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Codes and Frequencies

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CHILD reports whether there is a child under the age of 18 present during the activity.

Users should note that the MTUS does not distinguish household children from non-household children (as does the ATUS), or the diarists' own children from other children. In the MTUS case, the flag that a child was present simply means at least one person aged less than 18 is with the diarist.

Users may find other "with whom" variables useful: OAD, ALONE and SPPART.

Comparability — Index

South Korea
United Kingdom
United States


Users should use caution as some original surveys do make the distinctions between household and non-household children, or the respondents' own children from other children.

Comparability — Canada [top]

In the Canadian data for 2005 and 2010, a child is defined as anyone who is less than 15 years old.

Comparability — Finland [top]

In 2009, child presence is reported only for children under 10 years old. Presence of other family members (except for the spouse) and friends older than 10 years old is reported in the OAD variable.

Comparability — France [top]

In 1985, child presence variable in the diary reflected presence of a household child aged younger than 25 years old. For households where all children in the household are aged lt 18, this variable has the same meaning as other files. Where all children of other household members are aged 18-24, we coded this who else was present time into OAD and not into CHILD. In households where there are children aged lt 18 and aged 18-24, a 1 value for this variable may not have the same meaning as other MTUS files.

Comparability — Hungary [top]

In 1999, in episode file (a co-presence of a child) is constructed based on the original variable describing co-presence in the Hungarian data. However, no information was available on the age of the child. Child includes also grandchildren but in either case their age is not specified.

In 2009, within the Hungary source data, there is no information on the actual age of the child. For this variable, it is assumed that the child present is less than 18. This variable also includes grandchildren.

Comparability — Italy [top]

The presence of children is limited to family under 10 years old.

Comparability — South Korea [top]

In the source data, only children under school age is reported for this variable (and also only when the child directly interacted with the respondent). Therefore, child aged over 7 and below 18 are not included in the ‘with whom code. However, it was assumed that the child (aged below 18) was present if the respondent were doing childcare.

Comparability — Spain [top]

The presence of children is limited to household children under 10 years old.

Comparability — United Kingdom [top]

In 1983, a child is present when the respondent reports being with own children or children.

In 1987, a child is present when the respondent reports the following categories: own household: own children; other household family: children; other household family: own children; children from other families or households. A child is also coded as present when the respondent reported one of the following activities: feed, food preparation for child, infant; wash, change baby or child; get child/baby up/put to bed; babysit other people's child; other care of babies; read to or play with dependents; help child with (school) homework; supervise child.

In 2000, a child is present when the respondent declares to be with household child up to age 9 or with a household child age 10-14. A respondent is also considered with a child during the following main or secondary activities: unspecified physical care and supervision; feeding the child; other specified physical care; teaching the child; reading, playing and talking with child; accompanying child; physical child care as help; teaching a child as help; read/talk to child as help; accompany child as help. Note that unless child diarists reported activities with children, they are not coded as being with other children.

In 2014, the co-presence of a child is limited to the presence of a child aged less than 7. Children 8 and older are coded as an other person.

Comparability — United States [top]

In 1965, 1975, 1985, 1992-94 and 1994-95, CHILD is only coded from activities because who else present codes do not identify ages of people present.

In 1998-2001, a child is considered present when who original who variables have values child only or spouse and child.

In 2003 forward, CHILD is considered present when who variables report the presence of one (or more) child(ren) under 18 years old during the activity. In addition, children are coded as present when the main activities in the original data include: providing physical care for children; reading for children; playing with children; arts and crafts with children; play sport with children; talk to or listen to children; help or teach children; looking after children; pick up/drop off children; care for children; help with homework; home schooling children; activity related to child's education; provide medical care for children; obtain medical care for children; activity related to child's health.


  • All activities.


  • Austria: 1992, 2008
  • Belgium: 1966
  • Bulgaria: 1965, 2001
  • Canada: 2005, 2010, 2015
  • Czech Republic: 1965
  • Finland: 1979, 2009
  • France: 1966, 1985, 2009
  • Germany: 1965
  • Hungary: 1999, 2009
  • Israel: 1991
  • Italy: 2002, 2008
  • Peru: 1966
  • Serbia: 1965
  • South Africa: 2000
  • South Korea: 1999, 2004, 2009
  • Spain: 2002
  • United Kingdom: 1983, 1987, 2000
  • United States: 1985, 1993, 1995, 1998, 2003-2022