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since June 19, 2001


National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth

Cycle 2, 1996 

Excerpt from StatCan's The Daily for: 1998-10-28

It is probably worth your while to download the PDF document from


Although the e-mail release is essentially the same, it doesn't contain the graphs contained in the PDF document.

There is little useful information in the release.  For one thing, from the information provided it isn't possible to discern what the trends are with respect to the various attributes that are being measured.  The argument is presented that data from several more cycles will have to be gathered before any trends can be identified.

There is noticeable emphasis on the harmful effects of poverty on children's development, just as in "Growing up in Canada", which was produced from the 94/95 cycle of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY).  That, of course, is in keeping with the government's agenda pertaining to the "war on child-poverty."
    However, there is a slight difference in presenting or downplaying the data pertaining to certain family-patterns and their influence on the development of children.

In "Growing up in Canada" the emphasis was on the fact that the majority of children with adjustment problems resided in two-parent families.  That shouldn't come as a suprise to anyone who realizes that 4/5 of the children surveyed did live in those families.  So, why mention it?  Could it be that it has something to do with the feminist agenda of labeling two-parent families as being detrimental to the development of children and drawing attention away from the fact that children from single-parent families are more than twice as likely to have behaviour problems?  At any rate, what should have been stressed is that single-parent families, comprising 1/5 of all families surveyed, produced 1/3 of all children with behavioural problems.

In the current release a different tack is being taken.  Now it is stressed that "the vast majority of these same children [of the 23,000 that were surveyed] two years later, were growing up healthy and well-adjusted."
    It is stated that children in poverty are more likely to experience problems and that "...two-parent families where only one parent had earnings from employment were three times as likely as families with two parent earners to be lower-income families," but it doesn't state the correlation between two- or one-parent families and the degree of behavioural problems of their children, although it is stated that "children of families experiencing family breakdown between 1994 and 1996 were four times more likely to have moved into the lowest income quartile than other families (26% versus 6%)."

Again, any evidence that the controlling factor in children's behavioural and developmental problems may be correlated with whether they are residing in two- or single-parent families is down-played through statements such as "while problems are more frequent among children living in lower-income and single-parent families, it is nonetheless true that the majority of children, including those in these families, are developing well."  That, again, as so often before, shows that StatCan is eager to rationalize away any indications of problems by using the drunk-driver argument: most drunk drivers don't get involved in traffic accidents, therefore it is all right to drink and drive.
    However, there is one sentence that presents the problems a little more honestly: "children in single-parent families, regardless of income, were also more likely to exhibit behavioral and relationship problems. Children in these families were almost twice as likely to exhibit a behavioral problem as those in two-parent families in similar income situations."
   That would be an improvement over the data presented in "Growing up in Canada".  In the last cycle it was discovered that these children were more than twice as likely to exhibit behavioral problems.  Without knowing anything about the type of questions that were asked and the data collected it isn't possible to determine whether the decline in behavioral problems is due to a real trend towards improvement.  I suspect that it isn't, or else they surely would have crowed about it.

No indication is given of whether this time, as was done in "Growing up in Canada", male single-parents, although they were included in the survey, were again deliberately excluded from the analysis of the data.

Wouldn't it be great to be able to look at the data collected without having to rely only on biased interpretations?  However, although thousands of Canadian familiies had to devote tens of thousands of hours in answering the survey questions, the data collected is accessible to Canadians only for a price: The 1994/95 data was made available at $1,500 +7% GST.  There is no reason to suspect that the data from the 1996/97 cycle of the study will be any cheaper — far out of the reach of the under-funded pro-family organizations and un-funded and destitute Fathers Rights organizations in Canada.
    Maybe we'll be lucky and the government-funded family-hostile women's organization will manage again to get StatCan and Health-Canada to produce a special report like "Growing up in Canada" in which they'll produce some useful data like the comparison between the impact of different family types have on the development of our children.


   Subject: The Daily for: 1998-10-28
       Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 08:58:42 -0500
      From: Jackie Godfrey <godfrey@statcan.ca>
Reply-To: daily@talon.statcan.ca

**      What's in today's DAILY     **

PDF downloadable file for Netscape Mail users:

98 10 28 08 30
Wednesday, October 28, 1998 For release at 8:30 a.m.

     National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth,
     Industrial Product Price Index,
     Raw Materials Price Index,

     Employment, earnings and hours,
     Crude oil and natural gas,
     Cereals and oilseeds review,

National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth
Cycle 2, 1996

In 1994/95, the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) began a comprehensive study of Canadian children under the age of 12 with the goal of painting a statistical portrait of their lives spanning a number of years.
   The information released today is from the second cycle of the NLSCY, conducted in 1996/97. These data show that the vast majority of these same children, two years later, were growing up healthy and well-adjusted, and were progressing well in school. Still, a significant proportion of children lived in difficult family circumstances and faced other disadvantages that put their development at risk.

===<rest snipped>===

2001 02 07 (format changes)