Measuring components of children's health status

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Analysis of Variance; Child; Child, Preschool; *Health; *Health Services Research; *Health Status; *Health Status Indicators; *Health Surveys; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Mental Health; Parents; Physical Fitness; Population; Questionnaires; Social Adjustment; Socioeconomic Factors; United States


Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


Measures of physical, mental and social components of health status and general health ratings were studied for children ages 0-4 (N = 679) and 5-13 (N = 1473). Questionnaires were completed by adult proxies (usually mothers) in three generally healthy populations. Hypothesized multi-item scales were tested; reliability was estimated and preliminary attempts at validation were undertaken. Items in ten scales pertaining to mental health (Anxiety, Depression, Positive Well-Being, Mental Health Index), social health (Social Relations), general health ratings (Current Health, Prior Health, Resistance/Susceptibility to Illness, General Health Rating Index), as well as parental satisfaction with child development satisfied Likert-type and discriminant validity criteria. Because functional limitation items were endorsed for very few children, scales to measure physical health could not be tested. Almost all scales were sufficiently reliable for group comparisons; reliability coefficients were lower in the most disadvantaged population. Interrelationships among scales and validity variables generally supported their construct validity and supported a multi-component model of children's health status.


Med Care. 1979 Sep;17(9):902-21. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Medical care

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed