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College of Arts & Sciences

The Howard B. Kaplan Laboratory for Social Science Research (formerly known as the Laboratory for Studies of Social Deviance) at Texas A&M University was founded by Dr. Howard B. Kaplan. The laboratory conducts large-scale studies of the causes and consequences of drug abuse and other deviant adaptations to stress.

Kaplan Longitudinal and Multigenerational Study (KLAMS) offers social researchers a unique window into life in the United States. It is one of the very few studies that spans decades following two generations—parents and children. Data collection began in the 1970’s when his team interviewed about 50% of all of the 7th graders in the Houston Independent School District. These original respondents were followed up six times through their adolescence and into mid-life. But Dr. Kaplan did not stop there. He gained permission to interview the children of the original respondents, interviewing them at three different times as they transitioned from adolescence into young adulthood. Much of his work has been supported by grants from the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Using this data, Dr. Kaplan and his colleagues have explored the factors that lead people to live on the margins of society, become criminals, and abuse drugs. Nearly 200 academic books, papers, and book chapters on social deviance have resulted from the original study and other related inquiries.

It is our honor and privilege to continue the work Dr. Kaplan started by: 1) using and analyzing this unique data to develop sociological theories; and 2) to continue the data collection in the future.

KLAMS data offers a very wide range of research opportunities. One can study generational effects, siblings, family effects, and neighborhood effects in topics like deviance, alcohol and drug abuse, health, socioeconomic mobility, mental health, relationships, sexual identity, and much more. Currently, more than 100 different publications have used KLAMS data and many students have used the data for their dissertations and theses:

  • Complete list of publications (click here).
  • A list of selected theses and dissertations (click here).

For scholars and students interested in joining current projects or proposing new research using this unique dataset, contact Dr. Heili Pals ( or Dr. Holly Foster (