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Survey instrument item number for children 0-5 years: I10a-h,I5; for children 6-11 years: I11a-h,I5; for children 12-17 years: I11a-h, I5
Variables in public use data file: ACE1; ACE10; ACE3; ACE4; ACE5; ACE6; ACE7; ACE8; ACE9
Children age 0-17 years
Children with no adverse childhood experiences; Children with 1 adverse childhood experience; Children with 2 or more adverse childhood experiences
Revisions and Changes:
There were changes to the wording of seven of the nine items. For more information about the changes, click here.
Due to changes in the survey’s mode of data collection and sampling frame, as well as adjustments to item wording where necessary, MCHB alerts data users that it is not possible to compare estimates from the redesigned survey to those from previous iterations of the NSCH or NS-CSHCN or to conduct related trend analyses. The redesigned NSCH will support trend analyses beginning with data from 2016.
The 2016 NSCH includes nine ACEs items: hard to get by on family's income (ACE1), parent or guardian divorced or separated (ACE3), parent or guardian died (ACE4), parent or guardian served time in jail (ACE5), saw or heard parents or adults slap, hit, kick punch one another in the home (ACE6), was a victim of violence or witnessed violence in neighborhood (ACE7), lived with anyone who was mentally ill, suicidal, or severely depressed (ACE8), lived with anyone who had a problem with alcohol or drugs (ACE9), and treated or judged unfairly due to race/ethnicity (ACE 10). A response of 'somewhat often' or 'very often' to the question "How often has it been very hard to get by on your family's income?" (ACE1) was coded as an adverse childhood experience. The remaining survey items ACE3-ACE10 are dichotomous 'Yes/No' response options.
Treatment of Unknown Values:
Missing values due to non-response or a “don’t know” response are not included in the denominator when calculating prevalence estimates and weighted population counts displayed in the data query results table. In the majority of cases, the proportion of missing values is less than 2%. Exceptions are noted in the form of a Data Alert at the bottom of a results table. The exclusion of these values does not change the prevalence estimates (%) and only marginally affects the weighted population counts (Pop. Est.). If missing cases are handled in any other way, details can be found in the "Additional notes" section above.
History and Development:
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) funds and directs the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), and develops survey content in collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau and a Technical Expert Panel. The Technical Expert Panel consists of experts in survey methodology and children’s health, federal and state stakeholders, clinicians and researchers. The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the survey, oversees the sampling, and produces a final data set of survey results. Respondents’ cognitive understanding of the survey questions was assessed during the pretest phase and revisions were made. Previously validated questions and scales are used when available.
Prior to 2016, the NSCH and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs were each conducted three times as interviewer-assisted telephone surveys using random digit dial sampling. In 2016, the two surveys were combined into a single self-administered questionnaire. Due to decline in the number of households with landline telephones, the NSCH now utilizes an address-based sampling method to select participating households, thus all invitations are sent by mail. Participants may choose to complete the survey either online using a secure website or a mailed paper version of the survey.
All final data components are verified by the Census Bureau, MCHB and DRC/CAHMI staff prior to public release. More information can be found in the “Review the Surveys” section of this website.
C.I. = 95% Confidence Interval.
Percentages and population estimates (Pop.Est.) are weighted to represent child population in US.
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Data Source: National Survey of Children’s Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. https://mchb.hrsa.gov/data/national-surveys
Citation: Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) data query. Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB). Retrieved [mm/dd/yy] from [www.childhealthdata.org].
This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number U59MC27866,National Maternal and Child Health Data Resource Initiative, $4.5M. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position of or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.