Network (Nov 2010):
Interview with Principle Investigator Pamela Herd

How joblessness hurts us all
(USA Today Opinion, 12/10/09)

Men's masculinity beliefs are a barrier to preventative health care
(EurekAlert!, 8/10/09)

Facial features may predict obesity
(Desert News [Salt Lake City], 3/29/09)

Being popular at school puts you on the wealth path
(Courier Mail [Queensland, Australia], 3/12/2009)

We're 'stickier' than most; people who were born In Wisconsin tend to stay here, study finds
(Wisconsin State Journal, 1/29/09)

Siblings of mentally disabled face own lifelong challenges
(EurekAlert!, 12/9/08)

Volunteer, help yourself
(Philly.com, 10/28/08)

Job displacement causes social withdrawal
(Times of India [New Delhi], 9/3/08)

Bowling alone because the team got downsized
(EurekAlert!, 9/1/08)

The State of Aging in the U.S.
(WSOC-TV [Charlotte, North Carolina], 2/22/08)

The story of our lives
(ABC News, 7/25/07)

Class of '57 gives researchers broad sociological snapshot (Wisconsin State Journal, 7/22/07)

Class of '57 speaks: ten findings from WLS
(Wisconsin State Journal, 7/22/07)

Fifty years and counting: the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study
(Wisconsin News, 7/17/07)

Research probes seniors' plans for end-of-life care
(EurekAlert!, 6/6/07)

Sex after 60 a matter of attitude
(Capital Times [Madison, Wisconsin], 3/6/06)

A good-looking master's thesis
(Capital Times [Madison, Wisconsin], 3/1/06)

Happy Days study
(Streaming Video--WKOW)

Childhood abuse is an adult health risk
(Wisconsin State Journal, 4/25/05)

Happy Days survey in reruns
(On Wisconsin, 6/1/03)

Life-Spanning research
(NBC-15 WMTV-Madison, 1/16/03)

Key data anticipated in 45-year aging study
(Wisconsin State Journal, 1/15/03)

Ongoing study checks in on 'Happy Days' cohort
(Wisconsin Week, 1/15/03)

Study tackles new issues for Class of '57
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/12/03)

  • Seventy percent of the 1957 graduating class live in Wisconsin.

  • Graduates live in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and more than ten foreign countries. The most common states of residence besides Wisconsin are Minnesota, Illinois, and California with 4% each, and Florida, Texas and Arizona with 1% to 2% each.

  • Forty-eight percent of men and 36% of women in the sample completed academic schooling beyond high school. Fourteen percent of men and 12% of women stopped their academic education with bachelor's degrees, but 18% of men and 9% of women earned higher professional and graduate degrees.

  • As of the 1992-1994 surveys, almost 70% of WLS graduates remain in their first marriages. Only 15% have married more than once. 82% of men and women are currently married and living with their spouse.

  • The majority of graduates have either two or three children, while approximately one-third have four or more children. Only 8% have no children, and 7% one child. The average number of children per graduates is 3, which includes biological, adopted, foster and stepchildren.

  • Ninety-five percent of the class of '57 have some kind of health insurance, although 51% of women have health insurance through their own employment, compared with 79% of men.

  • Forty percent of men hold management positions in their jobs, 14% are in supervisory jobs and 46% are employed in non-supervisory jobs. For women, 22% are managers, 15% are supervisors and two thirds are in non-supervisory jobs.

  • Eighty-eight percent of WLS graduates own their homes.

  • The majority of both men (80%) and women (76%) say they participate in light exercise, like walking, at least once a week. 35% of men and 26% of women participate in more strenuous exercise, like jogging or aerobics.

  • Self-reports of height and weight show that the average woman from the class of '57 is 5'4" tall and weighs 153 lbs, while men report an average height of 5'10" and weigh 195 lbs.

  • While many more men (60%) than women (47%) report that they have ever smoked, about the same percentages of women (18%) and men (17%) are current cigarette smokers.


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