Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)


Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans, Data Catalog

Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B)

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Sponsor: U.S. Department of Education (DoE)/National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES)
Description: The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study is designed to provide decision-makers, researchers, child care providers, teachers, and parents with detailed information about childrens early life experiences. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) looks at childrens health, development, care, and education during the formative years from birth through kindergarten entry. The ECLS-B selected a nationally representative sample of children born in the year 2001 to follow from birth through kindergarten.
Relevant Policy Issues: Educational Attainment, Measures of Well-being for Families/Households, and

Measures of Well-being for Children.

Data Type(s): Survey
Unit of Analysis: Individual
Identification of AI/AN/NA: The ECLS-B collects information on race and ethnicity in two places: the parent interview and the birth certificate. Race/ethnicity information from the birth certificate was used for sampling purposes only. For analytic purposes, ECLS-B recommends using the information provided in the parent interview.

In the parent interview, childrens race/ethnicity is defined by a series of variables. Parents were asked whether their child was of Spanish, Hispanic, or Latino origin. The parents were then shown a card with race response options and asked to choose from a number of options.

The restricted-use ECLS-B data files identify the following race categories:

  • White
  • Black
  • American Indian
  • Asian Indian
  • Chinese
  • Filipino
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese
  • Other Asian
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Guamanian
  • Chamorro
  • Samoan
  • Other Pacific Islander

The data set allows for children to be identified as more than one race.

In the second data collection wave, parents of children who were identified as AI/AN in the first data collection wave were asked to confirm that they/their children were AI/AN. If confirmed, interviewers asked [Are you/Is [the child]] formally enrolled in that (tribe/Alaska Regional Corporation)? and [Do you/Does [the child]] currently live on tribal lands or a reservation?

AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: During the first wave of the study, parents of approximately 10,700 children completed interviews, and approximately 10,200 children were directly assessed. The count of AI/AN individuals in the 2001-2002 base year of the ECLS-B study (data were first collected when the children were approximately 9 months old) are provided below:

Total AI/AN population = 750*
AI/AN and Hispanic = 150*
AI/AN, non-Hispanic = 300*
AI/AN, non-Hispanic, more than one race = 300*

When appropriately weighted to be nationally representative, this sample of AI/AN children represents approximately 2 percent of all children born in the United States in 2001.

For the second year (children approximately 2 years old) collected in 2003:
Total AI/AN population = 700*

*Please note: These counts have been rounded according to NCES rounding rules, as the ECLS-B data are currently only available in a restricted format.

Although Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander are provided as separate racial categories in the data files, reports present data for these groups rolled up into a single category: Other Asian/Pacific Islander.

AI/AN/NA Subpopulations: The restricted-use data files contain all the detailed race/ethnicity information colleted in the parent interview. Relevant subpopulations in the ECLS-B data include Native Hawaiians, Guamanians, Chamorros, Samoans, and Other Pacific Islanders. The restricted-use data file also includes information about whether the child is formally affiliated with a tribe and lives on a reservation.
Geographic Scope: The geographical scope of the ECLS-B is national. The sample is designed also to support regional estimates. It is not designed to estimate characteristics at the state level.
Date or Frequency: Wave 1: Data collection in the first wave took place between fall 2001 and fall 2002, at which time most of the sampled children were about 9 months of age (65 percent of AIAN children were 8 to 10 months of age).

Wave 2: Children were about 2-year-olds (collected in 2003)

Wave 3: Children were preschool-aged (e.g., age 4) (collected in 2005)

Wave 4: Children will be in kindergarten (to be collected 2006-2007)

Wave 5: Includes children who were not yet enrolled in kindergarten during the Wave 4 field period (to be collected in fall 2007)

Data Collection Methodology: ECLS-B data collection in the first wave (when the children were about 9 months old) involved three parts:
  1. Child assessment: Children participated in a variety of activities to assess their early mental, physical, and socioemotional development. A trained staff member measured the childs mental and physical skills through an untimed one-on-one assessment in the childs home. Assessment tools included the Bayley Short Form-Research Edition (BSF-R) (a variation of the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-Second Edition that was developed specifically for use in the ECLS-B), the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale (NCATS), and physical measurements.
  2. Parent interview: Parents/guardians were asked to provide key information about their children and themselves. The parent interview included two instruments: the parent interview instrument and the parent self-administered questionnaire (PSAQ). The first was conducted in person by trained field interviewers using computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI) as part of the home visit. The PSAQ was a paper and pencil instrument, presented during the parent CAPI instrument for the respondent to complete and return in a provided envelope, and contained 23 questions on topics some people might prefer to answer privately.
  3. Father questionnaires: The ECLSB also collected data from fathers through two separate father questionnaires: the resident father questionnaire and the nonresident father questionnaire. The nonresident father questionnaire was only administered in cases where the child did not live in the same household as his or her biological father and a minimum contact frequency was met. Both father questionnaires were self-administered with telephone follow-up.
Participation: Optional, with incentives. For the first round, parent participants received $50 and a book for their child. For the second round, parents received $30 and a childrens book.
Response Rate: NCES reported the response rate for Wave 1 as 74.1 percent overall while the AI/AN response rate was reported as 79.3 percent (based on weighted data). The response rate is calculated as the weighted number of completed parent interviews divided by the total eligible sample. To be considered complete, the first three sections of the parent interview needed to be completed.
Sampling Methodology: The sample for ECLS-B was selected using a clustered, list frame sampling design. The list frame was registered births in the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) vital statistics system (from lists provided by state registrars). Births were sampled from 96 core primary sampling units (PSUs) representing all infants born in the United States in the year 2001. The PSUs were counties and county groups.

Sampling was based on occurrence of the birth as listed on the birth certificate. Sampled children subsequently identified by the state registrars as having died or who had been adopted after the issuance of the birth certificate were excluded from the sample. Also, infants whose birth mothers were younger than 15 years at the time of the childs birth were excluded.

Oversample of AI/AN/NA Population: Eighteen additional PSUs were selected from a supplemental frame consisting of areas where the population has a higher proportion of AI/AN births. The PSUs in the AI/AN PSU sampling frame were counties or groups of counties that had at least an expected 50 AI/AN sample births based on 1994-1996 National Center for Health Statistics natality detail files and that had relatively large proportions of AI/AN births.
Analysis: The effective sample size based on the number of complete cases in wave 1 for the AI/AN population is 1,190. Design effects (weighting effect) = 1.0500
Strengths: Documentation is extremely detailed and very clear. The study includes some oversamples of American Indian/Native Americans. An extensive nonresponse bias analysis was conducted, and findings from these analyses suggest that there is not a bias due to nonresponse. Details on the nonresponse bias analysis are available in the studys documentation.
Limitations: The Institutional Review Board of the Navajo Nation reservations did not approve participation in the study. Where cases were drawn from persons residing on a Navajo Nation reservation, those cases were treated as nonresponse. Navajos not living on reservations were included in the sample.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: The data are available to researchers with an NCES restricted-use license. The steps for obtaining a license are detailed here: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/licenses.asp.
Contact Information: The ECLS-B staff can be contacted by sending an email to: ecls@ed.gov.

Questions about NCES restricted-use licenses can be addressed to:
Cynthia L. Barton
Data Security Assistant
Phone: (202) 502-7307
E-mail: Cynthia.Barton@ed.gov

Reports of Interest: Flanagan, K., and Park, J. (2005). American Indian and Alaska Native Children: Findings From the Base Year of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B) (NCES 2005116). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics

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