Codes and Frequencies
For sample children age 4 to 17 whose parents said they had difficulties with emotions, concentration, behavior, or being able to get along with other people (EMODIFF), DIFBURDEN reports responses to the follow-up question, "Do the difficulties put a burden on you or the family as a whole?" Interviewers handed respondents a flashcard listing acceptable responses: "Not at all," "A little," "A medium amount," "A great deal." Prior to 2019, the universe was further restricted to those with a known response to DIFMOS.
As discussed in more detail below, DIFBURDEN was part of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire Extended (SDQ-EX) which, according to the 2001 and 2003-2004 Field Representative's Manuals, was included "to monitor emotional and behavioral problems in children and the impact that these problems have on children's lives." More specifically, in these years, DIFBURDEN was part of a section of the SDQ-EX which the NHIS Survey Descriptions for 2001 forward describe as "extended questions that provide information on the duration of a child's problem and the impact that problem has on the child and his/her family."
Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire Extended
DIFBURDEN is part of a set of 33 questions from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire Extended (SDQ-EX) developed by Dr. Robert Goodman, Institute of Psychiatry, London, England.
As the Appendix on SDQ in the 2001 and 2003-2004 Codebook of the NHIS public use files explains:
- emotional symptoms;
- conduct problems;
- hyperactive behavior;
- peer relationships;
- prosocial behavior.
DIFBURDEN was an element in the second part of the SDQ, which the same source describes as follows:
More information on the SDQ-EX is available at www.sdqinfo.org. This source describes the second section of the SDQ-EX, which includes DIFBURDEN, as the "Impact Supplement."
Changes to the SDQ-EX Impact Supplement Universe and Coding Structure
Because DIFBURDEN addresses the impact of the child's difficulties on others, DIFBURDEN is not included when calculating an "impact score" for the child's difficulties.
In the 2001, 2003-2004, and 2019 forward NHIS, if parents said (in EMODIFF) that the child had minor, definite, or severe difficulties with emotions, concentration, behavior, or getting along with others, they were asked how long the difficulties had been present (DIFMOS). Interviewers asked further follow-up questions only of those whose difficulties lasted one month or longer for 2001, 2003, and 2004. In 2019 forward, the follow-up questions were asked of all those indicated minor, definite, or severe difficulties in EMODIFF, regardless of their response to DIFMOS. The follow-up questions were the basis of the following variables:
- Difficulties upset or distress child (DIFUPSET)
- Child's difficulties interfere with home life (DIFHOME)
- Child's difficulties interfere with friendships (DIFFRIEND)
- Child's difficulties interfere with classroom learning (DIFLEARN)
- Child's difficulties interfere with leisure activities (DIFLEISURE)
DIFUPSET was based on the question, "Do the difficulties upset or distress your child?" The remaining four variables were based on the query, "Do the difficulties interfere with your child's everyday life in the following areas: Home life? Friendships? Classroom learning? Leisure activities?"
These aforementioned elements of the SDQ-EX Impact Supplement all address the effect of children's difficulties (with emotions, concentration, behavior, or getting along with others) on children themselves. By contrast, DIFBURDEN addresses the effect of children's difficulties on their parents or other family members.
The SDQ Scoring Guide provides guidance on how responses for the aforementioned variables--other than DIFBURDEN--"can be summed to generate an impact score that ranges from 0 to 10 for the parent-completed version." Variable descriptions for these other variables address how IPUMS NHIS values for these other variables can be combined into a score useful for evaluate the effect of the child's difficulties on the child himself or herself.
The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.
- 2001; 2003; 2004: Sample children age 4 to 17 who have difficulty with emotions, concentration, behavior, or getting along with others, and had this difficulty for 1+ months.
- 2019: Sample children age 4 to 17 who have had minor, definite, or severe difficulties with emotions, concentration, behavior, or being able to get along with other people (EMODIFF).
- 2001, 2003-2004, 2019
- 2001, 2003-2004, 2019 : SAMPWEIGHT