Ontario Child Health Study (OCHS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1983

Reference period of change - 2014

The 2014 OCHS has five objectives:
1. to estimate the prevalence of child mental disorders; in other words the percentage of Ontario children who have a mental disorder;
2. to quantify the association between child mental disorders, chronic health conditions, and social and academic functioning; the findings of 1983 OCHS showed a relationship between having a mental disorder and academic and social functioning. The 1983 findings also showed that children with a functional condition had a higher rate of mental disorders versus children who had neither a functional or medical condition. Researchers hope to gain a better understanding of these relationships from 2014 OCHS;
3. to examine the extent to which families with children exhibiting mental health needs receive mental health services, express satisfaction with them or experience barriers to their use;
4. to determine if there has been an increase in the prevalence of child mental disorders between 1983 and 2014 or changes in socio-economic inequalities (gradients) for child disorders; and
5. to model contextual influences (family, neighbourhood, school) on risk for disorder. What sort of impact do family, the neighbourhood and school have on the risk of a child developing a mental disorder?

Reference period of change - 2000-2001 (second follow-up)

For the follow-up study in 2000, Statistics Canada attempted to locate the original longitudinal respondents from the 1983 sample. In total, 2,896 of the 3,294 longitudinal respondents were located.

Reference period of change - 1987 (first follow-up)

Sampling - All children and families who participated in the original OCHS were eligible for follow-up in 1987. Among the 1,869 households, 1,660 (88.8%) were traced and 1,546 (82.7%) agreed to participate.

Reference period of change - 1983

Statistics Canada, in conjunction with McMaster University, collected information on a representative group of 3,294 Ontario children living in 1,869 families. The children selected were between 4 and 16 years of age. The main purpose of the study was to look at the overall health of the children in Ontario, to see how their health needs were being met and to identify factors that helped or hindered their development.

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