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The RDC Program: Data access for the advancement in social science and population health research in Canada


The RDC Program: Data access for the advancement in social science and population health research in Canada Presentation to Offord Centre for Child Studies – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The RDC Program: Data access for the advancement in social science and population health research in Canada

The RDC Program Data access for the
advancement in social science and population
health research in Canada
  • Presentation to
  • Offord Centre for Child Studies
  • Peter Kitchen
  • Ruben Mercado
  • Anna Kata

07 January 2015
Research Data Centre at McMaster University
RDC Program Origins
  • StatCan / SSHRC 1998Taskforce on social
  • Improve data access (research data centres)
  • Promote research and training
  • Strengthen research-public policy links

What is a Research Data Centre ?
  • A secure Statistics Canada (StatCan) environment
    on university campuses
  • managed by an Academic Director (university
    faculty member)
  • staffed by StatCan personnel
  • operated under Statistics Act ( deemed
  • holding StatCan micro-data ( admin files)
  • fully equipped for data analysis
  • housed by researchers with SSHRC/CIHR /Stat Can
    approved project/s and security clearance

Continuum of data access
University campuses with an RDC
Community of RDC users
  • Health.

Social Science.
Community Health and Epidemiology Community Health and Epidemiology
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Family Studies and Gerontology Family Studies and Gerontology
Environmental Hygiene Environmental Hygiene
Neurological Science Nutrition
Psychiatry Nursing
Family Medicine Dentistry
Public Health Kinesiology
Business and Management Business and Management
Industrial relations Industrial relations
Political science Political science
Sociology Economics
Anthropology Social Work
Demography Education
Geography Statistics
Psychology Administration
.in rapid expansion
Number of research projects (2000-08)
RDC Projects by Offord Centre Researchers(Past /
Project Researcher/ Project Team Dataset/s
Impact on Child Health and Development of Socioeconomic Disadvantage Measured (2002-2005) Michael BoyleJohn Cairney Eric Duku NLSCY
Trajectories of Antisocial Behaviour Among Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Youth (2006-2007) Kathy GeorgiadesMichael Boyle NLSCY
First Nation Women's Emotional Health (2002-2004) Harriet MacMillan NPHS
Trajectories of Conduct/ Antisocial Behaviour in Adolescence An Examination of Risk and Protective Factors (2009-2012) Eric DukuMichael Boyle NLSCY (Cycles 1-7)
RDC Projects by Offord Centre Researchers(Past /
Project Researcher/ Project Team Dataset/s
Internalizing Symptoms and Youth Participation in Skill Development Activities Relationships Over Time (2009-2010) Terry Bennett NLSCY (Cycles 2,3, 4 and 5)
The Effect of Special Education Interventions on Child Emotional and Behavioural Functioning (2004-2007) Kathryn Bennett NLSCY
Trajectories of oppositional and internalizing symptoms in childhood (2006-2010) Khrista Boylan NLSCY
Single-Parent Mothers and Outpatient Mental Health Care Service Utilization An Examination of Predisposing, Enabling and Need Factors (2002-2003) John Cairney NPHS
Family processes in neighborhood context Influences on externalizing behavior problems in children and adolescents (2006-2007) Kathy Georgiades NLSCY
RDC Projects by Offord Centre Researchers(Past /
Project Researcher/ Project Team Dataset/s
Emotional and behavioural problems in childhood and obesity later in life (2011) Ryan Van Lieshout Kathy Georgiades Michael Boyle NLSCY
Effects of Maternal Diabetes Mellitus during Pregnancy and Fetal Anthropometrics on Neurobehavioral Development and Psychological Functioning in Children and Adolescents (2008-2012) Ryan Van Lieshout, Michael Boyle NLSCY
The Impact of Living Arrangements of Lone Mothers on Child Outcomes (2005-2006) Ellen Lipman Eric Duku NLSCY
The influence of sex and immigrant status on risk for Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) Evidence from the Canadian General Social Survey (2011-2014) Melissa Kimber GSS Cycle 23 (2009)
RDC Projects by Offord Centre Researchers(Current
Project Researcher/ Project Team Dataset/s
Modeling the Influences of Chronic Illness and Family Environment on the Self-concept and Mental Health Outcomes of Adolescents (2012-2015) Mark Ferro Michael Boyle Laura Duncan NLSCY
Psychiatric comorbidity in adolescents with chronic illness (2013-2017) Mark Ferro CCHS 2012 (Mental Health)
Microdata Files Available for Access in the RDCs
(as of December 2014)
Data Type / Status Active Inactive One Time Pilot
Longitudinal 2 7 0 0
Cross-sectional 20 Focus content CCHS 6 GSS 8 1 historical database (1986-2006) 17 18 0
Administrative 3 0 0 4
Census data Census short form NHS Census long form 0 0
Active Surveys that continue to be conducted on a regular basis.

Inactive Surveys that have been discontinued.
While new data collection has stopped, the original files are available in the RDC.

One Time Surveys that were conducted at a particular time for a specific purpose.

Pilot These are usually associated with administrative data sets that are made available to a few researchers
in order to assess data quality, establish and refine data confidentiality rules and address other related data issues.
The data sets may be made available for regular access in the RDC after the pilot phase.
Relevant Longitudinal microdata
  • National Longitudinal Survey of Children and
    Youth (NLSCY 1994-2009)
  • Long-term study of Canadian children that follows
    their development and well-being from birth to
    early adulthood.
  • Factors influencing a child's social, emotional
    and behavioural development and impact on child's
    development over time
  • Youth in Transition Survey (YITS Cycles1-6
  • YITS aims to provide policy-relevant information
    on educational and labour market pathways of
    Canadian youth --- transitions in education,
    training and work
  • A longitudinal survey of two groups ages 15 and
    18-20, surveyed every two years.
  • Content includes formal education and
    labour-market experiences and influencing factors
    such as family background, school experiences,
    achievements, aspirations, expectations and
    employment experiences.
  • Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC
    2001, 2003, 2005)
  • Information on factors that facilitate or hinder
    integration of new immigrants to life in Canada
    in terms of education, housing, language,
  • Study focus Population 15 who arrived in Canada
    in 1999/2000.

Relevant Longitudinal microdata
  • Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS 1983, 1987,
  • StatsCan - McMaster study in Ontario to evaluate
    the impact of early childhood experiences and
    development in later health, quality of life and
  • Original data 1983 OCHS 1987/2000
    longitudinal survey based on 1983 data.
  • Longitudinal and International Study of Adults
    (New) (LISA 2012- Wave 1 2014 Wave 2 data
    being processed)
  • Monitors Canadian households in the four key
    domain variables education, employment,
    training, and family and personal
  • Longitudinal follows the same households
    every two years children aged 0-14 in each
    household at the time of survey will be asked
    questions in later waves when they turn 15 years
  • Survey data linked to tax data (income, pension,
  • At wave 1, LISA was integrated with the Programme
    for the International Assessment of Adult
    Competencies (PIAAC), (also known as the
    International Study of Adults (ISA)). The two
    surveys share a portion of their samples and the
    data collection activities were integrated.

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS2001-2013)
  • Information related to health status, health care
    utilization and health determinants for the
    Canadian population
  • Coverage 12 years of age and older for analysis
    at health regional level
  • Focus content on mental health (2002 2012) on
    nutrition (status, eating habits 2004)
    neurologic conditions (2010/2011) and vitamin
    supplement use (2013) nutrition (2015)
  • Additional questions on neighborhood environment
    (e.g. satisfaction) (2011)
  • General Social Survey (GSS 1986-2012)
  • Monitor changes in the living conditions and
    well-being of Canadians over time
  • Provide information on specific social policy
    issues of current or emerging interest
  • Covers ages 15 Focus content Family,
    Caregiving, Time Use, Victimization, Social
    Network, Health, ICT Use, Education, Work
  • Communities Survey (CS 2004, 2005 NLSCY
  • Information about a sample of kindergarten
    children living in selected communities, using
    same questionnaires and direct measure
    instruments developed for the NLSCY.
  • Additional data using the Early Development
    Indicator (EDI), a questionnaire developed and
    administered by the Canadian Centre for Children
    at Risk at McMaster University (renamed the
    Offord Centre!)

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS Available
    Cycle 1 (2007-09) Cycle 2 (2009-11) Cycle 3
    (2012-13) Cycle 4 (2014-15)
  • Household interview on health and direct physical
    measures of individuals 3-79 years old at a
    mobile examination centre (MEC) a mobile
  • Physical blood pressure, height, weight and
    physical fitness, blood and urine samples to test
    for chronic and infectious diseases, nutrition
    and environment markers.
  • Household interview nutrition, smoking habits,
    alcohol use, medical history, current health
    status, sexual behaviour, lifestyle and physical
    activity, the environment and housing
    characteristics, as well as demographic and
    socioeconomic variables.
  • Information can help create national baseline
    data on obesity, hypertension, cardio-vascular
    disease, exposure to infectious diseases, and
    environmental contaminants. Allows determination
    of relationships between disease risk factors and
    health status, and to explore emerging public
    health issues
  • Microdata file _at_5,600 participants per
    collection cycle with 5 CHMS age groups 6-11
    12-19 20-39 40-59 60-79.
  • Canadian Tobacco, Alcohol and Drugs Survey
    (CTADS 2013 soon CTUMS 2002-2008 already
  • CTADS CTUMS alcohol and drug use among ages
    15-19 and 20-24
  • CTADS biennial survey to measure freq. of
    cigarette smoking, amount smoked, related
    behaviors, prevalence and frequency of alcohol
    use, drug use and the extent of harm.
  • Microdata file CTUMS 2008 _at_23,000 household
    records _at_9,700 individual records

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Childhood National Immunization Coverage Survey
    (New) (CNICS 2013)
  • Every two years, collects information on national
    immunization coverage for childhood vaccines
    (publicly-funded) also assess knowledge,
    attitudes, and awareness of vaccines including
    safety, sources of information, reasons for not
    immunizing, etc.
  • Covers girls and boys aged 2, 7, 17 and girls
    12-14 years old, living in the 10 provinces and
    three territories Respondents were randomly
    selected from an administrative file available at
    Statistics Canada. Stratified by age and by
    province and territory to ensure representative
    sample while remaining efficient. The sampling
    unit is the child, but the respondent is their
    parent or guardian the design prohibits two
    children from the same household from being
    selected for the sample.
  • Microdata file _at_2,800 records
  • Survey of Approaches to Educational Planning
    (SAEP 2013, 2002)
  • How parents are preparing their children (ages
    0-17) for post-secondary education primarily
    financial saving strategies (e.g. RESP, etc. )
    parents/guardians' attitudes and values regarding
    post-secondary education child's commitment to
  • Coverage SAEP is a supplement survey of the
    Labour Force Survey (LFS). Coverage was modified
    to include only those households with at least
    one child aged 17 (in SAEP 2002 ages 0-18) and
    under and, within those households, only one
    randomly selected child.
  • Microdata file _at_9,200 records for SAEP 2013

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Canadian Survey on Disability (CSD 2012)
  • Canadians aged 15 with disabilities reflecting
    social model of disability (vs. medical)
  • Information on type and severity of disability,
    use of aids and assistive devices, help received
    or required, educational attainment, labour force
    status, experiences and accommodations at school
    or work, and ability to get around the community.
  • Similar content to PALS (2006, 2001) and HALS
    (1991, 1986)
  • BUT streamlined and updated corrected weaknesses
    in question wording better identification of
    persons with mental/ psychological, cognitive and
    other types of disabilities using Disability
    Screening Questions (DSQ)
  • Should not be analytically compared to PALS and
  • Microdata file with disability based on DSQ
    _at_21,000 records false positive reported not
    limited but could be _at_8,600 records with
    long-term health condition but did not meet DSQ
    _at_3,100 records
  • Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS 2005, 2007,
    2009, 2010, 2012)
  • to assess the availability of internet to
    households and individuals 16yo in Canada
  • to understand how individuals use the Internet,
    including their frequency and intensity of usage,
    and demand for specific online activities (e.g.
    entertainment, study, work, social networking,
  • Microdata file _at_30,000 household records
    _at_22,000 individual records

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Programme for International Student Assessment
    (PISA 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012)
  • Developed and implemented by OECD countries,
    survey assess whether 15 year-olds approaching
    end of compulsory education acquired the
    knowledge and skills essential for full
    participation in society.
  • Covers three domains reading literacy,
    mathematical literacy and scientific literacy
    2/3 of each cycle focus on major domain
  • Every three years new 15 years old sample every
  • Microdata file has _at_21,500 records for PISA 2012
  • Program for the International Assessment of Adult
    Competencies (PIAAC 2012 IALSS 2003 IALS 1994)
  • OECD- initiated survey to provide information
    regarding change in the distribution of skills
    (reading and math) over the years including
    problem solving in technology-rich environments
    to inform decisions on the composition and
    content of remedial skill development course and
    adult education.
  • Canadian adults aged 16 to 65 not residing in
    institutions or on Aboriginal reserves
  • Microdata file has 27,000 records for PIAAC 2012
    wherein _at_11,200 are lt20 years old

Relevant Cross-sectional microdata
  • Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS 1991, 2001, 2006,
  • Key statistics to inform policy and programming
    activities aimed at improving the well-being of
    Aboriginal Peoples (First Nations people living
    off reserve, Métis and Inuit aged 6)
  • Funding provided by Aboriginal Affairs and
    Northern Development Canada, Health Canada and
    Employment and Social Development Canada
    (formerly HRSDC)
  • Collected every five years Data on the social
    and economic conditions of Aboriginal people in
    Canada in terms of education, employment, health,
    language, income, housing and mobility.
  • Collects unique and detailed data on education,
    employment and health data not available from any
    other source.
  • Coverage 2006 APS Aboriginal identity only
    2012 APS Aboriginal identity
  • Content 2011 NHS level of education and on
    major field of study 2012 APS
    number of schools attended, exposure to
    Aboriginal languages, school climate and support,
    frequency of reading, participation in
    extra-curricular activities, peer influences and
    plans for further schooling.
  • Microdata file has _at_28,400 records for APS 2012

Relevant One Time Survey Microdata
  • Aboriginal Children's Survey (ACS 2006)
  • Early development of Aboriginal children and the
    social and living conditions in which they are
    learning and growing.
  • Covers data about Aboriginal (Métis, Inuit, and
    off-reserve First Nations) children under 6 years
    of age in urban, rural, and northern locations.
  • Microdata 12,800 records with relatively
    equivalent number of sample for ages 0-1, 2-3,
  • Maternity Experiences Survey (MES 2006)
  • Sponsored by the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance
    System of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the
    goal was to gain information that could help
    improve the health and well-being of pregnant
    women, mothers and infants in Canada.
  • Information on pregnancy, labour, birth and
    postpartum experiences.
  • Covers women who had a single birth at time of
    survey at least 15 years of age at the time of
    baby's birth baby was born in Canada and lived
    with the mother at least one night per month.
  • Microdata _at_8,500 women.

Relevant One Time Survey Microdata
  • International Youth Survey (IYS 2005-06)
  • Canadian portion of the International Self-Report
    Delinquency Study (ISRD) involving youth in
    Grades 7 to 9 in _at_30 countries, Europe, US and
  • comprehensive information about delinquency and
    misbehavior of young people. Data can be analyzed
    within the context of school policies and
    programs, local crime problems, and the
    socio-demographic make-up of local communities.
  • Microdata file _at_3200 grades 7-9 students
    belonging to the Toronto District School Board or
    a private school in the Toronto Metropolitan
    Area, at the time of collection
  • Information and Communications Technologies in
    Schools Survey (ICTSS 2003-2004)
  • Provides a benchmark data on the integration of
    ICT in education - current ICT infrastructure in
    schools location and time students can access
    computers types of internet and intranet
    connections teacher skills and training in ICT
    capabilities in regards to online courses and
    videoconferencing attitudes toward ICT ICT
  • Surveyed 6,676 of the 15,541 schools (43
    response rate) includes elementary and secondary
    schools (except Catholic schools) as well as
    trade/vocational schools, schools in aboriginal
    communities, social service centres.

Relevant Administrative Microdata
  • Vital Statistics Data
  • Through the Canadian Vital Statistics system, all
    provincial and territorial vital statistics
    registries in Canada now supply microfilm or
    optical images of vital statistics registration
    forms to Statistics Canada
  • Vital Statistics Births (VSD Births 1974-2011)
  • Microdata provide all live births in Canada
    linked by socio-economic and geographic
  • Allows for fertility studies (i.e. age-specific
    fertility rates, parity, birth types, infant
    health / mortality, seasonality of birth
    occurrences, etc.) in relation to socio-economic
    (i.e. immigrant / Canadian born, cultural
    diversity, living arrangements and risk of
    conception, etc.) and geographic variables
    through usual place of residence of mother
  • Place of birth and place of residence of mother
    are based on census geographic codes where
    distance could be a proxy to measure access to
    health facilities
  • Vital Statistics Deaths (VSD Deaths 1974-2011)
  • Microdata provide all deaths in Canada linked by
    geographic characteristics
  • Allows for mortality studies using demographic
    and medical (cause of death) information relative
    to locality of death and/or usual place of
    residence of the deceased
  • The cause of death variable is classified
    according to the WHO "International Statistical
    Classification of Diseases and Related Health
    Problems" (ICD).

Relevant Administrative Microdata
  • Canadian Cancer Registry (CCR 1992- 2010 2011,
    2012) 2013 upcoming)
  • Patient based database collected from all
    provincial and territorial cancer registries
    (PTCRs) Data documents both the individual with
    the cancer and the characteristics of the cancer.
  • Great authoritative source to provide a solid
    baseline about cancer incidence among children
    and youth (kind and number of new cases diagnosed
    in a year) studies on cancer survival, cancer
    mortality / death, descriptive and analytical
    epidemiological studies to plan, monitor and
    evaluate broad range of cancer control programs
    (e.g. screening, etc.), identifying risk factors
    for cancer, research in health services and
  • Each year, approximately 180,000 new primary
    cancer records are loaded into the CCR database.

Pilot Projects Relevant
  • Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey
    (UCR cases collected from 2007-2011)
  • Incidence and characteristics of police-reported
    crime in Canada (collected from provincial police
    authorities) useful for crime analysis, policy
    and legislative development, administrative
    planning and international comparisons.
  • Three microdata files 1) Incident 2)
    Accused/Charged 3) Victim
  • Incident-based or population based (e.g. child /
    youth) crime studies
  • Not intended / statistically reliable for trend
  • Homicide Survey (HS cases collected from
  • Police-reported data on the characteristics of
    all murder incidents, victims and accused persons
    since 1961 and all homicides (including murder,
    manslaughter and infanticide) since 1974.
  • Three microdata files 1) Incident 2)
    Accused/Charged 3) Victim
  • Information received by the Homicide Survey is
    compared to the data reported to the UCR Survey

Pilot Projects Relevant
  • Ontario Social Assistance Data (OSAD 2003-2013)
  • Ontario social assistance data derived from the
    Ontario Works Program and the Ontario Disability
    Support Program (ODSP)
  • Data would include de-identified Ontario income
    support microdata of benefit unit (family),
    member, pay detail (benefit), income / deduction
    information and skills.
  • Monthly time-series data on Ontario Works and
    ODSP provincial caseloads from 1990 to 2013 could
    be made available.

McMaster RDC Website Information
  • PUMF vs. Microdata
  • Microdata files available (updated regularly)
  • Select Survey presentations
  • McMaster RDC Newsletter
  • How to Apply / Types of Data Access
  • Faculty research
  • Masters or Doctoral research
  • Program of Research
  • Academic course
  • Unaffiliated academic research (fee-for-service)

The proposal
  • Project Title
  • Name and Affiliation of Investigators
  • Project Objectives
  • Description of the Methods
  • Data Requirements
  • (including justification for microdata)
  • Critical Dates

Contact information
  • Mills Memorial Library, Rm 217
  • McMaster University
  • 1280 Main Street West
  • Hamilton ON, L8S 4L6
  • Academic Director Byron Spencer
  • Analysts Peter Kitchen (
    905-525-9140 ext. 27968Ruben Mercado
    ( 905-525-9140 ext.
    27967Extended Hours Anna Kata
    ( 905-525-9140 ext. 27968

CRDCN Website
McMaster RDC Website McMaster RDC
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