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This report presents statistics from the 2001–2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) on selected measures of physical health and limitations, access to or utilization of health care, and behavior or emotional well-being for children under age 18 by family structure, sex, age, race, Hispanic origin, parent’s education, family income, poverty status, home tenure status, health insurance coverage, place of residence, and region.
Source of Data
NHIS is a multistage probability sample survey conducted annually by interviewers of the U.S. Census Bureau for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, and is representative of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of the United States. Information about one randomly selected child per family is collected in a face-to-face interview with an adult proxy respondent familiar with the child’s health.
Children in nuclear families were generally less likely than children in nonnuclear families to be in good, fair, or poor health; to have a basic action disability; to have learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; to lack health insurance coverage; to have had two or more emergency room visits in the past 12 months; to have receipt of needed prescription medication delayed during the past 12 months due to lack of affordability; to have gone without needed dental care due to cost in the past 12 months; to be poorly behaved; and to have definite or severe emotional or behavioral difficulties during the past 6 months. Children living in single-parent families had higher prevalence rates than children in nuclear families for the various health conditions and indicators examined in this report. However, when compared with children living in other nonnuclear families, children in single-parent families generally exhibited similar rates with respect to child health, access to care, and emotional or behavioral difficulties.