Priority Populations

Measuring Social Disparities: A Modified Approach to the Index of Child Well-Being (CWI) for Race-Ethnic, Immigrant-Generation, and Socioeconomic Groups with New Results for Whites

The Foundation for Child Development’s Child Well-Being Index (CWI) provides a national composite measure for monitoring change in the quality of life of America’s children by indicating the average amount of change that children experience between a baseline year and a subsequent year.  the method also has been implemented for whites, blacks, and Hispanics to assess trends for each group individually. To assess disparities across groups, the gaps separating whites from other race-ethnic groups have been calculated as a percentage of the baseline disparity in 1985 set to a value of 100, but this measure cannot show whether disparities have been eliminated, or how much change would be required to eliminate disparities. To overcome this limitation, research presented here offers a modified methodology that measures both levels and disparities in 1985, and from this starting point measures subsequent trends in levels and disparities. Future research will explore disparities among children distinguished by immigrant and socioeconomic circumstances of their families.