Trends in the Well-Being of America's Children and Youth, 1999. Indicators Included in the Report

04/01/1999

This report presents a broad and carefully chosen collection of national estimates of child and youth well-being. It reports indicators that have been collected more than once over the last few years so that trends may be presented. Where possible, trends are presented from the 1970s through the 1990s. In a few cases, data for earlier years are also presented, as are projections into the 21st century.

Decisions regarding which indicators to include in the report have been guided by a combination of scientific and practical considerations. In preparation for the first edition of this report, a list of indicators was culled from over 20 papers presented at a major national conference on indicators of child well-being. At this conference, nationally recognized experts representing a broad spectrum of disciplines and research interests related to child well-being recommended key indicators that should be tracked on a regular basis by the federal statistical system.

The final list of indicators was modified based on a number of practical considerations including data availability (the data needed to be available for a nationally representative sample and on a regular basis), timeliness (the estimates had to be available for 1990 or later), and quality and consistency (the data had to be both reliable and consistently measured over time).

Important indicators have been added based on recommendations from the staff of statistical agencies that are participating in the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, described below. Additional indicators have been added based on the work of researchers from the Family and Child Well-Being Research Network, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), who have developed new indicators from existing data sources.

New indicators for this edition of the report include:

  • Arts proficiency for children in grade 8 (EA 2.4)
  • tudent computer use (EA 3.5)

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