National Children’s Study (ncs) Study Center Profile Enhancements

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National Children’s Study (NCS)

Study Center Profile Enhancements

User’s Documentation

Table of Contents

Enhancing the Study Center Profiles 3

Enhancing the Study Center Profiles 3

Introduction and Background 3

Selection of Data Sources and Measures 3

Measures 6

Data Dictionary and Layout Files 7

Appendix 1 8

Appendix 1 8

Appendix 2 10

Appendix 2 10

Enhancing the Study Center Profiles

Introduction and Background

Beginning in 2011, The National Children’s Study (NCS) Data Linkages Program under the direction of the National Institute of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) compiled a select set of demographic and socio-economic statistics from the ongoing American Community Survey (ACS) program for each of the 37 NCS Vanguard Study locations and 3 Provider Based Sites (PBS) into a Study Center Profile (see Appendix 1 for list of 40 study locations). Study Center Profiles were created using 2010 and 2012 ACS data.
In 2015, the NCS PO requested the NCS Study Center Profiles be expanded to include items beyond those found in the ACS. The Data Linkages team identified and evaluated data sources for this effort that would provide supplemental items such as health, neighborhood, environmental, and socioeconomic indicators. These data, when combined with data collected as a part of the NCS protocols, could inform epidemiological analyses by allowing models to control for a broader list of potential confounders, to examine effect modification by participant and neighborhood characteristics, and to determine how parental and neighborhood factors relate to environmental exposures and children's well-being and growth.
Enhancements were made to the existing Study Center Profiles, and more years were added so that each year of the NCS (i.e., 2008-2014) had an enhanced profile. Companion all-county files for each year have also been produced and include data for all counties nationally for which the measure was available. In all, 14 datasets have been produced (i.e., seven files specific to the NCS counties and seven files for all counties nationally). These data are expected to enhance the analytic utility of the NCS participant data to be archived. This document summarizes the processes by which data sources and measures were selected, describes the measures included, and the contents of this delivery.

Selection of Data Sources and Measures

The NCS Extant Data Library1 served as the main resource for identifying data sources that contained additional measures relevant to the NCS. These data sources (see Appendix 2) had already been evaluated as relevant to the NCS as a part of creating the Extant Data Library. Sources were determined relevant to the NCS if they supplied information on the respondents' personal, situational, economic, and health characteristics, along with corresponding information about the social-economic conditions of the communities in which they lived.
An expanded search outside the Library was also conducted to identify additional data sources. Databases such as The Health Indicators Warehouse,, and were mined for additional measures that could describe the NCS counties. These databases served as a good starting point for this review as they are a compilation of data sources, some with existing measures available for download.
Data sources that could produce measures that were relevant to the NCS, i.e. measures that could describe a child’s environment in its totality, including both the physical (e.g. air quality metrics, number of supermarkets in the vicinity) and social (e.g. percent of county in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program) determinants of health were of interest. Data sources containing measures that could be easily linked to NCS counties, with minimal data processing, were prioritized.2
Table 1 lists the data sources that were consulted in preparing the enhanced study center profiles and notes whether the source already existed in the Extant Data Library or was added outside of those that initially existed on the Library. These sources were eventually added to the Library. Community Commons (CC) and the Health Indicators Warehouse (HIW) were not added to the Library as data sources as they themselves are a library of extant data sources. The indicator retrieved from HIW was based on a model; the main input data source was already included in the library (i.e., EPA’s Air Quality System). Likewise, the data sources used to create the indicators within Community Commons, such as the Census or the American Community Survey, were already in the Library.

Table 1. Data sources consulted for profile enhancements


Source already in Library

Source added post enhancement

Source Location

Air Quality System


American Community Survey


Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System


CleanUps in my Community


Community Commons


County Business Patterns


EPA Geospatial Data Download: Facility and Site Information


Food Environment Atlas


Health Indicators Warehouse


HRSA - Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)


HRSA - Medically Underserved Areas/Populations (MUA/P)


HRSA - Primary Care Service Area (PCSA)


National Transportation Atlas Database


Pesticide National Synthesis Project


Toxics Release Inventory


The Data Linkages team reviewed the selected data sources for measures that characterized exposures in the child’s environment. All potential measures were compiled and evaluated for inclusion in the enhanced Study Center Profiles. The following considerations were used in evaluating the feasibility of including the additional measures in the Study Center Profiles.

Table 2. Considerations for evaluating potential enhancement measures




Geographic Specificity

The geographic level (e.g., state, county) at which the data element was available.

County level

Not at county level but county level estimates could be generated with minimal processing considered

Data Availability

The years in which the data were available


Measure did not have to be available for every year


The cost for acquiring the dataset

No cost preferred

Minimal cost considered

High cost or rigorous process for obtaining data (e.g., Data Use Agreement) not considered

Data Manipulation

The level of effort to manipulate the data into a format that could be appended to the existing Study Center Profile

Tabular format preferred

Minimal processing or calculations required considered

Extensive processing or calculations required not considered


A suffix denoting the data source been added to each variable in the format VarName_DataSource. Suffixes are as follows:
American Community Survey (_ACS)

Air Quality System (_AQS)

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (_BRFSS)

Community Commons (_CC)

Cleanups in my Community (_CUC)

EPA Geospatial Data Download (_EPA)

Food Environment Atlas (_FEA)

Health Resources and Services Administration (_HRSA)

National Transportation Atlas (_NTA)

Pesticide National Synthesis Project (_PNS)

Toxics Release Inventory (_TRI)
Variables have been categorized into a topic area to facilitate analysis using similar variables. Topic areas are noted in the data dictionary and layout file for each dataset. The following topic areas appear in the enhanced profiles and all county files:
Air Quality

Air and Rail Transportation


Environmental Hazard

Food and Food Security

Health Care Access and Use

Health Conditions and Behaviors



Data Dictionary and Layout Files

The accompanying data dictionary includes variable attributes, data sources, and indicates for which years each measure is available for all measures included in this delivery. The data dictionary provides a comprehensive overview of the annual files. To supplement these, a layout file is provided to accompany each annual file and includes the attributes for only the variables on that particular dataset.

Appendix 1

NCS Study Center Locations, by County






Baker County, FL


Montgomery County, PA


Baldwin County, GA


New Haven County, CT


Benton County, AR


New Orleans, LA


Bexar County, TX


New York City (Queens), NY


Cache County, UT


Orange County, CA


Cook County, IL


Pinal County, AZ


Cumberland County, ME


Polk County, IA


Cuyahoga County, OH


Providence County, RI


Davidson County, TN


Ramsey County, MN


Douglas County, CO


Sacramento County, CA


Duplin County, NC


Salt Lake County, UT


Durham County, NC


San Diego County, CA


Grant County, WA


Schuylkill County, PA


Harris County, TX


St. Louis City, MO


Hinds County, MS


Valencia County, NM


Honolulu County, HI


Waukesha County, WI


Jefferson County, KY


Wayne County, MI


Lamar County, TX


Westmoreland County, PA


Los Angeles County, CA


Worcester County, MA


Montgomery County, MD

The following counties were aggregated into one site for the purposes of NCS data collection. For the purposes of the enhanced Study Center Profiles, these counties have been presented separately.




Lincoln County, MN


Pipestone County, MN


Yellow Medicine County, MN


Brookings County, SD

Note: ACS summary files contain both yearly and multi-year estimates, the availability of which depends on the size of the geography in question, in this case the county, and for some estimates when the question was added. Many of the study locations are located in counties of sufficient size (65,000 persons or greater) to obtain the most recent yearly estimate starting in 2012. However, several of the study locations are associated with counties that, because of the U.S. Census Bureau’s standards for confidentially and survey precision, are not large enough to obtain yearly estimates. For counties that contain more than 20,000 but fewer than 65,000 persons, the U.S. Census Bureau provides three-year estimates rather than yearly values. For example, in Duplin County, NC the U.S. Census Bureau reports the ACS data based on data collected during a three year period from 2010 through 2012. For counties that contain fewer than 20,000 persons, the U.S. Census Bureau provides five-year estimates. See “A Compass for Understanding and Using American Community Survey Data What General Data Users Need to Know” (2008) for a detailed discussion of the ACS, at

Appendix 2

Alphabetical List of Data Sources contained in the NCS Extant Data Library

Access to Jobs and Workers via Transit

ACF-801 Child Care Monthly Case Record Form

Aerometric Information Retrieval System (AIRS)

Aerosol Optical Thickness

Aerosol Research and Inhalation Epidemiology Studies (ARIES)

Air Quality System (AQS)

Air Stagnation Index

American Community Survey Restricted-use microdata (ACS)

American Community Survey Summary File Data (ACS)

American Hospital Association Annual Survey

American Hospital Association Annual Survey Database

American Housing Survey (AHS)

Assessing the New Federalism

Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Building Permits Survey (BPS)

Census of Agriculture

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 1 (SF 1) 2000

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 1 (SF 1) 2010

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 2 (SF 2) 2000

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 2 (SF 2) 2010

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 3 (SF 3) 2000

Census of Population and Housing, Summary File 4 (SF 4) 2000

Census of State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies (CSLLEA)

Census Population Density Profiles

Census TIGER/Line Shapefiles

CensusCD Neighborhood Change Database

Characteristics of Statewide Student Data Systems 2009-2010

Civil Rights Data Collection

Cleanups in my Community

Climate Data Online

Common Core of Data (CCD)

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS)

Cost of Living Index

County and City Data Book

County Business Patterns

Current Employment Statistics (CES)

Current Population Survey (CPS)

Current Population Survey October Supplement: School Enrollment and Internet Use Supplement (CPS)

Economic Census

EPA Geospatial Data Download: Facility and Site Information

ESRI World Street Map

Fair Market Rents

Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)

Find Youth Info

Food Environment Atlas

Geolytics Demographic Estimates and Projections

Google Maps

Guttmacher Institute Data Center

Hate Crime Statistics

Health Professional Shortage Areas

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database (HCUP KIDS)

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Ambulatory Surgical Database (HCUP SASD)

Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project State Inpatient Databases (HCUP SID)

Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS)

Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA)

Homicide Trends in the United States

House Price Index (HPI)


Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)

Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE)

Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts

Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS)

Library Statistics Program

Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS)

Local Education Agency (School District) Finance Survey (F-33)

Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD)

Medicaid Analytic eXtract (MAX)

Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS)

Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS)

Medically Underserved Areas/Populations

Metro Market Studies

National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS)

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

National Center for Charitable Statistics U.S. Non-profit Sector Data Files (NCCS)

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS)

National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)

National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)

National Contaminant Occurrence Database (NCOD)

National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)

National Death Index (NDI)

National Elevation Dataset (NED)

National Emissions Inventory (NEI)

National Geochemical Survey

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

National Highway System (NHS)

National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NHAMCS)

National Human Activity Pattern Survey (NHAPS)

National Immunization Survey (NIS)

National Incident-Based Reporting System Resource Guide (NIBRS)

National Land Cover Database (NLCD)

National Map

National Pesticide Use Database

National Priority List (NPL)

National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH)

National Survey of Drug Use & Health (NSDUH)

National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG)

National Transportation Atlas Database

National Violent Death Reporting System - Aggregate data (NVDRS)

National Violent Death Reporting System - Individual restricted data (NVDRS)

National Vital Statistics System Birth Data (NVSS)

National Vital Statistics System Fetal Death Data (NVSS)

National Vital Statistics System Linked Birth and Infant Death Data (NVSS)

National Vital Statistics System Marriages and Divorces (NVSS)

National Vital Statistics System Mortality Data (NVSS)

National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS)

National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA)

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

Pediatric and Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System

Pesticide National Synthesis Project

Pesticide Program Residue Monitoring Reports

Population and Housing Unit Estimates

Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)

Primary Care Service Areas

Private School Universe Survey (PSS)

Proximity One- School District Decision Making Information

Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW)

Quitnet National Directory

Regional Economic Accounts

Resident Population Data

Safe Drinking Water Information System (SDWIS)

School District Demographics System (SDDS)

School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS)

School Segregation 1990-2000

Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS)

Selected Metropolitan/Micropolitan Area Risk Trends

Sexually Transmitted Disease Morbidity Data

Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE)

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics

State of the Nation's Housing

State Tobacco Activities Tracking & Evaluation System (STATE)

Statistics on Depository Institutions (SDI)


Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER)

The Green Book Nonattainment Areas for Criteria Pollutants

The State of the Nation's Cities

The Tax Foundation Data

Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010

Total Diet Study (TDS)

Toxics Release Inventory (TRI)

Uniform Crime Reports (UCR)

US Syringe Exchange Program Database

USA Counties

Water Data for the Nation

What We Eat in America

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey (YRBSS)


2 As directed by the NCS Program Office.

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