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Survey instrument item number for children 0-5 years: A5 (2019), A4(2020), A5a-b(2019), A4a-b(2020), A6-A27(2019), A5-A25(2020), A32(2019), A30(2020), A33(2020); for children 6-11 years: A7(A7a-e)-A30(2019), A4(A4a-e)-A25(2020), A30(2020), A33(2020), A35(2019); for children 12-17 years: A7(A7a-e)-A30(2019), A35(2019), A4(A4a-e)-A25(2020), A30(2020), A33(2020)
Variables in public use data file: ALLERGIES; ALLERGIES_CURR; ARTHRITIS; ARTHRITIS_CURR; K2Q40A; K2Q40B; BLOOD; BLOOD_SCREEN; K2Q61A; K2Q61B; CYSTFIB; K2Q41A; K2Q41B; DOWNSYN; K2Q42A; K2Q42B; GENETIC; HEART; HEART_CURR; HEADACHE; HEADACHE_CURR; K2Q38A; K2Q38B; K2Q33A; K2Q33B; K2Q32A; K2Q32B; K2Q34A; K2Q34B; K2Q36A; K2Q36B; K2Q60A; K2Q60B; K2Q37A; K2Q37B; K2Q30A; K2Q30B; K2Q35A; K2Q35B; K2Q31A; K2Q31B; K2Q43B; BLINDNESS
Children age 0-17 years
Does not have any current or lifelong health conditions; Has 1 current or lifelong health condition; Has 2 or more current or lifelong health conditions
Revisions and Changes:
Changes to the survey items on brain injury/concussion in the 2020 NSCH rendered it an unreliable indicator of a current or lifelong condition and it was dropped from the list being counted in the 2020 data. The survey items regarding substance use disorder were dropped entirely in 2020. Therefore, while this measure was a composite based on a list of 26 conditions in 2019, that number was reduced to 24 conditions in 2020. For more information about the changes see the Additional Notes below, or click here to learn more.
This is a measure of number of current or lifelong health conditions from a list of 26 (24 in 2020): allergies (food, drug, insect or other), arthritis, asthma, blood disorders (such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, or hemophilia), brain injury/concussion/head injury (2019 only), cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, Down Syndrome, epilepsy or seizure disorder, genetic or inherited condition, heart condition, frequent or severe headaches including migraine (3-17 years), Tourette Syndrome (3-17 years), anxiety problems (3-17 years), depression (3-17 years), behavioral and conduct problem (3-17 years), developmental delay (3-17 years), intellectual disability (3-17 years), speech or other language disorder (3-17 years), learning disability (also known as mental retardation) (3-17 years), Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) (3-17 years), Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD or ADHD) (3-17 years), substance use disorder (2019 only), hearing problems, and vision problems. The list was reduced to 24 health conditions in 2020 after the questions regarding substance use disorder were dropped from the survey entirely, and changes to the survey items on brain injury/concussion no longer indicate whether it is a current or lifelong condition.
The result is a composite measure of current or lifelong conditions. In most cases, in order to be counted towards a current or lifelong condition, parents had to answer yes to 2 questions about the particular condition: 1) have they ever been told by a health care professional or educator that the child has the condition, and 2) whether the child currently has the condition. However, children who were ever told by a health care professional that they had blood disorders, cystic fibrosis, genetic or inherited conditions, or Down-Syndrome were counted toward the measure as these are considered lifelong conditions. Finally, the questions about hearing and vision problems were parent-reported, i.e. not necessarily "told by a health care professional or educator," but were nevertheless considered current/lifelong conditions for the purpose of this measure.
Please note that throughout the NSCH, all information about children's health conditions is based on parent recollection and is not independently verified.
Treatment of Unknown Values:
Missing values may be due to non-response (i.e. a skipped item) or a “don’t know” response. The way these items are handled can vary by measure. For NPMs and NOMs, having missing values for all items in an indicator will lead to the case being given a missing value on the overall measure. For some other measures, if there is a missing value on any of the items, the case will be set to missing. How missing values are handled is documented in the "Additional notes" field above when required.
Missing values are not included in the denominator when calculating prevalence estimates and weighted population counts displayed in the Interactive 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.). To learn about the impact of the missing values on the population count estimates, click here.
History and Development:
The National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH), funded and directed by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), is designed to provide annual national and state-level information on the health and well-being of children ages 0-17 years in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau administers the survey, oversees the sampling, and produces a final data set of survey results. HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) 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. In 2016, the NSCH underwent a significant redesign which combined content from both the NSCH and the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN). Further information on that redesign can be found in “The Design and Implementation of the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health”.
The NSCH is conducted as a household survey, and one child per household is selected to be the subject for the detailed age-specific questionnaire. The respondent to this questionnaire is a parent or guardian who is living in the home and has knowledge of the sampled child. Survey participants complete either web-based or self-administered paper-and-pencil questionnaires. Data from the NSCH is used for scientific research, federal policy and program development, and state-level planning and performance reporting. Information is collected on factors related to the health and well-being of children, including access to and utilization of health care, receipt of care in a medical home, systems of care for CSHCN, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and neighborhood characteristics.
More information about the survey can be found in the “About the National Survey of Children's Health” section of this website and HRSA’s MCHB 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. 2019-2020 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.