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Early childhood data definitions: A guide for researchers using administrative data

Resource Type: Other
Author(s): King, Carlise; Maxwell, Kelly;
Date Issued: October, 2017
Publisher(s): United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Description: This guide is intended to increase researchers' awareness of existing resources that can help them define variables to support secondary analysis of administrative datasets. Administrative data are often difficult to analyze because the same or very similar variables are defined differently in different datasets. For example, something as seemingly simple as the age of a child could be defined using a child's exact date of birth, pre-defined age categories (i.e., infant, toddler, preschool-age, etc.), or number of years old at enrollment date (e.g., 3 years old, 4 years old, etc.). These variables may be defined differently among existing administrative datasets. In these instances, researchers must determine the best way to define variables (which may include recoding existing data) before using them. Although there are resources and tools available to help researchers make decisions to resolve these discrepancies, researchers may not be aware of them. This guide summarizes the resources specific to early childhood data and gives examples of how researchers may want to use them. (author abstract)
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Funder(s): United States. Administration for Children and Families. Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation
Source: (OPRE Research Brief No. 2017-67). Washington, DC: U.S. Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. Retrieved from
Note: The project director is Kelly Maxwell. The project officers are Ivelisse Martinez-Beck and Kathleen Dwyer.
Topics: Research & Evaluation Methods
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