What Statistics Canada Survey Data Sources Are Available to Study Neurodevelopmental Conditions and Disabilities in Children and Youth?
36 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2016
Date Written: September 23, 2016
Researchers with an interest in examining and better understanding the social context of children suffering from neurodevelopmental disabilities can benefit by using data from a wide variety of Statistics Canada surveys as well as the information contained in administrative health databases. Selective use of a particular survey and database can be informative particularly when demographics, samples, and content align with the goals and outcomes of the researcher’s questions of interest.
Disabilities are not merely conditions in isolation. They are a key part of a social context involving impairment, function, and social facilitators or barriers, such as work, school and extracurricular activities. Socioeconomic factors, single parenthood, income, and education also play a role in how families cope with children’s disabilities. Statistics indicate that five per cent of Canadian children aged five to 14 years have a disability, and 74 per cent of these are identified as having a neurodevelopmental condition and disability.
A number of factors must be taken into account when choosing a source of survey data, including definitions of neurodevelopmental conditions, the target group covered by the survey, which special populations are included or excluded, along with a comparison group, and the survey’s design. Surveys fall into categories such as general health, disability-specific, and children and youth. They provide an excellent opportunity to look at the socioeconomic factors associated with the health of individuals, as well as how these conditions and disabilities affect families. However rich the information gleaned from survey data, it is not enough, especially given the data gaps that exist around the health and well-being of children and older youths. This is where administrative and other data can be used to complement existing data sources.
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