Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 2000. Glossary

01/01/2000

ABORTION. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) surveillance program counts legal abortions only. For surveillance purposes, legal abortion is defined as a procedure performed by a licensed physician or someone acting under the supervision of a licensed physician to induce the termination of a pregnancy.

ACTIVITY LIMITATION. Long-term reductions in activities resulting from a chronic disease or impairment. A person is classified as having an activity limitation if he or she reports (1) an inability to perform the major activity for a person in his or her age group, (2) being able to perform the major activity but being limited in the kind or amount of this activity, or (3) not being limited in the major activity but being limited in the kind or amount of other activities. For children under age 5, the major activity consists of ordinary play. For children ages 5 to 17, the major activity is attending school. Children are classified as being limited in a major activity if they are unable to engage in the major activity or are limited in the kind or amount of this activity (classifications (1) and (2) above).

AIDS CUMULATIVE TOTAL. The number of cases of AIDS in the United States reported through December 1998.

APGAR SCORE. A numerical expression of the physical condition of an infant shortly after delivery.

BINGE DRINKING. Five or more drinks in a row in the previous 2 weeks.

BIRTHWEIGHT . The first weight of the newborn obtained after birth. Low birthweight is defined as less than 2,500 grams or 5 pounds 8 ounces. Very low birthweight is defined as less than 1,500 grams or 3 pounds 4 ounces. Before 1979 low birthweight was defined as 2,500 grams or less and very low birthweight as 1,500 grams or less.

BODY MASS INDEX (BMI). A measure that adjusts body weight for height. It is calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Sex- and age-specific cut points of BMI are used in this book in the definition of overweight.

CENTER-BASED PROGRAMS. Includes day care centers, Head Start programs, preschools, prekindergartens, and other early childhood programs.

CHRONIC DISEASE OR IMPAIRMENT. Has been apparent for at least 3 months or is a new condition that will ordinarily last for more than 3 months.

CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS. Conditions that (a) were first noticed 3 months or more before the reference date of the interview; or (b) belong to a group of conditions (including heart diseases, diabetes, and others) that are considered chronic regardless of when they began.

CURRENT SMOKING. Smoking on 1 or more of the previous 30 days.

FAMILY. Refers to a group of two or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption who reside together; the Census Bureau considers all such people as members of one family. Two or more people living in the same household who are related to one another, but are not related to the householder, form an “unrelated subfamily.” Beginning with the 1980 Current Population Survey, the Census Bureau excluded unrelated subfamilies from the count of families and unrelated subfamily members from the count of family members.

FERTILITY RATE. Computed by relating total births, regardless of age of mother, to women ages 15-44.

FOOD STAMPS. The Food Stamp act of 1977 was enacted for the purpose of increasing the food purchasing power of eligible households through the use of coupons to purchase food. The Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Food Stamp Program through state and local welfare offices. The Food Stamp Program is the major national income support program which provides benefits to all low-income and low-resource households regardless of household characteristics (e.g., sex, age, disability, etc.). The questions on participation in the Food Stamp Program in the March Current Population Survey were designed to identify households in which one or more of the current members received food stamps during the previous calendar year. Once a food stamp household was identified, a question was asked to determine the number of current household members covered by food stamps during the previous calendar year. Questions were also asked about the number of months food stamps were received during the previous calendar year and the total face value of all food stamps received during that period.

FOREIGN BORN. Includes both immigrants and illegal aliens.

FOSTER CARE. A living arrangement where a child resides outside his or her own home, under the case management and planning responsibility of a state child welfare agency. These living arrangements include relative and nonrelative foster homes, group homes, child-care facilities, emergency shelter care, supervised independent living, and nonfinalized adoptive homes.

FREQUENT SMOKING. Smoking on 20 or more of the previous 30 days.

FULL EMPLOYMENT. Having worked at least 50 weeks during the preceding year, working at least 35 hours per week for the majority of those weeks.

GESTATION. The interval between the first day of the mother’s last normal menstrual period and the date of birth.

HALLUCINOGENS. Substances such as LSD or other psychedelic drugs such as mescaline, peyote, psilocybin, or PCP.

HEALTHY BIRTH. 5-minute Apgar Score of 9 or above, birthweight of at least 2500 grams, gestational age of 37 weeks or more, and prenatal care in the first trimester.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES. 12 years of school completed for 1971-1991 and high school diploma or equivalency certificate for 1992-1998.

HISPANIC ORIGIN. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race.

HOMICIDES. Includes death by legal intervention.

HOMICIDES DUE TO FIREARMS. Includes assault by handguns and all other and unspecified firearms.

HOUSEHOLDS. Consist of all people who occupy a housing unit. The Census Bureau regards a house, an apartment or other group of rooms, or a single room as a housing unit when it is occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters: the occupants do not live and eat with any other people in the structure and there is direct access from the outside OR through a common hall. A household includes the related family members and all the unrelated people, if any, such as lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. The Census Bureau also counts a person living alone in a housing unit or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit as partners as a household. The count of households excludes group quarters.

HOUSING PROBLEMS. Includes physical problems, excessive cost burden, and over crowding.

ILLICIT DRUGS. Includes marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens (including PCP), inhalants, and non-medical use psychotherapeutics.

INCOME. For each person in the sample 15 years old and over, the Current Population Survey asks questions on the amount of money income received in the preceding calendar year from each of the following sources: 1. Earnings. 2. Unemployment compensation. 3. Workers’ compensation. 4. Social Security. 5. Supplemental Security Income. 6. Public assistance. 7. Veterans’ payments. 8. Survivor benefits. 9. Disability benefits. 10. Pension or retirement income. 11. Interest. 12. Dividends. 13. Rents, royalties, and estates and trusts. 14. Educational assistance. 15. Alimony. 16. Child support. 17. Financial assistance from outside of the household. 18. Other income.

INDICATED. Sufficient reason for state to suspect that a child may have been maltreat-
ed or is at risk of maltreatment, but the allegation cannot be substantiated to
the level of evidence required by state law.

INFANT. Child under 1 year old.

INFANT DEATH. The death of a live-born child before his or her first birthday. Deaths in the first year of life may be further classified according to age as neonatal and postneonatal. Neonatal deaths are those that occur before the 28th day of life; postneonatal deaths are those that occur between 28 and 365 days of age.

INHALANTS. Substances such as glues and aerosols.

INJURY-RELATED DEATHS. Includes death from motor vehicle crashes, fires, burns, drowning, suffocation, and accidents caused by firearms and other explosive materials, as well as homicides, suicides, and other external causes of death.

KESSNER INDEX. A measure for the adequacy of prenatal care by assessing the timeli- ness and frequency with which prenatal care is received according to the gestational age of the baby.

LABOR FORCE. Persons are classified as in the labor force if they are employed, unemployed, or in the Armed Forces during the survey week. The “civilian labor force” includes all civilians classified as employed or unemployed. The file includes labor force data for civilians age 15 and over. However, the official definition of the civilian labor force is age 16 and over.
1. Employed. Employed persons comprise (1) all civilians who, during the survey week did any work at all as paid employees or in their own business or profession, or on their own farm, or who work 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a farm or a business operated by a member of the family; and (2) all those who have jobs but who are not working because of illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute, or because they are taking time off for personal reasons, whether or not they are seeking other jobs. These persons would have a Labor Force Status Recode (LFSR) of 1 or 2 respectively in character 145 of the person record which designates “at work” and “with a job, but not at work.” Each employed person is counted only once. Those persons who held more than one job are counted in the job at which they worked the greatest number of hours during the survey week. If they worked an equal number of hours at more than one job, they are counted at the job they held the longest.
2. Unemployed. Unemployed persons are those civilians who, during the survey week, have no employment but are available for work, and (1) have engaged in any specific job-seeking activity within the past 4 weeks such as registering at a public or private employment office, meeting with prospective employers, checking with friends or relatives, placing or answering advertisements, writing letters of application, or being on a union or professional register; (2) are waiting to be called back to a job from which they had been laid off; or (3) are waiting to report to a new wage or salary job with 30 days.

LATE PRENATAL CARE. Medical care provided after the 7th month of pregnancy to pregnant women.

LIMITATION OF ACTIVITY . In the National Health Interview Survey limitation of
activity refers to a long-term reduction in a person’s capacity to perform the
usual kind or amount of activities associated with his or her age group. Each
person is classified according to the extent to which his or her activities are lim-
ited, as follows:

  • Persons unable to carry on major activity;
  • Persons limited in the amount or kind of major activity performed;
  • Persons not limited in major activity but otherwise limited; and
  • Persons not limited in activity.

LIVE BIRTH. In the World Health Organization’s definition, also adopted by the United Nations and the National Center for Health Statistics, a live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life such as heartbeat, umbilical cord pulsation, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. Each product of such a birth is considered live born.

LOW BIRTHWEIGHT. See BIRTHWEIGHT .

LOW INCOME. Total family income for the year of the interview below 130 percent of the federal poverty threshold, middle is between 130 and 350 percent, and high is over 350 percent.

MARITAL STATUS. Classified through self-reporting into the categories married and unmarried. The term married encompasses all married people including those separated from their spouses. Unmarried includes those who are single (never married), divorced, or widowed. The Abortion Surveillance Reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified separated people as unmarried before 1978.
National estimates of births to unmarried women are based on two methods of determining marital status. For 1994 through 1996, birth certificates in 45 states and the District of Columbia included a question about the mother’s marital status. Beginning in 1997, California added a direct question to their birth certificate; thus in 1997, all but four states (Connecticut, Michigan, Nevada, and New York) included a direct question on their birth certificates. Nevada asks for the mother’s marital status through the electronic birth registration process, but this item is not included on certified or paper copies of the birth certificate.
In the three states that used inferential procedures to compile birth statistics by marital status in 1997, a birth is inferred as nonmarital if any of these factors, listed in priority-of-use order, is present: a paternity acknowledgment was received, the father’s name is missing, or the father’s and mother’s current surnames are different.
The marital status classification identifies four major categories in the Current Population Survey data: single (never married), married, widowed, and divorced. These terms refer to the marital status at the time of enumeration.
The category “married” is further divided into “married, civilian spouse present,” “married, Armed Forces spouse present,” “married, spouse absent,” “married, Armed Forces spouses absent,” and “separated.” A person is classified as “married, spouse present” if the husband or wife is reported as a member of the household even though he or she may be temporarily absent on business or on vacation, visiting, in a hospital, etc., at the time of the enumeration. Persons reported as “separated” included those with legal separations, those living apart with intentions of obtaining a divorce, and other persons permanently or temporarily estranged from their spouses because of marital discord.
For the purpose of this file, the group “other marital status” includes “widowed and divorced,” “separated,” and “other married, spouse absent.”

NEONATAL. Child under 28 days old.

OVERWEIGHT . Body mass index (BMI) at or above the sex- and age-specific 95th percentile. BMI cutoff points calculated at 6-month age intervals for children ages 6 through 11, and for adolescents ages 12 through 17.

PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT . Low parental involvement consists of 0-1 activity; moderate parental involvement consists of 2 activities; high parental involvement consists of 3 or more activities.

PARENTS’ EDUCATION LEVEL. Refers to the highest level of education completed by either parent.

PHYSICAL PROBLEMS. Include plumbing, heating, electricity, upkeep, and/or condition of apartment hallways.

POSITIVE BEHAVIOR. Good grades, always employed, sports, school clubs, and religious involvement.

POSTNEONATAL. Child who is 28 days to 1 year old.

POVERTY LEVEL. Poverty statistics are based on definitions originally developed by the Social Security Administration. These include a set of money income thresholds that vary by family size and composition. Families or individuals with income below their appropriate thresholds are classified as below the poverty level. These thresholds are updated annually by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U). For example, the average poverty threshold for a family of four was $15,569 in 1995 and $13,359 in 1990.

PREVALENCE. Prevalence is the number of cases of a disease, infected persons, or per-
sons with some other attribute present during a particular interval of time. It is
often expressed as a rate (for example, the prevalence of diabetes per 1,000 per-
sons during a year). See related Incidence.

RACE. Beginning in 1976, the federal government’s data systems classified individuals into the following racial groups: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, black, and white. Depending on the data source, the classification by race may be based on self-classification or on observation by an interviewer or other persons filling out the questionnaire. Starting in 1989, data from the National Vital Statistics System for newborn infants and fetal deaths are tabulated according to race of mother, and trend data by race shown in this report have been retabulated by race of mother for all years, beginning with 1980. Before 1980, data were tabulated by race of newborn and fetus according to race of both parents. If the parents were of different races and one parent was white, the child was classified according to the race of the other parent.
When neither parent was white, the child was classified according to father’s race, with one exception: if either parent was Hawaiian, the child was classified Hawaiian. Before 1964, the National Vital Statistics System classified all births for which race was unknown as white. Beginning in 1964 these births were classified according to information on the previous record.
In the National Health Interview Survey, children whose parents are of different races are classified according to the race of the mother. Vital event rates for the American Indian or Alaska Native population shown in this book are based on the total U.S. resident population of American Indians and Alaska Natives as enumerated by the U.S. Bureau of Census. In contrast, the Indian Health Service calculates vital event rates for this population based on U.S. Bureau of Census county data for American Indians and Alaska Natives who reside on or near reservations.

REGULAR DRINKING. Having an alcoholic beverage on more than two occasions in the previous 30 days.

RELATED CHILDREN. Related children in a family include own children and all other children in the household who are related to the householder by birth, marriage, or adoption. For each type of family unit identified in the Current Population Survey, the count of own children under 18 years old is limited to single (never married) children; however, “own children under 25” and “own children of any age,” include all children regardless of marital status. The totals include never-married children living away from home in college dormitories.

RISK BEHAVIORS. Regular alcohol abuse, regular binge drinking, regular tobacco use, marijuana use, cocaine use, sexual intercourse, physical fighting, weapon carrying, suicidal thoughts, and suicide attempt.

SERIOUS VIOLENT VICTIMIZATION. Being a victim of violent crime. (See VIOLENT CRIMES)

SINGLE STATUS. A man or woman who has never been married, or is divorced or widowed.

TWO PARENTS. Biological and adoptive parents only.

VERY LOW INCOME. Incomes at or below one-half the median income in a geographic area

VIOLENT CRIMES. Includes aggravated assaults, rape, and robbery.

WEAPON. Includes guns, knives, and clubs.
 

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