Disabilities Among TANF Recipients: Evidence from the NHIS. Combined Family Head and Member Disability

05/15/2009

  1. Head and Family1 — Family head has disability (Disability1 above) and Family Disability
  2. Head and Family2 — Family head has disability (Disability2 above) and Family Disability
  3. Head or Familly1 — Family head has disability (Disability1 above) or Family Disability
  4. Head or Family2 — Family head has disability (Disability2 above) or Family Disability

One important consideration in using the NHIS to measure disability is that some questions are asked for all family members while others are asked only of sample adults or sample children. This means that adults or children are chosen at random from all those in the family to respond to certain sets of questions. Using appropriate weighting, these sample family member questions can be used to provide prevalence estimates for adults or children. However, this structure limits our ability to use these questions to create estimates of TANF recipients who have a family member with a disability or to create composite measures of disability. For example, since questions on physical movement limitations are asked only of sample adults, we cannot provide estimates of the percentage of TANF recipients who have a family member with these limitations. In the same way, a measure of adults who report any of the many disability measures we include is not symmetrically constructed if some adults are asked more disability questions than others. For this reason, we limit our sample to adults who are chosen as the sample respondent. This limits our sample size but allows us to use a broader array of disability measures.

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