Why is adding this information important?

Health records

We collect information about your health in the interview, but this information is fairly limited in scope. The information recorded in your medical records is objective and based on confirmed diagnoses by medical professionals. However, medical records may not be entirely complete as they will not include details about problems, which have not been reported to a doctor.

Combining information from the interview with information from your health records would give us a more complete picture of your health.

This information will allow researchers to answer questions such as:

  • What are the lifestyle factors associated with the onset of particular illnesses?
  •  What are the impacts of particular illnesses on other aspects of people’s lives such as employment, income and family life?

 

Economic records

For many years we have been collecting information on your economic circumstances. The information you have provided has allowed researchers to examine a whole range of issues like the financial benefits of education and training, the importance of early childhood circumstances on adult income and social mobility, which is the extent to which people’s social class or economic status changes between childhood and adulthood.

Over the years, collecting information about sources of income has become increasingly complex, particularly since the widespread introduction of in work benefits and tax credits and changes in eligibility to different benefits and welfare to work programs.

It is very difficult to collect sufficiently detailed information about tax credits and benefits, but these are increasingly a very important source of income for a lot of families – particularly since the economic downturn.

Adding this information would allow researchers to look at important questions that have previously not been tackled in these troubled economic times including:

  • How has the introduction of in-work tax credits impacted on adult work decisions and child poverty?
  • What are the lifetime returns to education and training for people from different family backgrounds? How variable are these estimated returns?
  • How well prepared are baby-boomers for retirement and how does this vary by socio-economic background? How has this changed over time?
  • Have government welfare to work programs over the last 15 years worked and if so for whom?

 

The information collected by the National Child Development Study, including information from administrative records, is collected and used for research purposes only.