Data on Health and Well-being of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Other Native Americans. National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW)

12/01/2006

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
Description: The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-being (NSCAW) provides nationally representative longitudinal data concerning children who are at risk of abuse or neglect or are in the child welfare system. Two samples of children were selected for NSCAW: children who were the subject of child abuse or neglect investigations conducted by Child Protective Service agencies (CPS sample) and children who had been in out-of-home or foster care for approximately one year and whose placement had been preceded by an investigation of child abuse or neglect (LTFC sample). The information comes from first-hand reports from children, parents, and other caregivers, as well as reports from caseworkers, teachers, and data from administrative records. The data include information on child and family functioning and well-being, service needs and utilization, and agency- and system-level factors that are likely to be related to child and family outcomes. Child outcomes of interest include health and physical well-being, cognitive and school performance, mental health, behavior problems, and social functioning and relationships.
Relevant Policy Issues: Measurement of Health Status, 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: What race are you? (Interviewers are instructed to code all that apply.)
  • American Indian or Alaska Native (AI/AN)
  • Asian
  • Black or African American
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (NH/PI)
  • White

This format is used to ascertain race of child, caretaker, and caseworker.

AI/AN/NA Population in Data Set: In Wave 1, there are a total of 5,504 children in the CPS study group. Of these, 341 are identified as AI/AN. In addition, there are a total of 727 in the LTFC study group; 47 are identified as AI/AN.

Asians, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are combined into a single category in the data set and can not be analyzed separately.

Geographic Scope: The geographic scope of the study is national. The type of county residence (rural vs. urban) is identified in the sampling frame. (Counties with greater than 50 percent urban area are classified as urban. Remaining counties are classified as rural.) Address is collected for follow-up purposes but does not appear to be recoded into geographic variables. Based on the documentation available, researchers should be able to conduct analyses by rural vs. urban county.
Date or Frequency: This is a longitudinal study with four waves of data collection. Baseline data collection began in Fall 1999 and was completed in April 2001. After the baseline, three additional waves of data collection occurred at 12 months, 18 months, and 36 months post-baseline.
Data Collection Methodology: Interviews with parents or caregivers and children were conducted in-person using computerized personal interviewing techniques (CAPI) in private settings (e.g., the home). Field personnel collected physical measurements and observation data for infants and toddlers. Caseworker and agency interviews were also conducted in-person.

The CAPI instrument guided the child interview and prompted the field representative to administer the required developmental assessments in the designated order. When prompted, the field representative retrieved the assessment materials and administered the various activities appropriate for the childs age.

Participation: Optional, with incentives
Response Rate: Child Interview Response Rates:
Wave CPS Sample LTFC Sample
1 64.2% 73.4%
2 86.7% 92.5%
3 86.6% 94.0%
4 85.3% 88.5%
Sampling Methodology: The children in the NSCAW CPS and LTFC samples were selected using a two-stage stratified sample design. At the first stage, the U. S. was divided into nine sampling strata. Within each of these nine strata, primary sampling units (PSUs), geographic areas that encompass the population served by a single child protective services agency, were randomly selected using a probability-proportionate-to-size procedure that gave a higher chance of selection to PSUs having larger caseloads. The same numbers of children were then sampled within each PSU.
Analysis: Because the NSCAW sample design is complex (e.g., unequally weighted, stratified, and clustered), standard errors computed using standard statistical procedures that assume a simple random sample will generally be too small. Special software that accounts for the complex sample design is needed in order to correctly estimate the standard errors. The Users Manual provides detailed guidance on the use of commercially available software packages such as SUDAAN, Stata, WesVar, and the SAS procedures SURVEYMEANS and SURVEYREG to correctly estimate the standard errors taking into account the complex sample design.
Authorization: In the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act of 1996, Congress directed the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct a national study of children who are at risk of abuse or neglect or are in the child welfare system. Congress directed that the study include a longitudinal component that follows cases for a period of several years; collects data on the types of abuse or neglect involved, agency contacts and services, and out-of-home placements.
Strengths: Data are collected on key policy issues, including health and child welfare. There are multiple years of data available. The unique content of the data will be extremely useful to researchers and policy makers. The documentation is comprehensive. Extensive nonresponse analysis has been conducted to identify potential sources of bias in the collected data. Because of the complexity of this data source, ACF and its contractor have developed the NSCAW Data Delivery System to aid analysts and other data users, support the reduction of the data set to a manageable level, support various programming environments, and provide an electronic codebook including frequency distributions for the variables in the CPS and LTFC cohorts.
Limitations: Data access is strictly controlled and is not available to employees at child welfare agencies. In the LTFC, the number of AI/AN is very small. Because of their longitudinal nature, weighted analyses of these data will be complex.
Access Requirements and Use Restrictions: Two different versions of the NSCAW data are available. The General Use Data has identifying information and geographic detail removed and variables posing a risk of respondent disclosure have been recoded. The Restricted Release version has geographic detail and fewer variables have been recoded, but this version presents a higher risk to respondent confidentiality. It is, therefore, only made available to researchers who can justify a need for high level access and who are willing to follow additional application requirements.

For both versions of NSCAW, access is limited to researchers who agree to the terms and conditions contained in the Data Use License. Only faculty and non-student research personnel at institutions that have an Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Review Committee are eligible to order the data. While access to both versions of the NSCAW data require approval by an Institutional Review Board at the researchers institution and close oversight by NDACAN in the form of a legally-binding licensing agreement, access to the Restricted Release Data also requires preparation of an application and data protection plan as well as willingness to cooperate with unannounced on-site inspections of the research facility.

University students may gain access to the NSCAW only as research staff who have been added to the project, but a faculty advisor must serve as the investigator. Employees at child welfare agencies are not presently eligible to obtain any version of the NSCAW data.

Contact Information: Data are available to researchers who meet the requirements described in the Access Requirements and Use Restrictions section of this profile through the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect (NDACAN) at http://www.ndacan.cornell.edu/index.html.

Data Archive information:
National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect
Beebe Hall - FLDC
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
NDACAN General E-mail: NDACAN@cornell.edu
NDACAN Technical Support: NDACANSupport@cornell.edu

Federal Project Officer:
Mary Bruce Webb, Ph.D.
Administration for Children and Families
370 LEnfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Phone: (202) 205-8628
mary.webb@acf.hhs.gov

 

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