Support #2123

Data on child disability

Added by Chiara Guasti about 1 month ago. Updated about 1 month ago.

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Good morning.

I am a research assistant at Bocconi University in Italy and I am currently working on several projects, among which one concerning the child penalty of mothers whose children suffer from disability. In this phase of the project, we are looking for longitudinal data which we could potentially use; however, I do not understand whether the harmonized BHPS-Usoc data have the information we need - on child disability and mother's employment - and I am looking for a clarification.

From my understanding, there is no way to retrieve direct information on children's disability through the BHPS/Usoc, because respondents are 16+ or 10+ and I have not found variables asking adult respondents about their children's disabilities. Instead, starting from wave 2 of the Usoc, questions on health of newborns can be found in the PEACH survey. So only the PEACH surveys seem to contain the information we needed. Can anyone confirm this?

Thank you in advance

Chiara Guasti


Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 1 month ago

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Hello Chiara,

There are some variables you might want to explore about children's health. Additionally, the variable “send” identifies if a child has special educational needs or disabilities. The relevant variables are:
  • cdcond - child health conditions
  • cddis - child has long-standing health condition
  • cdlmt - child health condition is limiting
  • send - child has special educational needs or disabilities

All these variables are in the “child” datafile. The first three are in waves 3 to 13 and the last one started in wave 13.

Not all children are included in the PEACH file. For example, children first enumerated in Wave 1 who were older than 6 years did not meet the age requirements to be asked child development questions in Wave 3 or subsequent waves. For more information, please review section 2, “Eligibility criteria – Who is included in the file?” in the PEACH user guide at

There will be some variables addressing disabilities from Wave 14 (to be released in Nov 2024) onwards. The following questions are asked of respondents in a care/nursing home:
  • chhealth2 - Long-standing illness or disability
  • chdisdifb - Type of impairment or disability
  • chhealth - Long-standing illness or disability
  • chdisdif - Type of impairment or disability.

You can find more information about these variables in Wave 14 questionnaire at

I hope this information is helpful.

Best wishes,
Roberto Cavazos
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Chiara Guasti about 1 month ago

Thank you, that is really helpful. But then, what is the difference between PEACH and the "self completion child development" section in the main questionnaire?




Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team about 1 month ago

Hello Chiara,

The Pregnancy and Early Childhood (PEACH) data file is a comprehensive cross-wave file that consolidates key data reported by parents for all children under 10 years old from all waves of the main survey.

PEACH also includes information on pregnancy outcomes, fertility treatments, and smoking and drinking behaviours during pregnancy, which are part of the indresp file. For new babies, it contains variables on birth weight, feeding, sleeping, and baby behaviour, which come from the natchild and newborn files.

PEACH compiles information from all self-completion child development modules for each wave (child file), as well as from indresp, natchild, and newborn files, among others, into a single flat file. To create a similar dataset, you would need to extract the necessary information from each wave and corresponding file.

I hope this information is helpful.

Best wishes,
Roberto Cavazos
Understanding Society User Support Team

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