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Had checkup in past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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CHECKUP reports whether, during the past 12 months, the sample child received a well-child check-up (a general check-up).

In 1973 only, for children who did not have a routine physical in the past 12 months, PHYSICALYRS reports the response to the follow-up question, "How long has it been since -- was taken to a doctor for a routine physical examination or general checkup?"

The Field Representative's Manual for 1997 forward defined "a general physical exam or check-up" as "an examination not for a specific condition or problem. This may include the following: a periodic health examination, a complete medical examination, an annual health check-up or a comprehensive physical examination. It does not include dental exams and vision tests." This definition may have been repeated if a respondent asked for clarification, but it was not routinely included during questioning.


In addition to universe changes, the comparability of this variable is limited by a difference in the question wording across different time periods (1973, 1997-1999, and 2000 forward).


For 1973, interviewers asked whether, during the past 12 months, the person was "taken to a doctor for a ROUTINE physical examination, that is, not for a particular illness but for a general checkup?" For 1997-1999, interviewers asked whether, during the past 12 months, the person received "a physical examination or well baby/child check-up." Beginning in 2000, a condition was placed on the occurrence of the check-up. Specifically, for 2000 forward, interviewers asked whether, during the past 12 months, the person received "a well child check-up--that is, a general check-up when he/she was not sick or injured." The earlier (1997--1999) wording may have led respondents to report physical examinations not reported under the later (2000 forward) wording. Thus, interpretations of CHECKUP that attempt to link the different time periods should be made with caution.


  • 1973: Persons under age 17.
  • 1997-2018: Sample children under age 18.


  • 1973, 1997-2018