Cohort Profile: the Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS)

Lia Ahonen, David P. Farrington, Dustin Pardini, Magda Stouthamer-Loeber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Pittsburgh Youth Study (PYS) started data collection in 1987, with three age cohorts of inner-city boys from the Pittsburgh Public School system. The youngest cohort (N = 503), the middle cohort (N = 508), and the oldest cohort (N = 506) were assessed first every 6 months, and later annually. Information was collected from participants, their parents, and their teachers. The PYS is one of the longest running longitudinal studies on delinquency and mental health in the USA. Data collection was last conducted in 2019, in the form of official criminal records. The PYS has generated numerous books, chapters, and peer-reviewed papers spanning a large number of different outcomes including delinquency, serious violence, mental health problems, and other health behaviors. Data is publicly available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Attrition rates
  • Developmental Pathways model
  • Pittsburgh Youth Study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Law
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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