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Definition

Definition

All three classifications are derived variables. Child dependency status is a modular derived variable that identifies the combination of child types in a family nucleus or household. 'Modular' means that it is not a stand-alone classification – it must always be combined with other variables to create output classifications. It cannot be used on its own because it does not define the frame (eg family or household) for the categories. It can be applied (embedded or nested) to the standard classifications of:

The 'dependent child under 18 indicator' and 'dependent young person indicator' classifications are also derived. These identify the dependency status of individuals who are children in a family nucleus. 'Indicator' means that the classification should be applied to individuals. The 'dependent child under 18 indicator' indicates whether an individual is a 'dependent child under 18', a 'dependent young person or non-dependent child', or a 'child of unknown dependency status'. Similarly, the 'dependent young person indicator' indicates whether an individual is a 'dependent young person', a 'dependent child under 18 or a non-dependent child', or a 'child of unknown dependency status'.

Both indicator classifications can be used stand-alone or applied to the standard classifications of:

A number of useful definitions can be found in the Glossary and references.

Operational issues

In some surveys (eg census), information on work and labour force status is not available for individuals who are absent on survey night. This affects all people who are absentee children in a family nucleus and who are aged 15–24. Those individuals will be classified as 'children of unknown dependency status'.

The concept of child dependency was extended in 2008 to encompass individuals aged 18–24 who were children in a family nucleus and not working full time. These individuals are referred to as 'dependent young persons' in the new classification. The previous definition of a dependent child included only children in a family nucleus aged under 18 who were not employed full time. The age range was broadened to capture the increasing numbers of individuals who continue to reside with their parents beyond the age of 18 because of participation in study, increased costs of living, and many other reasons.

Explanatory notes

A number of flexible options exist for the use of these classifications. These are detailed in the 'Standard output' section of the 'Standard' tab and users of the standard and classifications are advised to familiarise themselves with the various options.

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