Who is present in secondary childcare


I am interested in identifying if any adults are present in the household when a teenager (15-18 yo) provides secondary childcare to younger siblings. Can I do this with “who”?

Thank you in advance!

Yes, it is relatively straightforward to identify such cases in the ATUS with a few caveats.

First, the who variables (e.g. RELATEW and AGEW) ask respondents to identify who was in the room or accompanied the respondent during the activity. An adult who was present in the home at the time, but was engaged in other activities in a different room would not be included. Another point to be aware of is that secondary child care specifically refers to care of children (under age 13) that is done at the same time as another primary activity, such as cooking dinner or watching tv. Teenage respondents may also report primary childcare activities (ACTIVITY codes 0301xx, 0302xx, and 0303xx) if the main activity they were engaged in was caring for a household child under age 13. Users should be able to identify who the teenager was providing childcare to using the who variables. However, there may appear cases where a respondent reports providing childcare, but did not report the child as being in the same room or accompanying them in the activity. In such cases, you might use household composition variables to narrow down to who the teenager may have provided household childcare to. Finally, you should note that the ATUS only samples a single adult (15+) in each household regarding their time use. Respondents do not report childcare provided by other household members. As a result, only in households where the respondent was 15-18 years old can the type of childcare you describe be identified.

With these factors in mind, you can identify this type of childcare by creating and downloading an extract. You will need to first change your data structure to be hierarchical, then add the relevant who variables, household composition variables, AGE, SCC_HH_LN, and ACTIVITY if you want to also identify primary childcare. Your hierarchical extract will have separate who records nested under each activity record which themselves are organized under a person record and a household record. The household record will have data on household composition, the person record has information on the age of the respondent, the activity record will report the activity type and time spent on secondary childcare during the time of the primary activity, and the who records will report information on who else was present.