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Number of children biological mother ever had, intervalled

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample children, CHEBMOM reports the number of live births the biological mother of the child ever had, up to eight children (the variable is top-coded at 8 children). Interviewers instructed respondents not to count miscarriages or stillbirths.

Questions on children's health and health histories were answered by a "preferred respondent," not the sample child. The priority preferred respondent was the biological or adoptive mother living in the household, followed by the father or foster mother, and then another adult relative living in the household (excluding the sample child's spouse). Legal guardians and caretakers could answer if no other person was available.

CHEBMOM was first included as part of the 1981 and 1988 supplements on child health. For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.


CHEBMOM is comparable over time. In 1988, interviewers were explicitly told to count the sample child itself, but this may have little effect on comparability.


  • 1981; 1988: Sample persons under age 18.


  • 1981, 1988