A5. National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)


The Maternal and Child Health Bureau, HRSA


This survey, sponsored by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), examines the physical and emotional health of children ages 0-17 years. Special emphasis is placed on factors that may relate to well-being of children, including medical homes, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and safe neighborhoods. It also serves to complement the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (NS-CSHCN) by providing data on the health of the general U.S. child population.

Relevant Submeasures
  1. Children who had problems obtaining a referral when needed;
  2. Receipt of needed mental health care; and
  3. Medical home—percentage of children and adolescents who meet the threshold for having a medical home according to a subset of questions from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health.
Format/Data Source

The NSCH is a telephone survey conducted by the National Center of Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under the direction and sponsorship of the Federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Survey results are weighted to represent the population of non-institutionalized children ages 0-17 nationally and in each state. Data from this survey are publicly available on the Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health Web site.

Development and Testing

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau leads the development of both surveys and the measures within them in collaboration with the National Center for Health Statistics and a national technical expert panel, which includes representatives from other Federal agencies, state Title V leaders, family organizations, and child health researchers. Previously validated questions and scales are used when available. Respondents’ cognitive understanding of the survey questions is assessed during the pretest phase and revisions are made as required. No issues were noted by parents for the “Children Who Have No Problems Obtaining Referrals When Needed” measure during testing.

Past or Validated Applications
  • Setting: General health care
  • Population: Care for children with special needs
  • Level of evaluation: Health system, hospital, department clinical practice, or individual or groups of health care professionals

Additional information can be found on the Data Resource Center for Child & Adolescent Health Web site.